If You Still Text and Drive, You’re Now Out of Excuses: Vlingo to the Rescue

I’ve been the proud owner of an Android smartphone for about 7 months now, and in that time I’ve road-tested roughly 300 apps.  Of those, about 120 or so remain on my phone.  But if I had to pick just one app that stands head and shoulders above the rest, my vote would have to go to Vlingo hands down.  Or more specifically, Vlingo InCar (currently in beta), a feature within the Vlingo app itself.

 

I’ll admit, before Vlingo, I was as guilty as anyone when it came to occasionally shooting off a quick text while driving.  While I usually made it a point to use my phone’s native voice-to-text features – features I argued made it safe to text and drive – I still had to manipulate the phone’s touch screen, requiring me to take my eyes off the road every time.

But Vlingo InCar, put simply, is as-good-as-it-gets, 100% voice-command-on-steroids goodness and, in my opinion, puts and end, once and for all, to the need for you to so much as touch your phone while in the car.  Don’t get me wrong, you can still touch all you want.  The great part is, you don’t have to.

Whether texting, placing a call, updating your Facebook or Twitter status, searching for a local business or figuring out how many miles it is from the earth to the moon, Vlingo can find the answers simply by following your voice commands.  Heck, the female voice even greats you with the exact words you put in her mouth.  I’m currently addressed as “Grand Poo-bah.”  Check out this quick video to see what I mean.

Got a teenager whose promise not to text and drive is one you’re not confident she’ll keep?  Make sure she downloads Vlingo from the App Store or Android Market today.  Ever catch yourself originating texts or responding to incoming texts while on way into work?  Feeling guilty about it?  Ever slammed on your breaks to avoid the car in front of you after taking your eyes off the road for a split second too long?  Get Vlingo.

I not only feel better about being a more responsible driver, I’ve just plain had fun using the darn thing.  But what’s really exciting is what the folks at Vlingo have on the horizon for 2011.  The video below offers a conceptual look at some pretty exciting stuff.  According to the Vlingo blog:

Some of this Vlingo already does, some is coming really soon, while some will take a little longer, but it’s all coming.

I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait. What functions in the video would you like to see next?  Have some ideas of your own?  Share your thoughts in the comments.

 

iPhone, Nexus and Droid, Oh My!

Before you ask, the answer is, “No, I do not now, nor have I ever owned a smart phone.”  Hard to believe, especially if you know me well.  Most of my Facebook friends and Twitter contacts are stunned when they learn I don’t own one.  I often hear things like, “I guess I just always assumed you did.”

I’ve had trouble in the past justifying the added data plan expense, and up until recently Verizon – my carrier – just hasn’t had anything compelling to offer.  That changed with the Droid.

My wife and I have been with Verizon for two years now.  We have no intention of switching especially when they’re offering $100 dollars toward a new phone (new every two).  More than once I’ve come this close to pulling the trigger on the Droid (which, for a limited time, includes a free HTC Eris for my wife).  Something though keeps holding me back.

First, there are the constant iPhone rumors.  Will the iPhone come to Verizon or won’t it?  I was extremely disappointed when there was no announcement from Verizon to that end last Wednesday (as was heavily rumored).  Google’s Nexus One (announced at this year’s CES) was another reason to wait (at least it seemed that way at first).  It doesn’t come to Verizon though until Spring.  And, by the way, what does that mean?  Could you be any more vague?  Spring?  Give me a break!

So, what to do?  I’m still not sure, but I know one thing: as you are a person who reads this blog – and likely a smart phone user – you have much wisdom and experience to share.  Am I right?

Help me learn from your expertise (or your mistakes, as the case may be).  Before you comment, keep in mind I have no intention of leaving Verizon as a carrier.  Now, if you will, comment away.