I just purchased my Samsung Galaxy S II. I really love it. It’s gorgeous, has a brilliant screen, a ridiculously quick processor (sometimes too quick, if that’s possible) and a handy free app that tries to compete with Siri. Vlingo.

A couple of my friends are smitten with Siri. I don’t quite get it, but since they are of the “Apple can do no wrong” persuasion I can’t expect much more from them. When they first told me about Siri my response was, “Cool, I’ve had that feature for a while now.” Then they further explained that it had “artificial intelligence” and would respond to goofy things they asked it. After playing with Siri for a while I thought of a word for it. Cute. The cuteness of Siri is fun, in a way, but is it actually more functional than Vlingo? So far I’m not convinced. Sure it can make appointments, set an alarm and do other things that are just as easily done on a touch screen. As for the “artificial intelligence” it just seems like pre-programmed responses to key words. Siri seems to have just as many flubs or wrong interpretations of what people say as its Android competitor.

Most of us have heard of Vlingo but just in case you haven’t:

Vlingo is a voice recognition app that has been around a few years now. It is very well designed, written and, unlike some android apps, visually appealing. It has thorough tutorials on how to use it and even if you skip these, as I did, it’s easy to pick up on the fly. Basically you just tap the big blue button at the bottom (or use one of it’s handy widgets) and tell Vlingo what you want to do. It analyzes it and presto-chango you’re calling someone, composing a text, opening an app, buying movie tickets, getting a taxi, or just searching the web.

Vlingo also has a car mode (Beta) where all you have to say is, “Hey Vlingo,” to which Vlingo responds, “What would you like to do?” Very handy for those of us who like to have our phones in the car dock suctioned to the windshield. While driving you can turn on “Safe reader” which will read your incoming texts and emails. Therefore your eyes stay on the road and your chatterbox friend, who texts a mile a minute, won’t feel ditched because you are a good citizen who doesn’t text and drive. You can respond and listen to messages without taking your eyes off the road. Pretty sweet if you ask me.

So if you’ve been lusting over your friend’s Siri app on his iPhone, STOP! Go download Vlingo from the market and try it out. (It’s FREE!) I’ve enjoyed playing around with it and I think it can keep up with Siri. The only thing it lacks is a multi-million dollar ad campaign and some cute responses to questions that, well frankly, don’t matter.

Click or scan the code below to download and try it out!

Summary and Downloads:

Application: Vlingo Virtual Assitant
Developer: Vlingo Corp.
Cost: FREE

  • Glen Bramlitt

    I love Vlingo!  It goes great with Widget Locker.  Widget Locker has a great ICS themed lock screen.  And with Vlingo’s auto listen feature, it’s great.  So my Vlingo use goes like this:
    Press power button to bring up the lock screen
    Pull the lock down to launch my Vlingo
    Speak and command my Vlingo

    One additional nice feature would be for it to include recognition of commanding it to navigate to an address of one of your stored contacts (i.e. “navigate to Dave’s house”), but I’m sure they’re working on that.

  • Anonymous

    vlingo is very awesome, the very first thing i thought of when siri arrived….and i’m also loving it pre-installed on my tmo gs2 is it on all carriers gs2s? also it’s something nobody has mentioned to my memory when discussing pros of the gs2.

  • Tom SNow

    The only complaint I have is it won’t run in the background. So if you’re listening to Pandora, listening to your music, or using Google Navigation you can’t just say “Hey Vlingo” and send a text. You have to go back to it. 

    It’s minor but I think the functionality would triple if they made the listening feature run in the background during Driving mode.

    • Insyter

      Hope that is a top priority for the next update

  • Rose

    I love Vlingo too but I also love Speaktoit assistant Very Cool!

  • Doug

    I like the “Voice Search” app from google that came on my phone. Vlingo does not work very well for me, but Voice Search works great.

  • seansrq

    Siri competes with vlingo not the other way around. I have been using vlingo for a year and a half now and have always loved it. Their voice recognition technology is superior and the overall functionality with all aspects of one’s phone is amazing. Siri is the new kid on the block but really nothing special or groundbreaking because vlingo had that down a long time ago. Sorry Apple, you can’t have this one.

    • Steve

      Wow – I might be a android fan but you sir are over the top – apple sold a zillion 4s’s because of Siri – and – android is racing for a true Siri competitor, and IMHO vlingo is not close

      • http://androidspin.com Tony Simons

        Apple sold a zillion 4S’s because 95% of their customers are too interested in brand to realize confinement when it slaps them in the face. Vlingo has been around much longer than Siri, and IMHO (which we are all entitled to) shows Siri how it should be done.