Starting today, I’m announcing the start of App of the day Wednesday! As an Android Enthiast, and current user of the HTC Evo, I’m a complete app-a-holic. Over the last couple years I’ve found a bunch android applications that I absolutely love. The plan is to take one of those Apps each week and post a brief review of why I love (or hate) it. To kick things off, I’ll start with the non-stock app that I use the absolute most, Vlingo Virtual Assistant.
Vlingo Virtual Assistant – the “Siri for Android”
Vlingo Virtual Assistant
Before the advent of Siri, Vlingo was the best phone “virtual assistant” out there. Vlingo is the Siri-like app for Android, and it’s still the best Android virtual assistant. The features and abilities of Vlingo are not as robust as Siri on the iPhone 4s, but it still is a very respectable app. It does what you need it to do, and does it well.
In a nutshell:
Vlingo is a simple app that allows quick and effective voice commands to control your phone. Using Vlingo you can call others, compose text messages or email, search Google, find local businesses, start apps, navigate to an address, and much more all activated only by your voice. The app also has text-to-speech capabilities, and will announce and read incoming messages to you.
- Voice Commands – Vlingo voice commands are very powerful, and allow you to do things with your phone while driving it would be unsafe to do otherwise. You can say things like “text mom, message, I love you”, and not only would that text message be sent, but your mom might wonder what exactly has gotten into you. Here’s a list of the voice commands (that I”m aware of ) that Vlingo currently supports.
- Send Messages including texting and emailing
- Call someone
- Find Restaurants and Businesses
- Check the Weather
- Search or “Google” something
- Update Facebook, Twitter, or Foursquare status
- Open apps by saying them
- Ask questions (things that Vlingo has in it’s database – like “how many ounces in a gallon” or “who is Steve Jobs”)
- Get directions or navigate
- Book hotel, or find a taxi
- Buy movie tickets
- Safe Reader – Safe Reader is a feature that enables incoming messages to be read out loud. This way, when you are driving, you don’t have to look at your phone, you can just listen to it. This is extra convenient if you wear a headset OR have your phone connected to your car audio.
- Vlingo In-Car – This is an awesome feature. When enabled it not only turns on Safe Reader, but you can say things without pushing any button on your phone, you just say “hey Vlingo” and Vlingo is ready for your command.
I have Vlingo enabled so when I long-hold the search button on my HTC Evo, it pops up ready for a voice command. I absolutely love this App. I used it long before Apple bought Siri, and it always impressed my friends with iPhones (although, I believe there is a Vlingo app for the iPhone). Vlingo does pretty much everything that Siri does, it’s just not as “clean cut”, yet. Now that the bar has been raised, however, I’m excited to see what updates Vlingo has in the near future, OR what other Android apps are going to come out that are even better than Vlingo or Siri.
Lots of people like to use their phone while in the car, and me calling other people out on that would be the pot calling the tea kettle black. However, Vlingo allows you to use your phone SAFELY in your car. You can navigate your way when your lost or trying to get around traffic, sent text messages, and compose emails all without endangering your life and the lives of the people driving around you. Needless to say, I HIGHLY recommend this app. 5 Stars.