Supercharged Android: 12 apps to boost your smartphone

Make your Android device run longer, run smarter, and run almost anywhere with this collection of essential apps

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Vlingo
12. Speak your commands with Voice Actions and Vlingo Got something to say? Android's listening. Google's mobile operating system offers a wealth of ways to control your phone by simply speaking commands. If you aren't taking advantage of them, you're missing out on a quick and safe way to get things done.

Got something to say? Android's listening. Google's mobile operating system offers a wealth of ways to control your phone by simply speaking commands. If you aren't taking advantage of them, you're missing out on a quick and safe way to get things done.

Google's Voice Actions for Android enables a slew of speakable command options that work throughout the entire operating system. While the app's long-form text transcriptions can sometimes be a bit sloppy, the commands themselves work quite reliably.

Voice Actions' commands include phrases to get directions, call contacts, look up and dial businesses, play music, open websites, and search the Internet. The program is available free for all smartphones running Android 2.2.

An interesting alternative is Vlingo, which requires only Android 2.1 to run. Vlingo offers similar functionality to Voice Actions with a few unique twists, such as the ability to update Facebook, Twitter, or Foursquare via voice command. It has useful driving-oriented features, too, including an Android-exclusive utility that provides a completely hands-free in-car experience and the SafeReader option that, when activated, automatically reads all incoming texts and emails aloud as they arrive.

Google's Voice Actions and Vlingo are free.

This article, "Supercharged Android: 12 apps to boost your smartphone," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Keep up on the latest developments in mobile technology at InfoWorld.com.

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