December 16, 2010 | by Andrew Kameka
Popular voice search and action app Vlingo has increased its power in the “Oyster” update. With its new ActionBar feature, Vlingo takes a step backward and lets users type their search in cases when speaking isn’t ideal. So users can enter search terms with a keyboard when in a noisy room and get recommendations as they type.
Vlingo now integrates with more third-party apps to allow voice search for things like booking hotels or locating restaurants. Saying “Hotels in Seattle tomorrow” will automatically create a preliminary search of the KAYAK app (if installed) that will eventually allow you to book a room. This currently works only in US cities according to the announcement.
The latest version of Vlingo is a beta that will be updated in a few minutes (9 AM ET), and Android 2.0 or higher is required to use it. There’s a contest running on the company’s Facebook page that gives away $700 in prizes for using these new features.