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App Review: Vocalia for iPhone

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One of the new features that came with the iPhone 3GS was Voice Control. This feature allows the user to control their iPhone 3GS by simply using voice commands such a “Call”, “Dial” or “Play more like this”. As functional as the feature is, iPhone 3G and iPhone 2G users were left out in the cold. Well the iPhone app Vocalia seeks to change that!

Vocalia by Creaceed SPRL

If you have used an iPhone 3GS and the Voice Control feature, then Vocalia will be a very familiar experience. However, Vocalia delivers a different interface and many customization options for you to use.

The function of Vocalia is voice recognition. The app allows you to use your voice to control your iPhone 2G/3G (or iPhone 3GS if you want). With your voice, you can ask the app to play songs from your iPod, open bookmarks in Safari, or search for contacts in your address book. Each of these commands are accessed from three different modes in the app; Contacts, iPod, Bookmarks.

In order to use commands for a specific function, for example to play a song, you have to have the ‘iPod’ mode of the app selected. You may also switch between modes using your voice and if you need any help with commands, the app can display on any screen some of the various voice commands you can use.

Aside from the in-app help function that details various commands, a table of additional voice commands is available here.

Once you say a command, Vocalia will present you with a list of results as per what you commanded. This is a big difference between the iPhone 3GS Voice Control app and the Vocalia app.

With Voice Control, saying a command begins that command. For example, asking Voice Control to play a song will result in your iPod actually playing the song. With Vocalia, your command does not result in the action occurring but a list of results in which you choose what to do. For example, if you said to play a song, Vocalia would list the song names close to what you said and you would then have to tap on that song to play it.

Some of the included customization functions in Vocalia include splitting first and last names of contacts, activating a vibration to know when to begin speaking, proximity control to activate Vocalia when you move the iPhone to your face, the ability for the app to understand English, French, or German and defining vocal shortcuts for a contact name, for example saying “My best friend” instead of “Mike”.

I really like that Vocalia provides much flexibility in terms of customization, as this is not present with the Voice Control on the iPhone 3GS. These options give you a lot more control over the app and can result in more accurate voice commands.

I am happy to see that apps such as Vocalia are bringing voice control functionality to iPhone 2G/3G users, which gives hesitant owners another reason not to upgrade to the iPhone 3GS just yet. When compared to Voice Control on the iPhone 3GS, Vocalia has a similar great interface, easy to use navigation, and approximately the same accuracy.

However in my comparisons between the two voice recognition apps, I liked that Voice Control on the iPhone 3GS actually begins your command after it is said (the song plays) as opposed to with Vocalia where you have to say the command, then choose the song physically and then the song begins to play.

Vocalia is scored a 4 out of 5.

You can pick up Vocalia in the iTunes App Store for $3.99

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  • montymon

    Seems counter-intuitive to have voice commands that ultimately need tap intervention anyway. Seems to me opening the app and navigating to where you need to be to give the voice command just to then have to tap to do what you want isn't much of an improvement on just opening the app you're actually trying to activate directly.

  • jeffhalmos

    There is a setting that let's you use voice to activate the result rather than having to click it.

  • Dusty

    Cool cool 

  • rorypiper

    Nice review, but I doubt I would ever use something like this. I'm a 3GS owner, and the only time I've used the Voice Control is to show other people what my phone can do. I enjoy the “tap” experience of the iPhone OS, and prefer to use my phone that way. I've had voice control on other phones, as well (although this is a “new” feature on the iPhone, it is a pretty ancient feature for other phones), and I didn't use it then either. That's just my preference, though.

  • What3v3r

    Does anybody know if this requires Internet connection such as WiFi or 3G? There were other apps like this that came long time ago like Say Who and Where and the list goes on and on however they all required Internet at all times as their voice recognition feature was not 'built-in'. If the application is large that means they have the voice recognition built in (like the iPhone 3GS) or else this isn't anything 'new' per se..my two cents!

  • No there is no network connection requires.

  • What3v3r

    Does anybody know if this requires Internet connection such as WiFi or 3G? There were other apps like this that came long time ago like Say Who and Where and the list goes on and on however they all required Internet at all times as their voice recognition feature was not 'built-in'. If the application is large that means they have the voice recognition built in (like the iPhone 3GS) or else this isn't anything 'new' per se..my two cents!

  • Ex

    No there is no network connection required.

  • Designalvalide

    This is the worst app I’ve ever used. I feel like i totally wasted my money. Not once has it pulled up a single correct artist that I’ve asked for, or a single correct contact. I’m so frustrated and disappointed.

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