Vlingo 1.1 for BlackBerry Reviewed

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As keen observers of cool new ways to interact with you BlackBerry, we’ve had our eyes on Vlingo since
WES back in May, when most people knew of them as the white label solution for Yahoo! oneSearch. We also helped to promote their open survey to provide feedback and improve their voice-enabled BlackBerry application.

But with the official release of version 1.1, Vlingo has stepped out of beta and into the spotlight. It’s time to answer the question of what a voice-enabled BlackBerry can do and whether or not you need it.

Vlingo 1.1 for BlackBerry Review Key Details

OS Support: 4.2.1/4.2.2/4.3/4.5 (no 4.6 support)
Price: free!
Download/Buy: Download Vlingo for BlackBerry | Vlingo PDF User Guide
Company Website: www.vlingo.com

Vlingo 1.1 for BlackBerry Quick Links

Installation/Setup
Key Features
Pros/Cons
Final Conclusion

Installation/Setup

BlackBerry users are known for fanatic devotion to their keypad of choice because it’s the piece of the BlackBerry that gets used the most; most members of the BlackBerry Nation are very slow to adopt new QWERTY keypad designs and look upon SureType users with disdain. However, it’s impossible to describe how hesitant I was to abandon my beloved Bold keypad for a voice solution.

Vlingo understands this ambivalence to voice, however, and has gone to great pains to make sure users are comfortable using the application. Hands down, Vlingo has the best setup wizard of any piece of BlackBerry software: it’s clear, friendly, and walks you through everything you need to know without being overbearing. Honestly, all BlackBerry software should be this easy to setup and use.

To be fair, however, this type of clear training is necessary to truly learn how to use Vlingo. I really appreciated that Vlingo immediately followed the basic setup with a straightforward rundown of all the different ways you can use Vlingo. Whereas most BlackBerry applications just drop you in after install and expect you to learn through trial and error or rummaging through the options menu, Vlingo won’t let you progress until you have a handle on basic voice commands.

If you ever forget a voice command, however, don’t fret — all you need to know is always one click away. Vlingo’s main menu shows how far backwards Vlingo will bend over to make you feel comfortable using voice on your BlackBerry: What You Can Say, Help, Send Feedback and Options are the only four selections to choose from. Because of Vlingo’s hard work, I never felt confused or frustrated trying to get the software to work for me.

  • 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?
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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!
  • martino cartier
    I insyalled vlingo onto my storm but now my keyboard is always ontop how can I gat it to go away
  • florenceit
    works on the bold 9000 really well! i would like to know the business model too.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Bevan
    Anyone had success with VLingo on the bold?
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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?
  • 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?
  • rf10
    Is this supposed to work on the Storm? I tried and get "Could not record"
  • 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?
  • 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)
  • @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-one...), so I would think they're trying to promote their service as much as possible to get carriers interested.
  • 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.
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