Speak and you shall receive

Call contacts, search online, and update Facebook and Twitter feeds for free, using only your voice.

This stellar voice-transcription application does more than search the Web or place a call in response to your spoken command. Vlingo lets you get specific, searching Google or Yahoo and updating your Facebook and Twitter status. You can also launch applications, write notes to yourself, and verbally compose a text or e-mail message.

Added support in version 3.0 also lets you vocally kick-start activities through your Bluetooth or wired headset, and the app engages a robotic voice to confirm your actions by repeating them to you, such as "Calling Home." It's disappointing that the new premium service yanks e-mail from the free offering, though you can still text other Vlingo for BlackBerry users free of charge. The premium version benefits you by reading the contents of your message back to you, rather than having you view it with yourself. The move to audio confirmation is also a move to hands-free composition.

Vlingo's set-up is still a little laborious, but the step-by-step instructions help you program a fast access key on the phone, and the help file is a good, easily accessed reminder of what you can say and do. Vlingo's transcription may be on the slower side, especially if your connection is weak, but the application makes up for it by creating a voice recognition profile that improves with use, and by letting you preview text before you send anything to the public. Not to mention, it's got the best voice prompt package we've seen.

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