By now, I am sure all of you have seen the new iPhone 4S features and watched the demo videos. Sure, the faster processor and updated camera are awesome, but in my opinion, Siri is a game changer. No, it is not the first voice recognition solution, but it may be the first that truly interacts with its user. Well, despite my pushing the Mrs. to agree on my upgrading, I do not think it is in the budget at this moment. I even used the angle that I would give her my iPhone 4 and unlock the 3GS and use it like a Touch for the kids. She was even quite impressed with the Siri demo, but I think I will have to wait. I even had the old Siri app and noticed it no longer works. Doh! While searching for something similar I ran back across Vlingo which we have covered here at Gear Diary and noticed that the once Freemium application was now totally free. I won’t rehash the old reviews, but here is a quick look.
Vlingo for iPhone combines fast and accurate speech recognition technology with the intelligence to listen to what you say, and quickly connect you with people, businesses and activities so that you can get things done while on the go.
Vlingo features direct-SMS functionality (no pasting!), as well as easy integration with mapping, email and search functions. It even connects you to your third parties – like Facebook and Twitter.
As you can see, Vlingo has some similar qualities as Siri. (Well, at least the old Siri app) One thing different from the video I have found is that my messages actually load after speaking and I did not have to paste like the video showed. The application is not perfect, but it works extremely well. I’ve been using it for about 24 hours and keep learning new features and getting faster. I am anxious to test it on my bluetooth headset while I am driving. I like the fact that I can update Twitter and Facebook statuses and found the process to be simple and quick.
I understand that Siri on the iPhone 4S likely will be a ground breaking service. In fact, I may try to scratch up the funds for the upgrade mainly for that service. The demos look truly futuristic to me and I think it will change how we use all devices moving forward. In the mean time, Vlingo will fill this void and provide a formidable alternative that will work on current hardware. Since the app is now free, I say go try it for yourself. Learn to use it in the best way it suits you. Check out Vlingo here in the app store.
Any other solutions you know about or use, please post them in the comments. I’m ready to try them all!