Vlingo for Android – Now you are “free” to compare
Just a few hours ago here at Vlingo, we all watched along with the rest of the industry as Google launched Voice Actions for Android. After playing with it for the last hour on our Sprint Evo running Froyo our conclusion is: Awesome Product. The Google guys have done it again. The app is snappy, has great polish and usability. Voice Actions has set a new standard that the teams at Apple, Nokia, RIM and Microsoft are going to be measured by.
It’s hard to believe it was only 18 months ago when many in our industry were still saying voice recognition would never be good enough for consumer mobile markets. What a difference 18 months makes. We founded Vlingo in 2006 on the belief that voice is the next revolutionary UI in mobile and since then we have created apps to turn users’ words into actions across all phones. We love to see someone of Google’s stature validating this market.
In many ways Voice Actions for Android is very similar to the Vlingo for Android product—just by pushing a widget button on the home screen you can speak to your Android phone and have Voice Actions turn your words into actions. Just like Vlingo you can speak to send a text message or an email, navigate to a business location, search the web, and much more. The Voice Actions business dialing feature is very similar to Vlingo’s SuperDialer—you just say “call <business name>” such as “call Blue Ribbon Barbecue” and Voice Actions dials the business for you. It even goes farther in some areas—my favorite is setting the alarm clock on the phone just by speaking “Set alarm for 8 am.”
For all the appeal of Voice Actions, we think we still have something compelling to offer the market by virtue of Vlingo being an independent provider of voice-enablement: namely we don’t have to preference any particular content. So just as our product runs across all smartphones (iPhone, Android, RIM BlackBerry, Nokia Series 60, Windows Mobile), we also mash up with content other than Google content. Our current Android product leverages Facebook and Twitter for example (and here’s a hint—look for more such mash ups coming out very soon in our Vlingo for Android product). And of course we also have other features not yet present in Voice Actions, such as our SafeReader feature that reads your incoming text and email messages to you.
But saying we have something to offer is not as compelling as showing it—so following Google’s lead we’ve decided to make our product free on Android effective immediately so you can compare for yourself. Also—since Voice Actions only runs on 2.2 and above, we don’t want 2.0 and 2.1 users to feel they don’t have any options until they upgrade.
So try them both and let us know what you think.
Well done Google.
Dave Grannan, President & CEO, Vlingo