Vlingo 1.1 for BlackBerry Reviewed

43 Comments

Key Features

In a nutshell, Vlingo is a voice command application that when assigned to one of your BlackBerry’s convenience keys, allows you to perform common tasks like sending texts and emails, making calls and searching the web with the push of a button and a few spoken words. Vlingo uses a technology known as HLMs, or Hierarchical Language Models, to determine the probability of what was said and the desired outcome. The use of HLMS also means that, over time, Vlingo will learn and adapt to how you speak, greatly reducing potential mistakes. But don’t take my word for it, watch this video:

Vlingo can be used to compose both email and text messages, tasks, memos, calendar events, and open the BlackBerry Browser, Maps, Address Book, or BlackBerry Search. It’s a daunting list at first, but actually requires only a few basic voice commands to work smoothly. For example, consider the image below:

To create the email above I said “email Jim Balsillie subject hockey game message are we still on for tonight question mark“. To send Mr. Balsillie a text message instead, I could have simply said “SMS” or “message Jim Balsillie”. Vlingo is very good at selecting the right command via a variety of words.

vlingo for blackberry note to self

While most people will likely gravitate to the ability to send hands-free emails, my favorite Vlingo command ended up being Note to Self. I had been a big fan of voice notes on my BlackBerry previously, using them as a stream-of-consciousness dumping ground for all my wireless industry musings. However, with Vlingo, those musings end up in a highly usable text format that I can email to myself or copy and paste into other documents.

  • Peter

    What is Vlingo’s business model? You don’t run an app that records and transcribes your voice on a remote server without having some sort of future business model attached.

  • Peter

    What is Vlingo’s business model? You don’t run an app that records and transcribes your voice on a remote server without having some sort of future business model attached.

  • http://www.blackberrycool.com/ BlackBerry Cool

    @Peter,

    That’s a really good question. I know they did the white-label development for Yahoo! OneSearch (http://www.blackberrycool.com/2008/08/yahoo-onesearch-released-to-canada-and-phillipines/), so I would think they’re trying to promote their service as much as possible to get carriers interested.

  • http://www.blackberrycool.com BlackBerry Cool

    @Peter,

    That’s a really good question. I know they did the white-label development for Yahoo! OneSearch (http://www.blackberrycool.com/2008/08/yahoo-onesearch-released-to-canada-and-phillipines/), so I would think they’re trying to promote their service as much as possible to get carriers interested.

  • berry_geek

    Would you get some information on MyCaption? I’ve a BlackBerry Bold, and apparently Mycaption is the only player which offers speech-to-text on Bold.. but i’d rather have your opinion on it before i buy it (by the way i already tried out the free trial and works really well)

  • berry_geek

    Would you get some information on MyCaption? I’ve a BlackBerry Bold, and apparently Mycaption is the only player which offers speech-to-text on Bold.. but i’d rather have your opinion on it before i buy it (by the way i already tried out the free trial and works really well)

  • Tom

    I have an older blackberry 8703E with the 4.1 operating system. Vlingo software download says it will not work on my model. Can I update this or do I need new hardware?

  • Tom

    I have an older blackberry 8703E with the 4.1 operating system. Vlingo software download says it will not work on my model. Can I update this or do I need new hardware?

  • rf10

    Is this supposed to work on the Storm? I tried and get “Could not record”

  • rf10

    Is this supposed to work on the Storm? I tried and get “Could not record”

  • Betsy

    I also have the storm and cannot get it to work. I used the 4.6 operating one assuming it was the newest version. I can not get it to record either. Any ideas?

  • Betsy

    I also have the storm and cannot get it to work. I used the 4.6 operating one assuming it was the newest version. I can not get it to record either. Any ideas?

  • Betsy

    I also have the storm and cannot get it to work. I used the 4.6 operating one assuming it was the newest version. I can not get it to record either. Any ideas?

  • Betsy

    I also have the storm and cannot get it to work. I used the 4.6 operating one assuming it was the newest version. I can not get it to record either. Any ideas?

  • http://NitinProductions.com/ Kevin

    Hey guys I have the storm 9530 and got it to work. I’m running the OS 4.7 which I believe is the latest version. However, when I started to setup Vlingo it asked me to download a 4.6 version update. Also during the setup wizard it had issues with detecting where my finger was but all you have to do is keep your finger on the screen and find what is being highlighted. Once you figure that out it works perfect after setup. One thing you have to be sure is set the permissions to allow pretty much everything. Hope that info helps?

  • http://NitinProductions.com Kevin

    Hey guys I have the storm 9530 and got it to work. I’m running the OS 4.7 which I believe is the latest version. However, when I started to setup Vlingo it asked me to download a 4.6 version update. Also during the setup wizard it had issues with detecting where my finger was but all you have to do is keep your finger on the screen and find what is being highlighted. Once you figure that out it works perfect after setup. One thing you have to be sure is set the permissions to allow pretty much everything. Hope that info helps?

  • glumpster

    Im using vlingo on my pearl and just love it.there are a few apps you just wouldn’t do without and this app is one of those for me.

  • glumpster

    Im using vlingo on my pearl and just love it.there are a few apps you just wouldn’t do without and this app is one of those for me.

