Vlingo 1.1 for BlackBerry Reviewed

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.

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.

8 Responses to “Vlingo 1.1 for BlackBerry Reviewed”


  1. 1 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.

  2. 2 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.

  3. 3 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)

  4. 4 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?

  5. 5 rf10

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

  6. 6 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?

  7. 7 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?

  8. 8 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.

  1. 1 Closed Vlingo Beta running for the BlackBerry Nation! at SmartPhoneCool.com
  2. 2 Not Just Mangled Messages! VLingo Also Ate Half My Phonebook Along with 648 Emails. - Guru of New
  3. 3 vLingo «

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