Feeds
80%
Vlingo iOS voice-recognition app icon

Vlingo

Siri-ous competition

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

iOS App of the Week One of the standout features of the new iPhone 4S is the Siri voice-recognition assistant.

Siri started out as just an ordinary third-party app until it was swooped up by Apple, and there are still a number of similar rivals that you can use to add voice-recognition features to older iPhones, as well as the iPod Touch and iPad.

Vlingo iOS voice-recognition app Vlingo iOS voice-recognition app

Vlingo can't be called up from anywhere in iOS - you have to run the app first

The closest counterpart to Siri is probably Vlingo, a free app that used to charge for certain premium features such as dictating SMS messages, but which has decided to go completely free since the launch of Siri.

As it’s a standalone app, you first have to launch Vlingo before you can speak to it. And, like Siri, it requires an active 3G or Wi-Fi internet connection in order to work properly.

Vlingo iOS voice-recognition app Vlingo iOS voice-recognition app

Vlingo lets you dictate email (left) and text messages (right)

You simply tap a button on its home screen when you’re ready to start speaking, and then tap again when you’re finished to tell the app to start processing your words.

I found that Vlingo worked just as well as Siri for routine tasks such as dictating short emails, initiating phone calls, and performing web searches. In fact, it actually seems a bit better than Siri at interpreting pauses in your voice and converting them into punctuation marks such as commas and full stops.

Vlingo iOS voice-recognition app Vlingo iOS voice-recognition app

Vlingo also works with the Maps app (left) and both Facebook and Twitter (right)

It’s not as well integrated with other iOS apps as Siri is. For instance, you can’t dictate into Notes or Pages with Vlingo as you can with Siri - though there are dedicated dictation apps that you can try too, such as Dragon Dictation.

However, Vlingo does have a couple of tricks up its sleeve that Apple will no doubt want to add to Siri in due course. It can send spoken updates to your Facebook or Twitter accounts, and it also works with the iOS Maps app here in the UK – something that Siri can’t do at all at the moment.

Vlingo iOS voice-recognition app Vlingo iOS voice-recognition app

The app comes with examples to get you started

RH Recommended Medal

While Vlingo may not be as polished as Siri, it’s still worth checking out if you want hands-free voice control of your iPhone when you’re in the car or jogging around the park. ®

We make our selection of the best iOS smartphone and tablet downloads every Thursday. It you think there's an app we should be considering, please let us know.

More iOS App of the Week Winners

The Guardian
iPad Edition
iMoney
Accounting
LoveFilm
Player
Meter
Readings
Flipboard

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

80%
Vlingo iOS voice-recognition app icon

Vlingo

Voice-recognition app that may lack the polish of Siri on the iPhone 4S but delivers almost all the functionality.
Price: Free RRP

More from The Register

next story
PEAK APPLE: iOS 8 is least popular Cupertino mobile OS in all of HUMAN HISTORY
'Nerd release' finally staggers past 50 per cent adoption
Apple spent just ONE DOLLAR beefing up the latest iPad Air 2
New iPads look a lot like the old one. There's a reason for that
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
Microsoft fitness bands slapped on wrists: All YOUR HEALTH DATA are BELONG TO US
Wearable will deliver 'actionable insights for healthier living'
Caterham Seven 160 review: The Raspberry Pi of motoring
Back to driving's basics with a joyously legal high
FTDI yanks chip-bricking driver from Windows Update, vows to fight on
Next driver to battle fake chips with 'non-invasive' methods
Amazon hopes FIRE STICK will light up its video service
We do streaming video? It seems we do...
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Protecting against web application threats using SSL
SSL encryption can protect server‐to‐server communications, client devices, cloud resources, and other endpoints in order to help prevent the risk of data loss and losing customer trust.