  • MaYNOR

    I totally love this app and have been using it and providing feedback since the beginning- 1 of the main reasons I dig it so much is because its an excellent alternative to the dangerous “text-while-driving”- they’ve also updated the app so you can open other apps and even update your Facebook Status and Twitter allllllll with the sound of your voice

    I’ve gotten it to work on my Storm with all four OS’ .75, .76, .83 and .85 … you I just couldnt use the right hand side convenience key — LEFT ONLY.

  • MaYNOR

    I totally love this app and have been using it and providing feedback since the beginning- 1 of the main reasons I dig it so much is because its an excellent alternative to the dangerous “text-while-driving”- they’ve also updated the app so you can open other apps and even update your Facebook Status and Twitter allllllll with the sound of your voice

    I’ve gotten it to work on my Storm with all four OS’ .75, .76, .83 and .85 … you I just couldnt use the right hand side convenience key — LEFT ONLY.

  • Bevan

    Anyone had success with VLingo on the bold?

  • Bevan

    Anyone had success with VLingo on the bold?

  • Dick FEldman

    All I get with Vlingo in its setup on my Storm is “listening” for half a second and then “Can’t record. Please try again.” I’ve set it to the left side key. Any help? Thanks.

  • Dick FEldman

    All I get with Vlingo in its setup on my Storm is “listening” for half a second and then “Can’t record. Please try again.” I’ve set it to the left side key. Any help? Thanks.

  • Dick FEldman

    All I get with Vlingo in its setup on my Storm is “listening” for half a second and then “Can’t record. Please try again.” I’ve set it to the left side key. Any help? Thanks.

  • http://thefreewarejunkie.com/ Rob Dunn

    If you get the “could not record” error, try enabling all permissions for Vlingo in options> advanced options> applications. Just find Vlingo and click the menu button to enable permissions.

  • http://thefreewarejunkie.com Rob Dunn

    If you get the “could not record” error, try enabling all permissions for Vlingo in options> advanced options> applications. Just find Vlingo and click the menu button to enable permissions.

  • florenceit

    works on the bold 9000 really well! i would like to know the business model too.

  • florenceit

    works on the bold 9000 really well! i would like to know the business model too.

  • http://none florenceit

    works on the bold 9000 really well! i would like to know the business model too.

  • http://martinocartier.com/ martino cartier

    I insyalled vlingo onto my storm but now my keyboard is always ontop how can I gat it to go away

  • http://martinocartier.com martino cartier

    I insyalled vlingo onto my storm but now my keyboard is always ontop how can I gat it to go away

  • Clare

    I’ve been trying to use it on my Storm, but can’t get through Step 4 of Setup, where you test recording “search concert tickets”. I get an “unexpected server error”. I’ve tried changing all of the permissions in Options > Advanced Options > Applications > vlingo to “Allow”, but I still end up with the same error. Any other ideas? Thanks!

  • Clare

    I’ve been trying to use it on my Storm, but can’t get through Step 4 of Setup, where you test recording “search concert tickets”. I get an “unexpected server error”. I’ve tried changing all of the permissions in Options > Advanced Options > Applications > vlingo to “Allow”, but I still end up with the same error. Any other ideas? Thanks!

  • Clare

    I’ve been trying to use it on my Storm, but can’t get through Step 4 of Setup, where you test recording “search concert tickets”. I get an “unexpected server error”. I’ve tried changing all of the permissions in Options > Advanced Options > Applications > vlingo to “Allow”, but I still end up with the same error. Any other ideas? Thanks!

  • Jack Morgan

    You can not find a 800 help number it is no longer on my black berry i want my money back or some one to call its a joke the service.480-540-2867

  • Jack Morgan

    You can not find a 800 help number it is no longer on my black berry i want my money back or some one to call its a joke the service.480-540-2867

  • kathy

    I haven’t downloaded or used the Google version yet, but you should have mentioned a synopsis of the license agreement for vlingo. This is quite an extensive set of rules the user is agreeing to and there is a mention of a subscription fee basis without any further explanation. I would simply recommend anyone who chooses to use the free app to read carefully the terms of service agreement which you must accept before gaining access to the app

  • kathy

    I haven’t downloaded or used the Google version yet, but you should have mentioned a synopsis of the license agreement for vlingo. This is quite an extensive set of rules the user is agreeing to and there is a mention of a subscription fee basis without any further explanation. I would simply recommend anyone who chooses to use the free app to read carefully the terms of service agreement which you must accept before gaining access to the app

  • leona

    Not only that, but it clearly states on their website that they collect all your address book contact names and companies so it can perform the contact searches. There’s no opt-out either, it says on their website if you’re not comfortable with the data collection then you should simply not install the produc

  • leona

    Not only that, but it clearly states on their website that they collect all your address book contact names and companies so it can perform the contact searches. There’s no opt-out either, it says on their website if you’re not comfortable with the data collection then you should simply not install the produc

  • Debbie Cole

    Will there ever be a capability to use the headset button to dictate rather than having to hold the side button on the phone?

  • Debbie Cole

    Will there ever be a capability to use the headset button to dictate rather than having to hold the side button on the phone?