Vlingo 2.0 for iPhone Brings Voice to Email, SMS


Vlingo 2.0 for iPhone [Free with in-app purchase - iTunes link] brings an all new, all prettier graphical user interface to the table, as well as Email and SMS Paste dictation -- as an in-app purchase.

The new UI looks great and more importantly, works great. The icons are big and easy to hit and helpful tips are littered everywhere. You can tap to start recording and tap again to stop, or just hold down, talk, and release. For the various situations where you need to use voice instead of typing -- like while driving (if it's legal in your region!) -- that kind of ease of use is priceless.

With the free app you get Maps, Search, Social (Facebook and Twitter), and Voice Dial. As mentioned, the Email and SMS Paste dictation are via in-app purchase. Note, it's called SMS Paste because, unlike with Email, Apple won't allow apps to send SMS so it just copies your text and launches the Messages apps. You have to paste the text and then hit send on your own. The Email and SMS Paste options are $6.99 separately or $9.99 if purchased together. Whether they're worth or not depends entirely on how important voice email and SMS dictation are to you right now.

TiPb got our hands on the final version a couple of days early so we had a chance to try it out for a while already. All in all, Vlingo 2 works about as well as you'd expect a voice dictation app to work -- usually quite well, with hilarious tragedy on occasion. It does learn, however, so if you enunciate well and keep at it, your results should improve.

I liked it enough to buy the App Store version on release along with the Email and SMS Paste bundle. It's bleeding edge technology that should get better and more elegant in the future. And I'm a sucker for the the Star Trek-style apps.

Screen shots and video after the break! If you try it out, let us know what you think!

YouTube link

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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

Vlingo 2.0 for iPhone Brings Voice to Email, SMS


Personally I think the in-app purchase price is waaaay to expensive. Pretty disappointed about that. I expected there to be in-app purchasing, but much cheaper. I'd feel comfortable doing $1.99-2.99 for SMS/Email and maybe $4.99 for both.
I hope they lower the price assuming enough people agree with me.. then I'll be completely on-board! Vlingo has been on my home screen since it's launch on the iPhone, so I have always been a huge supporter... but for now, I'll let Dragon Dictate keep doing what it does amazingly and for free ;)

I understand the concerns for privacy, but seriously, what is being sent via email that can't already be tracked? I wonder how many people think that their emails and text messages are stored somewhere. Unless you own and operate your own mail server on your own domain, someone, somewhere, has your email stored. Whee is it that a person thinks they have privacy in text or emails that can't be dug up by the provider.
Everyone is so quick to jump on the Google bandwagon of free stuff and not give a second thought to the fact that you are giving Google a window in to your life and your contacts, via their mail, contacts, calendar, docs, and even voice calls from those of us who have Google Voice accounts. What does it matter is something you dictate is stored when your wireless communications already are?
If you, or the company you work for, are that ultra security conscience, you are probably only communicating sensitive voice and data through land lines and encrypted mail programs anyway. This product is not targeted for use by the head of National Security or the CIA. It's just something make all the uninteresting communicating we do daily easier.
I'm not defending the point that we should have privacy, but anything to do with wireless email, text, phone calls, etc., should be an automatic assumption that you aren't going to get it.

agreed with Fazle - how is this better than Dragon Dictation, which does the same thing for free?
it'd be nice to see the comparison made in the review itself, which implies that this is some innovation on vlingo's part.

Agree with 2 comments above regarding Dragon Dictation which I use all the time and it's good enough.

I love Dragon Dictation, but uh, correct me if i'm wrong, but you can't send email directly from the app, you can't update twitter/facebook directly from the app, you can't search directly within the app, and you can't do a maps search directly from the app. you have to dictate, copy, open each respective program and paste. Now, i'm not sure if Vlingo does this, but based on the quickly reading the review. it does...but i'm gonna have to see for myself soon i guess!

Vlingo now does what Dragon Dictate & Search do with voice email & text messaging, but in one program with additional benefits all from within the program.
Vlingo will use your voice to access local business & directions using Google Maps, Voice Dial, use voice to update status for Twitter & Facebook, Google, Bing & Yahoo web search.
Also check out Siri - a virtual personal assistant which does include many features from VLingo &. Dragon Apps.

Lol, yet one more app making it safer for me to drive and iPhone at the same time. The tickets for getting caught are insane though...

The accuracy looks rather questionable and at this point it would need to have android level speech to text accuracy in order to justify paying for such features as email dictation. If I remember correctly Dragon dictation allows dictation of raw text which you can then paste into Mail or for whatever app you need. However I like the concept of building on iPhone OS voice control. Honestly iPhone OS 4.0 needs to have full system-wide voice capability (licensed from Google? Oh my...) in order to be competitive with Android OS.

It's interesting but I would find it more useful if they used the built-in maps functionality so you didn't have to exit out of the app.

Love to see things that reach a little further like this does. Anything that makes my iPhone seem even more awesome and sci-fi is cool by me :)

Some time I wonder whether I will get the information I am looking for. But you have given complete information which I required.