Planet Of The Apps: Useful innovations for smartphones


Compose a text vocally with VoicePredict

Technology company TravellingWave has launched its first voicepowered text prediction application, VoicePredict, which enables mobile users to input text using their voice and by typing one or two letter key presses per word spoken.

VoicePredict also enables quick insertion of emotion icons, SMS shortcuts, and contact names. Users can also use it to access Facebook and Twitter.

VoicePredict, currently in a beta release, is available as a downloadable application from www.voicepredict. com for Windows Mobile smartphones.

Travellingwave expects to deliver versions for iPhone and Android in early 2010.

Todd Achilles, principal of technology consulting firm Balius Ventures, commented: “VoicePredict’s multi-domain approach means speech recognition is more accurate and text prediction is faster, than if either solution functions alone. This is T9 squared.”

VoIP provider Vonage goes mobile

Vonage has launched Vonage Mobile, its first mobile calling application for smartphones. It is a free downloadable application that provides low-cost international calling while on Wi-Fi or cellular networks.

Once downloaded, the service claims to save customers more than 50 per cent on calls to a range of countries versus the rates charged by wireless carriers. Vonage Mobile will be availablefor download on the iPhone, BlackBerry and iPod touch at

In Q4, Vonage plans to enhance the app to include the Vonage World plan that was introduced for the company’s home service in August. This enhancement extends the ability to make unlimited calls to over 60 countries for one flat monthly fee to mobile users.

Vonage chief Marc Lefar said: “This is important to establish Vonage as a company that enables high-quality voice and messaging across any device in any location.”

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Truphone releases Android upgrade

VoIP provider Truphone claims its upgraded Android application provides a more responsive user experience that is ultimately easy to use.

Truphone for Android allows customers to take advantage of Truphone’s low international call rates, in addition to the cost of a local call. The application works by making a local GSM call to the Truphone gateway (if a customer has a bundled package of minutes, this call is often free), from where the call is then routed over the Truphone network.

In addition, customers can make voice calls to Skype and Google Talk contacts and can use instant messaging via MSN Messenger, Yahoo! Messenger, AIM and Twitter, all from the Android application.

Director of consumer apps for Truphone Karl Good said: “The improvements come from customer feedback and lessons learned from our first application to provide a slicker and faster user experience.”

Mobile Sentry protects children

Mobile Sentry claims to be the UK’s first full service parental control system for children’s mobile phones.

The application lets parents monitor children’s mobile phone activity to keep track of incoming and outgoing communications. Parent can also be updated on their child’s location at all times.

Features include an ‘Allow List’ to heavily restrict kids’ phone use to specific numbers; a ‘Deny List’ to block specific numbers, SMS monitoring to protect from bullying and inappropriate content and internet protection to block phones from accessing the internet.

The application can also block internet downloads and can provide the parent a regularly updated list of phone calls received and made; texts received and sent, and attempted prohibited actions.

Parents can also use GPS to track the phone’s location to make the sure the child has reached a particular destination or is in a safe location.