Nuance, Who Are Responsible for Siri’s Backbone, Buys Vlingo


News has broken today that Vlingo has agreed to sell to Nuance for an undisclosed amount of money. Nuance, as you may know, is the driving force behind many voice recognition applications on mobile and desktop including yours truly – Siri. With their purchase of Vlingo it would appear that Nuance will make a very strong push into this market though we’re not yet sure in which way.

Nuance deals in both direct-to-consumer sales as well as business to business sales, offering their engine for licensing to application developers and OEMs who want to enable natural language dictation features for their users.

We’re not sure if Vlingo will continue to offer their services as-is which include free mobile applications and applications integrated into OEM products (namely Samsung’s Galaxy S II series) or if the brand will eventually be evaporated into the big Nuance cloud.

Either way, we’re excited to see what these two could be working on for the future of voice-enabled actions because let’s face it – everyone wants Siri even if they don’t know it. [via GigaOM]

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

Have Plans on Super Bowl Sunday? Verizon Customers Can Stream the Big Game Live on NFL Mobile

Previous article

ARCHOS 70b Brings Honeycomb at a $200 Price

Next article

You may also like


  1. Siri isn’t all that great. It’s nice, but not as much as people who don’t have it think it is. Every one of my friends with a 4S says they hardly ever use Siri. Any time I see someone with a 4S, I ask them how they like it, and how they like Siri, and how often they use it. 9 out of 10 of them say they barely use Siri. YMMV.

  2. Siri is fun. For the first 10 minutes.

  3. I’ve tried Siri extensively… I don’t want it on my Nexus, thanks. Google’s new voice input method in ICS is all I need.

    1. Agreed.  Real time voice to text on anything that accepts standard keyboard input is awesome!!

  4. Siri is ridiculously fun until you figure out all the funny things she says back.

    Then its boring and not very useful.

  5. Interesting pickup. Lets lets see what they do with them.

    As for siri, it’s nice. Everyone hates on it only because it’s iPhone 4S only. If Android had it and not iOS, those same people would be rubbing it in Apples faces and we all know it. We’ve been using voice commands for Android long before Siri and Android users rubbed it in Apples faces then. Siri is the same thing we’ve always been doing just more streamlined an now iOS users get to rub it in our faces. It’s as simple as that.
    To be honest, I couldn’t care less if if my phone talked back and conversated with me bout my day. Aslong as it did what I ask of it thats all I need. “Call my brother”, “Set my alarm for 7pm tomorrow” etc… I dont need it to talk to me, but some people like that sort of thing. It can be an entertaining novelty for a short period of time but the same can be said for many things. In the end, I’ll take natural speech recognition over preset commands any day. It’s called progression. Comeon people, dont hate on something just because someone else has it….

    1. Ah yea um we already have it so read up on thing’s before you make ridiculous comments.

      1. I guess you didn’t read my post before calling it ridiculous… else you would’ve noticed that i said exactly what you just said in my post. Yet my comment was ridiclous o_O?
        Reading comprehension skills are about as common as common sense these days it seems…..

        1. I know exactly what you mean. People these days are just too ignorant and too haughty to acknowledge the fact of the matter. I don’t care which mobile OS is “superior” in the eyes of the fanboys. Heck, bring on the competition! It’s only making our technology better. People say ridiculous things because they just don’t think.

    2. We have voice search and text and everything else we don’t need some stupid thing to respond to a question with a question after you ask the question.

      1. read above reply,
        also look to thebottom right and maybe notice the buttton that says “Edit”. It allows you to goback and edit your previous comment so you dont have to make a whole new one just to add onto it…. Just a thought

      2. Machine learning through a natural interface so that the technology wraps it’s responses to your own personal input is the next step. So no, hanging back into old ideals isn’t going to help us going forward.  This like Siri *are* progress.  It’s something that apple’s good at: progressing the market.

  6. Vlingo is a solid piece of software. I love the SafeReader function for when I’m driving. I may not be able to reply but its nice to hear my messages. If they can add in a function similar to “Text by Voice” it would be perfect for driving.

    As for Siri, Apple and the iPeople can keep it. There are three 4S users in my office who praise the damn thing (Siri) but I haven’t seen not a one of them use it once. And its not a matter of not being “able” to use it in the office because one guy FaceTime’s with his daughter (small company, we get away with stuff like that). There’s just no point when you can type anything faster.

    1. You can reply. All you have to say is reply..

  7. Siri has issues… It was fun for a few minutes just like the front facing camera. But it sure is not needed or really wanted by many. The simple voice commands are usually enough for the average user. I know if Sir or an app like it is available for Android, I for one will not download or install it.  Just my opinion… If you love it and can’t live without it… Good for you. 

  8. siri can be kinda nice to have, but not too realistic to use every day.

  9. Downplay it all you want, fandroids, but the evidence is already in: “Siri for Android” is one of the top searches on Google, garnering millions of queries. That’s some Siri-ous envy…..don’t fool yourself

    And while we’re at it, how many of you Siri bashers (enviers) plan on using “facial recognition”? Talk about a USELESS feature….

