Inspired by an article on MacLife, I wanted to delve more into a popular app with iPhones: dictation apps. In short, these apps allow you to convert your voice into text, and then apply them to emails, text messages, Facebook/twitter updates, etc.
When I first used Dragon Dictation app (they’re the ones that also have a software programme for PC and Mac), it left me unimpressed. I was expecting this to be somewhat accurate, as Dragon has had years of experience to get this down pat. Unfortunately, as it was then, it still is inaccurate. The upside to this is that you can apply your text to the aforementioned fields.
Interestingly enough, with emails, you have to type who you are sending the email to, as well as the subject…which kinda defeats the purpose of having this type of app to begin with.
That’s the bad news.
The good news is that there’s a much better app out there in the App Store. This voice-to-text app on steroids is known as vlingo! Not only is this app worlds more accurate than Dragon, it can do so much more!
For starters, it, like Dragon, can take your converted text and send it out via email/text messaging, or in the form of Facebook/twitter updates…although I did notice that if you have them integrated, if you try to update on twitter, it does not populate on Facebook. Hopefully this gets corrected in the next update.
Also like Dragon, if it doesn’t pick up your entire statement, you can correct it manually, or use one of their suggested words below to cut down on the typing (the whole point of having the app to begin with).
Here’s where vlingo separates itself from Dragon…it can also take the place of your Voice Control feature on your iPhone (and do it better, I might add). It can make phone calls for you by selecting one of your contacts, as well as search on Google (or another search engine if you so desire).
Going one step further, if you are looking for a particular place, it will provide you with their contact info, place an outbound call, or get turn-by-turn directions.
For example, if you wanted to look up a restaurant in a city that you’re visiting, you can say “look up restaurants in Salt Lake City”. Not only will it provide you a list of them, it will also give you reviews, directions, the ability to directly contact them, and access to their website as well.
The only downside is that if you want to convert your text to an email/text message, it’ll cost you…you can select one or the other, but I would recommend doing them both for $9.99. Although that may seem high, if you send out a lot of emails/text messages like I do, it sure beats being distracted while driving.