Speak your e-mail

MyCaption's e-mail and task dictation app has a lot going for it, plus a tender spot that could be its Achilles' heel.

Business professionals who spend a substantial amount of time behind the wheel will find a helpful dictation secretary in MyCaption. A simple interface mirrors the application's ease of use. Click to record an e-mail up to 3 minutes in length, or a memo, task, or calendar item. You can opt to review the e-mail message before sending it out. MyCaption then uploads the content to secure, Amazon-hosted servers, where it's transcribed using a combination of machine-based speech recognition and human transcription, and rerouted.

Thanks to human interception during lengthy dictation, e-mails were accurate during our tests. More complex calendar entries were less successful, but if you follow the prompts and keep it short, MyCaption can usually slot your activity in the right day and time on your BlackBerry calendar.

In a nod to corporate security, MyCaption can use a secure connection (SSL) and route through the BlackBerry Enterprise Server. While enlightened in this regard, the dictation program suffers from an underdeveloped online address book system, not to mention Web site. You'll not only need to create a MyCaption log-in to start using the software, you'll also need to spent time setting up an address book on the difficult-to-navigate site. MyCaption can only automatically send messages to you, or to those you've included on this digital Rolodex. The necessity of manually adding contacts is the program's most tender Achilles' heel. The service would be stronger were it able to import contacts from Microsoft Outlook and from the BlackBerry address book.

There are various pricing plans, including a pay-as-you-go model and a subscription package. The $9.99 BlackBerry App World download, for instance, gets you 20 minutes of talk time, about 80 short messages or fewer for longer messages. While MyCaption does have one or two stumbling blocks, these flexible pricing plans and the accurate transcription will appeal to road warriors who have enough time to do a little online configuration before their trips.

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