Posts Tagged voice
Bubbly, a popular micro-blogging service in Asia, is now a global service and was released in the U.S. App Store on April 11th. Unlike Twitter and its 140 character limit, Bubbly users have the option of posting audio or text updates. The service includes “like” and commenting features similar to Facebook.
Voice posts are the driving feature of Bubbly. Users are encouraged to use the audio option when posting to convey the emotion and feeling behind what they’d like to say. I’ve grown particularly accustomed to the fact that sarcasm and irony aren’t always apparent in a text-only platform. Something like Bubbly remedies that confusion.
The service has a strange in-app purchase option. To unlock access to celebrity Bubbly-ers (Bubblers?…Bubbly users), users must pay $2.99 as an in-app purchase. I’m not sure any other service has ever done something like this. I’m trying to imagine Twitter being free, but needing to pay for popular users.
Bubbly has reached 16 million users (1 million just in the last month). On average, users post three times per day and 75% of that content are audio posts. Bubbly is a free service (except for the in-app purchase for premium user access) and the app is available to download for free.
Voice-commands for a mobile phone seem like a silly idea, all things considered. I mean, everything is already kind of just there: a GPS, internet browser, email, texting and so on. There are certainly some situations that it would be handy in, though. Driving and walking down the street (no more inadvertently walking into traffic while typing, yay!) come to mind. Voice Actions is intended to be some kind of all-encompassing voice-command app that does all that and more.
Want to call the parents? Just tell the phone. Need to know where that restaurant is? Ask. The software recognizes a shocking amount of spoken dialog accurately. It can translate words and phrases into several different languages, find locations on the GPS, search the device’s library for requested songs and more.
A good many of the questions users might ask will be answered in-app via a computerized Australian woman’s voice, while anything that isn’t readily-available calls up a search in the web browser. It can also access other apps such as the GPS I keep talking about, contacts, YouTube and more. It can certainly be useful in a situation that requires one’s eyes to be somewhere other than the screen, but it can also be a faster way to find information depending on the situation.
For example, it’s possible to open up the weather app, mess around with some menus and figure out what the weather is like in West Haven, Connecticut. Or there’s the option to simply ask Voice Actions and have it tell me. The same goes for finding locations on a map or videos. Then, of course, there’s the translation. The app seems to be able to accurately translate a whole heck of a lot into a whole heck of a lot of different languages, and it provides computerized pronunciations.
Voice Actions is available in the App Store right now for $9.99.
There are a lot of Twitter clients out there all vying for everyone’s attention. Tweets Aloud does something a little special compared to the rest though: it allows users to stream their Twitter feed via text-to-speech voice technology thus allowing them to listen to their Twitter feed rather than read it.
A few advantages come about from this. Users can listen to their tweets much like a radio station while they’re exercising or doing other things while at the PC or at work. Other users can use it to save effort such as if they’re suffering from either a short term or long term disability that affects their mobility and they’d rather listen than navigate through the app. Those with visual impairments could also benefit.
Each tweet is read in an easy to understand young woman’s voice and users can quickly play, pause or skip forward or backwards just like when using an iPod. Even common jargon such as smiley faces or texting abbreviations can be converted appropriately so it still all makes sense.
Two versions of Tweets Aloud are available. A free/lite version allows users to read/listen to the latest 10 tweets alongside an ad-supported interface while the full version offers readings of up to 100 of the latest tweets. It’s priced at $1.99.
Released: 2011-08-26 :: Category: Social Networking
Dragon Dictation was a surprise when it showed up in the App Store this week. While I guess it’s no surprise that more and more developers are launching applications for the iPhone so we should see more surprise launches like this.
Dragon Dictation does a pretty good job of translating speech into text. In a few tests I read some standard political quotes into the phone and it seemed to translate with around a 95% accuracy. Very good results really. I particularly liked the way it capitalized words when they were in a particular context. For example, United States was properly capitalized in one text example.
Once you have your speech dictated, you can send that text in an email without even leaving the app, a nice touch. Or you can send it to the clip board and use it in a text message or paste it into another app. Would really like to see more options here. Would be great to have it automatically launch Tweetie 2, or Facebook, or other apps to allow status updates via voice.
There has been some confusion on one part of the end user license agreement (EULA) for this app. That passage states that your contacts will be uploaded to their servers. This, of course, got people up in arms, and generally confused. We asked Nuance, developers of Dragon Dictation for some clarification on this.
Dragon Dictation transcribes voice to text with fully automated speech recognition software and only uploads users’ contact names – no email, phone or any other personally identifying information – to optimize name recognition when a user dictates. From there, speech recognition requests and contact names are processed in data centers based here in the US that meet Nuance’s stringent security and privacy standards – the same standards that we use for processing private information in other areas of our business. We keep the contact names for the life of the service in order to keep synchronized with the user’s address book.
– Rebecca Paquette, Nuance
While some users still won’t be happy about this, it’s good to know before you download the app. If it bothers you, don’t download the app.
Dragon Dictation is currently available for free from the App Store. There is some indication that the app is free for only a certain, unknown, amount of time. So if it is interesting to you, grab it now!
What you can accomplish with Evernote will vary depending on your needs. Because the application is so flexible the application can do more than you can initially anticipate. As this is the case you will feel as if you're not getting 100% out of the application until you've used it for a while.
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Every once in a while you run into an application on the iPhone that appears to have been designed by Apple themselves and included with the OS. Voxie is an audio recording application that leverages Bottle Rocket's design ethic with fantastic results.
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