In the burgeoning market for iPhone voice recognition apps, the free Dragon Dictate clearly holds the top spot. In fact, this paragraph was dictated using DragonDictate (with some minor edits after the fact). However, the application doesn't always shine when it comes to getting your text quickly and easily into different places where you might want to use it. You can send an e-mail or a text message if you want to, but you can't update your Facebook status or send a Twitter message without copying and pasting. Performing a search requires an entirely separate app.
To make your dictation process easier -- at least when it comes to getting your text to go where you want, when you want -- there's the latest update to the Vlingo app, which we first reviewed last June. Vlingo 2.0 is trying to up the ante for text recognition by putting all the 'next step' options in one convenient place.
You can search (Google, Yahoo, or Bing), find map items, dial your contacts (with optional contact name upload to Vlingo's servers to improve recognition) and update your Facebook or Twitter status. For email or SMS, you have two in-app purchase options to extend the free app's capabilities; it's $6.99 for either SMS or email action, $9.99 for both.
Vlingo has gotten a thorough UI overhaul in this new version, and it's quite a bit easier to use than it was. The dictation button can be used in hold-down or tap-to-talk mode, and the app can be set to recognize speech on launch for maximum speed. You can specify what action you want by speaking it: "Email Joey, Subject how about some coffee, Message Got time to meet me at Starbucks? You're buying!" will create and address an outgoing email for you, all in one step.