Sometimes, a text message with a winking smiley face just isn't enough. Itzme helps you convey your message a little better, but it's a little difficult to set up. The small payoff of sending voice messages isn't enough for all the hoops you have to jump through.
This app only works on Facebook accounts, so you and the person you're calling both have to have one. The app doesn't tell you which of your friends already have Itzme set up. The app not only requires you to log in through Facebook, but requires all sorts … Read more
Walkie-talkies don't offer stellar range unless you spend hundreds for them. This free app gives you a similar experience over the phone. HeyTell doesn't give you a large amount of time to leave your message, but it works just as quickly as a text. It's a good way to sneak someone a voice mail when you can't find working voice coverage.
HeyTell only gives you about 2 minutes to speak your message. This should be enough to say what you need to say, but you might fill up a person's inbox if you try to … Read more
We'll cut right to the chase: Cat Piano Free, as its name implies, lets you press piano keys on your iPhone that each have a different kitten meow. We're not really sure what the point of the app is, other than to freak out your cat if you have one.
Cat Piano Free starts off with a pop-up ad for other games, but tapping the X in the right-hand corner gets rid of it. Beyond that, it's just a section of piano keys. We have to admit that the cat sounds are pretty realistic; we pressed a … Read more
Amazon has acquired text-to-speech technology provider Ivona Software for an undisclosed amount, broadening its in-house capabilities as the Internet retailer continues to push its tablet business.
The two companies have collaborated in the past, Amazon noted, with Ivona's technology powering the text-to-speech, voice guide, and explore-by-touch features on Kindle Fire tablets.
In addition, Poland-based Ivona delivers text-to-speech products and services to thousands of developers, businesses, and customers around the world. It offers voice and language portfolios with 44 voices in 17 languages, and it's developing even more.
Amazon has been expanding its tablet business to take on companies … Read more
It's no secret Apple's still in the process of fine-tuning its virtual voice assistant Siri, and a recent job posting confirms there's still much work to be done.
The company is looking for someone to "refresh and refine existing Siri dialog," according to the posting for a Siri writer/editor, as well as expand what the software can do.
"Siri's known for 'her' wit, cultural knowledge, and zeal to explain things in engaging, funny, and practical ways," the posting, which was spotted by 9to5Mac, reads. "The ideal candidate is someone who … Read more
The Sound Recorder that comes with Windows will capture the audio stream and save it as a WAV you can edit or convert later on. But there's room for improvement, and there are more than a few choices, when it comes to recording digital audio with your PC. It's possible to spend staggering amounts of money on pro audio suites that really don't handle most users' needs any better than Free Sound Recorder by CoolRecordEdit. Like the Windows tool, it records whatever your sound card is processing, but Free Sound Recorder adds scheduling, more output formats, hot … Read more
LAS VEGAS--HD Voice has suddenly become a hot topic at this year's Consumer Electronic Show.
The feature, which significantly enhances call quality by improving voice clarity while blocking out background noise, has been long touted by the wireless carriers. Widely available in Europe for years, the U.S. carriers have lagged behind.
T-Mobile said yesterday that HD Voice was now available on select phones in its lineup. PC Mag reported that AT&T was shooting for a launch some time this year. Now Verizon has stepped in, and told CNET that it would offer the feature in 2014. … Read more
LAS VEGAS--Home automation is all over CES 2013. Tucked away in a small booth is Ivee, a company known for its voice-controlled alarm clocks. The newest Ivee creation is the Sleek, a voice-controlled home automation gateway.
You can tell Sleek to turn down the temperature, report stock prices, and share the weather. A pleasant woman's voice communicates with you in turn. This really is like having a HAL for your home, only this particular device hasn't reached sentience yet. She doesn't seem to have Siri's snarky streak, but if you ask her, "Who is Siri?" Sleek will reply, "She is not important."
Sleek is already compatible with Belkin's smart plugs. Ivee also mentioned working with the Nest thermostat, but Nest says it hasn't opened up compatibilty with anyone. Sleek could potentially hook up with all sorts of home automation devices. Ivee is looking at a summer release at a price of $199. … Read more
T-Mobile USA said today that it had enhanced its coverage in several cities, allowing unlocked iPhones to tap into the network's highest speeds.
The carrier said it has built out its HSPA+ network in four cities -- Los Angeles, San Diego, Denver, and Virginia Beach, Va. -- utilizing the 1900MHz spectrum. That's important because the iPhone is compatible with 1900MHz, but not the other frequencies that T-Mobile uses.
In total, T-Mobile's 1900MHz footprint covers 46 metro area and about 126 million people.
T-Mobile also fast-tracked the carrier's 4G LTE plans and plans to cover 100 million … Read more