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Bluetooth speakerphones and apps (photos)

Bluetooth speakerphone manufacturers attempt to stand out from the herd by packing in voice-controlled apps. Here's a selection of the best.

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Antuan Goodwin
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1 of 5 Motorola

MotoSpeak 1.0 and 2.0

Ships with: Motorola Roadster

Works with: Android and Blackberry devices

What it does: Motorola's MotoSpeak apps for Android and Blackberry watch for incoming text messages and reads them aloud for you to hear. With Android 2.2+ devices or Blackberry 4.5+ GSM devices, MotoSpeak 2.0 will also allow you use your voice to dictate and send a reply without fussing with your phone's touch screen.

Cost: Free for users of the Motorola Roadster, CommandOne, and Finiti Bluetooth devices. Users of the Motorola H17txt can also use the app, but with limited functionality.

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2 of 5 Screenshot by Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Voice Assist

Ships with: Jabra Freeway

Works with: Any phone via voice call

What it does: Voice Assist technically isn't an app, per se. It's actually a dial-in voice service that allows users to use their voice to send text messages, receive and reply to e-mails, post updates to Twitter and Facebook, and dial contacts by name. A big disadvantage to dial-in services like Voice Assist is that services and contacts must first be registered online before they can be accessed while mobile. And if you ever want to send a message to a new contact that has not been added to that online address book, you’ll be out of luck.

Cost: Free for one year with purchase of Jabra Freeway, $59 per year thereafter.

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3 of 5 Screenshot by Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Handsfree Assistant by Dial2Do

Ships with: SuperTooth HD

Works with: Any phone via voice call

What it does: The recently reviewed SuperTooth HD pairs with a dial-in voice app that gives users to the ability to hear and send text messages and e-mails using voice commands and dictation. Handsfree Assistant will also read aloud your Twitter feed and let you update your Twitter and Facebook statuses while keeping your hands free. Unfortunately, Handsfree Assistant has the same shortcoming as the previously mentioned Voice Assist in that it requires a good deal of online setup before it can be useful.

Cost: Free for six months for SuperTooth HD owners, $3.99 per month or $39.99 per year thereafter.

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4 of 5 BlueAnt

BlueAnt S4 app for Android

Ships with: BlueAnt S4

Works with: Android devices

What it does: Like Motorola's MotoSpeak app, the BlueAnt S4 app for Android is a free download in the Android Market. That reads aloud incoming text messages so that you can keep your eyes on the road. BlueAnt's app adds the ability to read e-mails aloud, but it does not allow dictated replies. To add that level of functionality, check out BlueAnt's other app partner, Vlingo.

Cost: Free for BlueAnt S4 owners

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5 of 5 Screenshot by Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Honorable mention: Jabra Stone Skipping

Ships with: Jabra Stone Bluetooth headsets

Works with: iOS devices

What it does: The Jabra Stone is a Bluetooth headset, not a speakerphone, but I couldn't resist adding this fun app to the mix. Jabra Stone Skipping is a promotional mini-game that gives users the ability to skip a virtual stone across a digital pond by physically swinging their iPhone or iPod Touch. It’s quite useless, but also pretty fun. Just keep a firm grip, lest you accidentally chuck your iPhone down the street.

Cost: Free for all.

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