Everybody chuckled when Tellme, a mobile voice company snapped up by Microsoft almost two years ago, released its smartphone voice search application for BlackBerry, instead of for Windows Mobile. Thanks to a new native application that will be released on Windows Mobile 6.5 phones this coming fall, the ribbing may entirely subside.
On Wednesday, Tellme announced the application's features and its shipping plan. Like rival voice services for smartphones, you click a hardware hotkey to initiate the program's digital ears, and from there you can begin a search, call a number, or dictate a text message. This last feature will be new to Tellme's Windows Mobile app.
Tellme's application will offer more voice services than the straight voice search that Yahoo Mobile, Windows Live Mobile, and Google Mobile App are currently capable of, but after watching Tellme's demo here at CNET, it appears that it won't be as fully stocked as Vlingo when it's released. Vlingo--a free voice service for BlackBerry and iPhone, but not yet Windows Mobile--adds greater dictation powers, including launching native applications, updating your status on Facebook and Twitter, and reading back e-mail messages.
Another notable difference between the two is the fact that Tellme is integrated into Windows Mobile at the network level--which one would expect from an acquired company--and that at launch, it will only search using Microsoft Live Search. We understand the prerogative, but the app is much likelier to succeed in offering choice.
Like many contemporary mobile apps, Tellme for Windows Mobile will also use GPS or cell phone tower triangulation to localize searches, making a search for "weather" or "movie theaters" serve up businesses in your neighborhood. It's hard to say exactly how Tellme will stack up to its competitors, but when it comes out alongside Windows Mobile 6.5 we'll let you know.
Tellme for Windows Mobile phones will be available beginning Wednesday to manufacturers that want to load it onto Windows Mobile 6.5 phones. Come autumn, the general public will be able to find it (in English) on the phones, in the Windows Marketplace for Mobile, and directly from Tellme's mobile-optimized site.