Vlingo has been a leader in the voice assist market for Android for some time. With the recent leak of the S-Voice apk from the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S III, increased interested in a more comprehensive, responsive voice guide has started to grow. While the beta version of the next Vlingo is lacking a lot of already working functionality of the long existing full version, there are a few features beta testers can enjoy. From the Play Store, the latest update offers the following enhancements:
- Text messaging
- Voice dialing
- Web search
- Wake Up Word (say “Hi Vlingo” to activate)
- English language only
- US and Canada only (for now)
Like S-Voice, which is also supported by the same developers, Vlingo will offer a wake up command to begin interaction. Instead of pressing any buttons, saying “Hi Vlingo” will wake it up to begin. Leaving the microphone active to make use of the voice wake feature will likely not be a power-free feature; tests are currently being done to check battery drain against standard phone usage. Also with the update, texting and voice dialing has been expanded, but the beta still only supports English in the US and Canada. The full version has support from about a dozen languages at this point. The beta also only currently works with Ice Cream Sandwich.
There will be continued expansion and it will probably compliment the S Voice release in the next few weeks. For the brave (and apparently the few), go out and grab the beta and give it a try. Also feel free to share your thoughts here in the comments. Is Vlingo going to be the leader in having Siri-like voice assist, or is Google going to create their own service and expand their own already functional voice assistant?