1. cjvitek's Avatar
    There are a lot of voice dialers out there, since the iPhone doesn't come with a voice dialing feature built in. Many of them vary in their success level. I admit, the first one I tried didn't work to well, and I haven't tried any since then. But then I saw this one, by the people who make midomi - the app that tries to recognize songs for you - and I thought I would give it a try. If they can recognize songs, maybe they can recognize my voice.

    When you start the program, you are presented with a screen with a large green button. To use the dialer, you simply press and hold the button, say the contact name, and release.

    Simple.

    So I gave it a shot. I tried my wife...and I got two people. But wait, it was because I only used her first name, and I have two contacts with that first name. So I tried with both first and last name...and this could be tricky since my last name is not pronounced as many people think it is...but low and behold, they found her!

    I then tried to specify a phone number - the home phone. Again, no problems, the correct phone number came up.

    Then I tried to so called "auto-dial" feature. Simply by saying "call" in front, you will automatically dial the number. I tried a new name this time, my brother in law...and sure enough, his phone number started to dial right away.

    So far, this program had a 100% success rate. Not too shabby. I tried a few other names, variations on the phone type (cell, mobile, home, house, work, job, etc). The program indicates you can use a variety of sentence structures - call Chris Vitek at home, call Chris Vitek cell phone, call Chris Vitek work, etc. I tried various combination, and I got about a 95% success rate. The few times it wasn't 100% accurate it was because I had another similar name, but the name I wanted was always included in the list of names.

    When you request a result, if there are multiple matches, it will list each of them. You can then tap the match that is correct and it will dial. If there is just one match, you can set a programmed "delay" before that match will automatically dial. The number will automatically dial after the programmed interval if you say "call" first before the name.

    A few quick additional features. If the program isn't "sure" about the match, it will not autodial. I tried it a few times where I sort of mumbled - it came up with the right name, but said it wouldn't autodial since it wasn't sure enough. Also, when you get a contact, you can tap the small "+" next to the name to get additional contact info (email, SMS, other phone numbers, etc). From there, you can tap the email or SMS to send an email or SMS message.

    I have to say, this program impressed me with its accuracy. The biggest drawback is no fault of the program - simply that is can't be incorporated into the phone function of the iPhone. If I didn't use the recent call list and the voice mail features, I would have this icon replace the phone icon in the iPhone dock!

    Pros: Very accurate, easy to use

    Cons: None

    All in all, if you want a voice dialing program, this app seems to do the trick, and do it well. You can modify a few important settings, and it seems to have very good speech recognition. I like the fact you can say "call" and it will automatically dial the match. And the best part is that the program is free! Five out of five stars.

    Rating scale:

    * = No redeeming qualities or features, probably not worth it even if it is free
    ** = Few redeeming qualities, or is simply isn't worth the price
    *** = Some good features but also some clear flaws.
    **** = A solid app, worth the money if interested, a few flaws or problems or slightly overpriced
    ***** = Top of the line app, no problems or drawbacks.

    Price is factored into the ratings. Ratings are lowered if I feel the price of the app outweighs the benfits/enjoyment/features it provides. Likewise, an app that is a good value for the money will have a higher rating.
    12-03-2008 03:24 PM
  2. jamesus's Avatar
    This program is great. It will be one of my most used apps.
    12-03-2008 04:15 PM
  3. Tunnelrunner's Avatar
    I just installed this app. a few minutes ago. Incredible software. 100% accuracy so far. Another winner in the App. store.
    12-03-2008 04:45 PM
  4. cjvitek's Avatar
    Update: It seems as if when you reject a phone number that it selects, that may influence future selections. I was just fooling around, and even when it correctly identified a phone number, I would not dial it. Then, after a few tries, even when I said the same name, it would not find the correct phone number. Is it learning? Did I simply have a scratchy voice? Not sure.
    12-06-2008 11:34 AM
  5. Synozeer's Avatar
    Thanks for the review - I didn't know about this app. So far it's gotten all my queries 100% right.
    12-06-2008 10:23 PM
  6. JustinHorn's Avatar
    I've used this in vlingo and both work well. This one seems to do the search a bit faster, but takes longer to load initially. I timed myself using both and from a locked phone screen to the auto dial starting took about 11-12 seconds for both.

    As far as voice rec vlingo seem to work a bit better for me, but they were both pretty good. I do know vlingo works best with a more american accent which I have...a pretty neutral one at that.
    12-07-2008 01:56 PM
  7. jamesus's Avatar
    I've switched over to Vlingo. Both work very well, but Vlingo's features make it the winner in my mind.
    12-08-2008 11:48 AM
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