December 22, 2011
New 'Vocal' App Can Control Mac and iPhone
By Monica Gleberman, Contributing Writer
Vocal is a new app from developer Matthew Roberts that leverages the power of voice transcription on your iPhone (News - Alert) 4S to control your Mac. Vocal can take dictation and send the transcription to your computer, and also perform a variety of other actions based on your voice commands.
Phil Hornshaw, writer for Appolicious, said it’s like an extension of Siri. “In a way, it’s bringing Siri-like capabilities to other computers. The app’s primary function is to let you speak to your iPhone… but it has other uses as well,” said Hornshaw.
Vocal uses a companion program you’ll need to download and run on your Mac to make it work properly. Once you have that downloaded and working on your computer, the program should be able to connect to your iPhone allowing the two devices to work together (as long as they are on the same Wi-Fi network).
Lex Friedman, writer from Macworld, said he tried the app and initially had some problems getting both his computer and his phone to connect. “In my own testing, however, I needed to force restart Vocal on my iPhone by quitting the app, double tapping the Home button to bring up the multitasking bar, holding down on the app’s icon there, and then tapping the minus sign. Restarting the app after doing so allowed my Mac and the app to see each other,” said Friedman.
Vocal uses the same dictation capabilities that your iPhone 4S has built in system-wide, but it does operate slightly different than Siri. Unlike Siri, you can’t activate Vocal with your voice, you have to hit a button to start and stop dictation or issuing commands.
However, the application is pretty complete. The voice control elements are pretty deep. The app can let you speak to control iTunes, dictate tweets on social networking site Twitter (News - Alert), or send e-mails, among other things like searching the Internet, and even starting a print job. There are things that Siri was able to add to enhance your iPhone and now this new program, Voice, does that for your Mac.
The application is available for purchase in the iTunes store and will only set you back $2 to add it to your mobile device, while the program needed to connect your Mac to Voice is available for free.
Edited by Tammy Wolf
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