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September 18, 2008

Vlingo 1.1 for BlackBerry Reviewed

Posted in: Reviews, Spotlight

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.


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