back to article Vlingo

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 …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Worth pointing out..

    You can get VLingo for Android too, and it's just as good, so there is really no reason for anyone to buy an iPhone 4s for Siri, when you can get the same (and in some ways more) with VLingo..

    It's ad-supported on Android, but there is a cheap ad-free version well worth paying for (a couple of quid).

    1. Allicorn

      Indeed. Better even on Android, since there it /does/ integrate into every keyboard so that you can always dictate in any app, anywhere there's a text field. Its "In-Car" feature is rather spanky too. Vlingo will listen constantly (sucking battery like nobody's business of course, so keep it on charge) for you to say a trigger phrase at any time like, "Oy, mush!". When it hears it, it asks for your commands, listens again, and executes them immediately. 'Tis like having a fancy 1970's era sci-fi computer on your dashboard. All it needs is an option to talk back in a heavily vocoded RP accent.

    2. Absent

      Or on some phones like the Galaxy S2, it comes pre-loaded and ad-free.

      1. Alex C

        Of course the problem with it on SG2 is that it's more or less hard coded to the home button and seems impossible to remove. That's why I keep accidentally turning it on. A nice toy but I wish I could make it less accessible.

    3. IR

      I've tried out Iris for Android, works pretty well and seems to produce just as many bizarre and hilarious responses as Siri does.

  2. Jedit


    A free app that provides the same function as iOS's new selling point? Expect that to be pulled from the store by Christmas, then.

  3. Annihilator

    Hurry, while stocks last..

    I don't imagine this app will survive for much longer. Expect a tweak to the App Store Ts & Cs shortly.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    3GS + 4

    I'm guessing it'll work on the 3GS and 4 unlike Siri ?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    However, what does it do when I ask it to marry me?

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I've seen it running on other platforms too, but I can't remember if it was under NDA or not so I won't mention which.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Been around a while

    As far as I know Vlingo hit the app store in 2008 (can't find the link) and became available on Android last month. Speech recognition has been available on the iPhone since around iOS 3.2 and Android a year later in Froyo 2.2 (correct me if I'm wrong).

    Speech recognition is just one aspect of what Siri does. The original technology came from this out fit, pretty interesting stuff.

    1. mrmond

      ok,I'll correct you.

      It's been out on android for months. I got my San Fran in February and had it installed then.

  8. JDX Gold badge


    Maybe - or maybe no need because few will want a separate app they have to launch with less integration. The missing maps and stuff will come soon.

  9. Daniel Harris 1

    Is this also free on Blackberry now?

  10. Silverburn

    Missing features handsfree option and no itunes integration!

    Boo - this is the *one* feature I wanted (so I could change tracks/volume hands free while running/cycling).

    Maybe in a future version?

  11. Bad Beaver
    Thumb Up

    This came pre-installed on my Nokia

    For free, of course. It's not Siri but it does work pretty well for what it is. Also adds a "* bla bla by Vlingo" tag to SMS you dictate it, making it a natural choice for replying to iPosers' "* by Siri" text messages.

  12. Volker Hett

    I just installed the Android version and am less impressed.

    Is this the intended workflow:

    Start Vlingo

    select mode - start application

    press button

    say whatsup

    press button

    VLingo understood words app

    press back



  13. Kristian Walsh Silver badge

    Also available for Nokia Symbian phones


  14. MJG


    @Jedit... Yeah it could well get pulled. Whilst I believe the iDevices are great devices, work well, etc. this article, and the 4S release just shows why I will NEVER consider an iDevice again (I have owned 2 original iPhones).

    Siri WAS available as an app pre 4S (yes not as well integrated, etc), and now the people who used it (admittedly not that many probably), had it removed, and are forced to upgrade if they want to continue using an app they previously used... There is NO reason at all for Siri not to be available for any device iOS 5 is available for, but it could be released, and might be restricted now due to the load that must now have been thrown at the apple servers. At the end of the day I guess most people will play with this and then not use it, demand drops and they could roll it out, we'll see.

    But if I was a current iPhone user, using Siri and it now being removed, I'd be really annoyed right now, and there have been plenty of other examples of apps being removed...

    Who knows if they'll remove Vlingo or any other similar app in the future, and thats the problem, I don't know, and it can't be guaranteed.

  15. geekclick

    Android reads back to you as well...

    Not sure if this is specific to Android or the Galaxy S2 but when in "Driving Mode" Vlingo will read my incoming texts and emails to me as well as speak the callers ID!

  16. foxski
    Thumb Up

    Forget Siri

    @silverburn You can control itunes & several other things via voice control already, its been built in since the 3GS I think. Just hold the home button and say "Play Next" or "Play Foo Fighters" or similar. Cant do volume though but you can do all these things: & Vlingo for the fancy stuff like mapping and texting

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