Voice search is all the rage for mobile phones. Maybe being able to talk instead of texting is good for some things, but there are plenty of things where some discretion likely is needed too. Plus, out on the street it just seems like it can more trouble than it is worth to speak what you seek.
Despite this fact, using your voice rather than your thumbs is the big news right now. Among the latest buzz is that surrounding a new iPhone turn-by-turn GPS navigation app. The problem is that the xGPS Version 1.2 is not something will not run on your phones unless you partake in something called “Jailbreaking,” which is the unlocking of the handset – which of course voids the warranty. So you either go gray market or have to wait a while. We did hear that GPS maker TomTom’s app is also still being held up due to legal complications. This has been the story with many apps, which have been rejected from the official app store, only to find themselves available on jailbreaking sites. Word from the wise: USE AT YOUR OWN RISK!
Meanwhile, back in the legit world… at this week’s DEMO conference Promptu has been showing off its ShoutOUT app for the iPhone. This is an application that recognizes your speech in your own words and converts those words into written text. This in turn can be used for messages or voice commands. It is currently in the test stage, but will likely have more people talking to their phones, instead of using their phones to talk to someone.
This week’s hot mobile apps, voice and beyond:
Microsoft Recite – Speaking of voice apps, this week Microsoft launched a preview version of its own voice search application for Windows mobile. This allows you to search, and even use spoken notes and reminders via voice commands. Microsoft Recite can store hundreds of spoken notes, and uses voice pattern matching, which is based on one’s own inflections. As with ShoutOUT, this means that what you speak can be turned into written text. It gives new meaning to the phrase “talk time.”
Alerts.com – This site offers numerous alerts, for everything from school closings to price watches to the ubiquitous weather alerts, which includes weather advisories issued by the National Weather Service. With new alerts every week there is something to always keep you reaching for your handset.
Tendril Vantage Mobile App – While gasoline prices have gone down, many consumers are still feeling a pinch in the pocketbook. One way to see savings is to cut down on energy use, and this residential energy management application—which was showed off during the DEMO Conference in California this week—is one that can help you track your energy usage right from your mobile phone. This allows consumers to see information about the cost of energy, your consumption and changes in energy pricing. It is a little more techie than tippy, with graphs and alerts but if you can get a handle it can help you cut some corners.