    1. To be honest I think both are useless.  I am more inclined to use a facial unlock feature than talking to my phone.  The only time I ever use something like Siri is when I’m driving and want to make a call or send a text and goole voice actions has done this for a long time.  I’m not going to ask my phone to set an alarm because it would be quicker and always accurate if I just enter the info which takes about 5 seconds.  Voice recognition has a long way to go before it will be used as an every day thing.  Just my 2 cents

    2. You were ignored as a child weren’t you?

    3. Siri can be cool, but right now it’s half baked.  Apple know’s this but had to release it because the masses were demanding the iPhone5, which wasn’t delivered.  It wan’t a finished product when Apple bought it and they’ve made public announcements asking for developers to interview to finish working on it.  Getting qualified people hired will not likely be a problem for Apple so it’s only a matter of when.

      If they sink the money and time into it, Siri will develop into a remarkable tool.  They’ll have to open it up as well, which goes against their closed concept.  In order for third party apps to integrate properly, they’ll need access to Siri.  Whether or not Apple allows that is entirely another question.

      Ultimately the biggest question is whether Siri will be completed before Majel is.  If Google gets Majel fully functional before Siri is, Apple will have little to brag about.  It’s going to be an interesting subject to keep an eye on.

      1. If it’s true that Google is developing Majel to compete with Siri, then I sincerely want someone to address Andy Rubin’s initial diss of Siri when he said, “people shouldn’t be talking to their phones”…’s amazing how 4 million phones sold in 3 days can alter one’s opinion. Not that I really believed Rubin anyway….

    4. Face unlock isn’t really useless. It has the ease and speed of slide to unlock, but with the bonus of being slightly more secure.

  10. it’s more like “everyone wants Siri but hardly ever uses it!”

    Google Voice actions does 95% of the useful Siri actions, Google voice searches yields better results, quicker and without the lip action over Siri’s pick a answer from exactly where mentality?

    When you do a google search, voice on Android, and ask what are the symptoms of ‘blah blah blah’, google will yield many results, you may see webmd or mayo clinic, choices YOU trust, so you will read those articles AT YOUR CHOOSING, ask Siri the same question, sorry but I don’t want my doctoring from apple lol

  11. I have both a bionic and an Iphone 4s so I by no means am anti Apple. That being said, Siri can be a pain in the @ss. It is not a fluent(no where near) as they portray in the commercials. They have a lot of work to do on it.

  12. Curious to when Google is going to release Majel.  

  13. Why is there iPhone fan fags on an Android site iPhone boring you that much.

  14. They are also buying Swype. Big purchases left and right for Nuance.

  15. I have never been an apple person in any way.  But Siri is awesome.  Ive had a chance to play with it pretty quick a couple of times and its impressive.  I see this as excellent news. Nuance will be able to do much more on android then they would ever be able to do on apple.  I never use this word, but Im stoked.

  16. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that this acquisition is bad news for Vlingo users.

    1. Nuance is a horrible company. Dragon dictation for the PC is a buggy software to say the least.  They also recently purchased Swype so that will probably go downhill as well

      1. Wait, so google must suck because google plus sucks?
        Not that Nuance isn’t a horrible company, but what do you expect from a free or almost free software? Nuance certainly ain’t making money from it.

  17. @iKing_2:disqus ,..Тhis is сrаzу…Мy friеnd`s sistеr mакеs 78/hr оn thе intеrnеt. Shе hаs bееn unеmрlоуеd fоr 11 mоnths but lаst mоnth hеr incоmе wаs 7985$ јust wоrкing оn thе РС fоr а fеw hоurs. Read about it here …….

    1. Ok I will pay the $15 to make it 8k if she swallows. we

  18. LOL so now the Google fanboys hate apps and services that are made for iPhone?
    So now do we hate Google because they don’t block access to Google services on the iPhone?
    Some of you retards need to get a life

  19. the google fanboy commission needs to get together and create a list of products and services that we should hate because they were on iphone first or whatever.
    Before SIRI you whiney fanboy bitches liked to taunt Apple with, ” look see with android I can do things with my voice…suck on that Apple you big mean bully!!”.
    now all of a sudden the same function is not even used anymore or not is useful since apple does it.
    the whiny bitch fanboy committee needs to get their story straight

    1. That’s because voice search was so 2011

      1. Haha ya good point!!

  20. I don’t want Siri on my phone. What kind of nob wants to speak into their phone, seriously? I don’t even use Google voice control so why would I want a Siri-like app..

  21. I for one would love to have siri like app on my devices (that actually works)
    Google voice’s speech reco isn’t even toy quality. I can say that it has 0% accuracy since I started using it for voicemail to text. I don’t even bother checking it anymore.
    And yes, I would like to talk to my phone, only dumb asses would think that’s not an advantage. You can choose not to talk to your phone, but I would absolutely take advantage of it if it’s capable of listening to me.
    Yes, like millions, I’m siri-envy.
    And yes, I have used it for more than 10 minutes.

  22. My wife has Siri and I have and android phone (Motorola Atrix) with Vlingo and I think Vlingo works better.  Hopefully they have merge the best of both approached into a new frontier of application driven voice recognition 

  23. Next up: Nuance purchase by Apple.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in Apps