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Vocalia for iPhone lets you speak your bookmarks

If you have an older iPhone or iPod Touch model and want to get Voice Control-like features for launching phone calls, music and Web bookmarks, here's the app for you.

Got an older iPhone or iPod touch model and been jealous of the Voice Control feature your antiquated hardware is incapable of running? Check out Vocalia (link opens in iTunes), a voice-powered launcher that's quite fast, and accurate. Just like Voice Control, it can look up a contact by name then launch a phone call, or do the same for a song from your iPod's library. It also goes a step further to let you launch your Safari bookmarks simply by speaking their name.

Vocalia lets you speak your contacts, songs, and even Web bookmarks to launch them. CNET

Vocalia doesn't run at a system level like Voice Control does, but it's up and ready to receive a voice command in under 10 seconds--the clear benefit here being for people who may be driving and who want to control their device without fumbling through menus. It's also a bit more customizable since you can go in and add nicknames for people you want to call, edit the phonetic spelling it's given them by default, and change the spoken language to one of the five other options including German, Spanish, and French.

As far as setup goes, Vocalia is able to slurp in your contacts and iPod library as soon as you launch it for the first time. The bookmarks on the other hand, are a little more complicated. The app can't grab them from your device due to a limitation in Apple's SDK, which means you have to download and launch a small executable file from Vocalia's site that can send your Bookmarks.html file to the iPhone/iPod. The two devices also have to be on the same Wi-Fi network.

Frankly, I don't think all that effort is worth it for syncing up your bookmarks; especially considering that you'll need to do that entire process over again if you've added new ones. In most cases it's also going to be faster just to launch Safari and find the bookmark yourself. Maybe a future version could make the whole thing a little simpler by tapping into an existing bookmark sharing service like Xmarks, or Delicious.

Vocalia is $3.99 in the App Store and works on both the iPhone and the 2G iPod Touch. As mentioned before, you'll have to have a Mac or PC on the same Wi-Fi network as your device to make use of its bookmarks feature.

See also: Midomi music search gets funding and opportunities