<firstimage=”//static.makeuseof.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/microphone.jpg” />Ever since I got a Motorola Droid, I’ve been searching constantly for mobile voice applications that can transform my mobile experience into one that’s much more hands free. I finally did discover Google Voice, and wrote about it, but that wasn’t enough. So, digging into Google Voice, I finally figured out a way to use it for voice blogging.
Still, while Google Voice is awesome, it has a long way to go to provide a lot of very useful features that work really well. So, I continued searching for cool mobile voice applications that would enhance the mobile Android experience.
This article is a collection of some of the best voice-enabled mobile apps that I discovered in the Android Marketplace. Searching for applications that incorporate voice features is a difficult task, because there’s so much junk out there – apps that just don’t work right. So, I’m pleased to offer you this list of high-quality, useful apps that will help to transform your mobile experience into one that is a bit more hands-free and convenient.
Using Your Android As A Personal Assistant
Wouldn’t it be nice to have a computer system that’s with you all the time, constantly plugged into the Internet, and constantly prepared to answer any question or assist you in any way whenever the need arises? Well, if you have an Android phone, then you have that computer system. The following mobile voice applications offer a few extremely convenient ways to obtain information or perform some useful task without going through the trouble of typing on your phone – you can just use your voice.
The first app that deserves a honorable mention is Trippo-Mondo by Google Translate. The difference here is that once you convert your phrase to the target language of choice, you can have the application speak the sentence for you.. It is an application that performs the sort of language conversion that you’re used to with apps like
Here I’m using the conversion utility to go from English to Spanish. There’s no voice to text feature with this app, you have to type your phrase into the first text box.
Just about all major world languages are covered in this mobile utility. First click on “Translate,” to get the text translation of your original sentence. Then, if you need to speak the sentence in the new language, just click on the “Speak” button and your Android phone will do the talking for you.
When I read the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, I always thought it would be pretty cool to have one of those babel fishes to stick in my ear every time we took a family trip up to Quebec. Well now the Android is even better, because it doesn’t only translate, but it also speaks the foreign language for you.
Have you ever been in the middle of a conversation, a class or a meeting and a word comes up that you just can’t remember what it means? Well, now you have a personal assistant sitting right in your pocket that can instantly look up any word for you. This particular Android app is called FreeDictionary, and it’s powered by FreeDictionary.
The speech recognition is a little rough with this app. It took me a few tries to get it to correctly recognize that I was saying “salmon” and not “CNN.” Speak slowly and clearly, and you should be all set. Just speak the word you want to look up, press the magnifying glass, and get your instant definition.
The next voice app that deserves a honorable mention is Koememon. This application is amazingly simple, but just as amazingly impressive at the same time. I can give you a full rundown of this application with one sentence – speak your memo and it automatically converts it into text. How is this handy? Well, what if you’re driving and you came up with a brilliant idea that you don’t want to forget? Just launch this app and record your memo. Better yet, the application doubles as a Twitter plugin to post status updates to your Twitter account using your voice.
Just record your update, and when you click on the transcribed text, you’ll see an option to “Send to Twitter.” Once you click that – your memo immediately gets posted to your Twitter status. Now you can Tweet with just your voice! This app requires that you have both Google Voice and Twidroid installed for all features to work.
The next cool voice app is the Recordoid Dictaphone by SomYac. A simple voice recorder may seem like a simple concept, but believe it or not, there aren’t a lot of fantastic apps out there for this. Luckily, the Dictaphone is one of the best. Unfortunately, the free version is limited to 2 to 30 minutes of recording time, but if you use the app just to keep short audio clips or memos, that’s really all you need.
When you press play, you’re presented with a list of your previous recordings to choose from. This app is awesome as a short term audio memo tool. Now you don’t have to worry what your wife told you to pick up at the store – just repeat the list into your personal audio recorder and you don’t have to worry about remembering anything.
Have you ever had those moments when you’re having a debate with a friend or family member, and you’re both absolutely convinced that you’re right and the other person is wrong? Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to call on someone who knows the right answer? A few years ago, Kaly wrote about the experimental ChaCha search engine. Well, ChaCha is experimental no longer. Now, Chacha has it’s own mobile Android app that lets you get the answer to just about any reasonable question you could think of. Best of all, you can click on the microphone and simply ask your question with just your voice. Click on the magnifying glass and get the answer back almost instantly.
You may be wondering why you wouldn’t just use the voice search feature now available from Google on the Android, but it’s actually the simplicity of the results that makes ChaCha so much more useful. Instead of providing an answer in the form of tons of useless information filtered in, ChaCha pulls out the reference material and presents you with sources that are sure to answer the question that you’ve asked. I must say, I was very impressed by the accuracy of ChaCha’s voice recognition algorithm.
Have you found any other great apps that incorporates voice features into them – apps for any mobile phone? What’s your view of the quality and effectiveness of voice recognition features in these mobile voice applications? Share your insights in the comments section below.