Google recently announced Voice Actions for Android 2.2+ phones which allow you to control actions like sent text and email, navigate and find businesses, call contacts, plus search all by speaking to your phone.
Vlingo points out in a blog post that its voice-product overlaps Google’s Voice Actions in many areas and offers similar functionality. To compete with the Google application, Vlingo is now offering its Android version for free so Android users can effectively compare the feature-sets of the two products.
Vlingo offers a few advantages over the competing offering from Google. Vlingo hints that Google has a vested interest in promoting its own services and content while Vlingo, as an independent developer, can mix and match services and mashup content from Google and other sources.
Vlingo also includes a few features that are not present in Voice Actions including SafeReader which reads your incoming texts and email messages. Vlingo is also available on other platforms such as the iPhone and the BlackBerry and, most importantly, on multiple versions of Android. As attractive as Google’s Voice Actions for Android may be, it is only available for Android 2.2 users.
It’s unsure how Vlingo will move forward with the app, there’s no apparent change in monetization strategy, but they’ve expressed plans to continue development and it’s still a nice win for Android users that don’t like Google’s own Voice Search, for some reason.