When Google Navigation
hit the scene, it sounded the death knell
for paid GPS on Android, so you can imagine the doom and gloom at Vlingo HQ last week when Google released the similar Voice Actions
for free. As it turns out, however, Vlingo's not going to give up that easily; Vlingo for Android, once a $10 download, is now free as well. In a surprisingly gracious blog post that genuinely congratulates Google on the accomplishment, CEO Dave Grannan explains that he wants Android users to be able to freely compare the services as Vlingo adds features further down the road, and makes one valid point in his firm's favor -- you can try Vlingo now if you've got Android 2.0 or above, but Google's service only runs on Froyo
. Interestingly enough, Vlingo on Android was the only version that actually charged; on Nokia, Blackberry and Windows Mobile, however, you could purchase a "Plus" license. Perhaps the company's not quite
as generous as we thought, but there's still no arguing with a free voice command service that also reads your email aloud -- go ahead and give it a try.