Vocalia voice recognition for the iPhone

We all want voice recognition. What could make things simpler? You just ask your iPhone to call one of your hundreds of contacts, and it does so. No searching, no flipping through the list. That's the promise. The reality is, of course, a bit short of that. Still, there are a number of applications that are trying to make this a reality. Vocalia is among them, and it claims to be the only 100% hands-free speech recognition app for the iPhone that enables speech access to your address book, iTunes library, and Safari bookmarks. Some users, seemingly the more savvy ones, find that it works really well. Others say it doesn't work at all. My impression is that it's worth a try. It costs $4. It's hard to tell from the description whether it works with my first-generation iPhone, so I haven't tried it yet. Also, some of the comments say that it doesn't work if you have more than 1,000 contacts, which I do. In any case, it's exciting to see this feature being developed, since it's so eminently useful. Vocalia is available in six languages: English, French, German, Dutch, Italian, and Spanish.

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Jim Karpen holds a Ph.D. in literature and writing, and has a love of gizmos. His doctoral dissertation focused on the revolutionary consequences of digital technologies and anticipated some of the developments taking place in the industry today. Jim has been writing about the Internet and technology since 1994 and has been using Apple's visionary products for decades.