So, I've tested the new, 4.0 version of ViTO Remote and thoroughly compared it to the previous version.
It seems to be only different from the previous version in the speech recognition module. I haven't compared its accuracy/recognition capabilities to that of PDAWin TV Remote Controller 5.5, the only other infrared remote controller application to have voice recognition. Note that I'll do this as soon as I have some free time. Definitely not now because I have to go out now to fetch some old Commodore User mags and Sinclair ZX Spectrum cassettes for my computing museum. Yes, the hard life of a computing museum adminitrator...
Compared to ViTO's other speech recognition-based program, Voice2Go 1.1 (please see this review
on it), it's much faster to load (you don't need to wait sometimes seconds before you can actually say the command). Unfortunately, as with Voice2Go, it's still impossible to fine-tune anything, voice command-wise (for example, the maximal length of the command)
As with Voice2Go, it can work in two modes. One if the "Magic word" mode (if you switch on the Microphone icon, next to the rightmost Device chooser/manager arrow), the other in the standard, 'not-always-listening' mode. The latter may be much easier on batteries because I don't think it consumes less CPU than Voice2Go, which itself continuously consumes 20-30% CPU cycles on 520 MHz PXA-272's, meaning much shorter battery life than without actually listening for the magic word to avoid hardware button press. Fortunately, you can assign starting to listen to the voice command to a hardware button so you won't need to hunt for the (small) icon on the bottom bar every time you want to issue a voice command:
Incidentally, this screenshot also shows the excellent button mapping capabilities of this app. It can use any extra button on your PDA (if it has more than four), even in their Hold mode. Also, button assignment is device-specific, unlike, again, with some other. No other remote controller apps offer the same level of freedom/configurability.
Unfortunately, exactly as with Voice2Go, especially if you operate it in "Magic word" mode, the voice command mode is very slow (apart from the lack of the initial bootup time, which made the situation even worse with Voice2Go): it repeats both the magic word and, if it managed to understand it, the particular command.
Furthermore, you can only record a pre-defined command set (you can't just order a voice command to an arbitrary button/IR code, unless you re-learn that button with your hardware remote controller – this should be fixed!), depending on the type of your device. For example, with VCR's, you can only record the most basic tape/power commands (in addition to the magic word), as can be seen in the following picture:
Fortunately, you can't record for example "record" on VCR's; that is, the consequences of a wrong command reconition can't cause severe problems.
Note that, when you record yoru stuff, you should wait some tens of seconds after the progress bar starts to advance and and should stop way before it gets at the end. Otherwise, your command will most likely be chopped.
I've tested its accuracy with the usual voice test stuff I use: Finnish county/province names. It worked OK, albeit not very good (didn't have problems with 'Ahvenanmaa' this time – I may have done a mistake while testing Voice2Go, regarding this word.) The recognition accuracy is around that of, you may already have guessed, Voice2Go – that is, some 80-95%. (Note tht I've tested the app in Finnish, which is a much "clearer", "open" language than most other languages. It's like Italian in this respect (but even clearer). Speakers of, say, French (which doesn't have so radically different sounds than Finnish) may find the voice recognition capabilities of this app, therefore, much worse.)
The application has retained all its strengths
(see above); and, unfortunately, all its problems.
First, it's just not compatible with the iPAQ 36xx. The same (shipped) control file that works on both the Pocket Loox 720 and the iPAQ 2210 refuses to do the same on the 3660. I don't know why ViTO still lists the iPAQ 36xx/37xx series as compatible on their product page.
Second, it (still) crashes at reading any
color ProntoPro (for example, TSU6000) files. (Tested with the two originals and the explicitly converted (so that they can be readable by NetRemoteIR) files).
Third, its non-color (Pronto) CCF compliance is almost non-existent. Much as it can render them (to a certain degree – see below), of the six tested monochrome Pronto test files, none worked
(while, they all work in NetRemoteIR and about half of them in PDAWin TV Remote Controller 5.5).
It not only seem to have serious problems with actual CCF codes, but also with rendering. CCF rendering problems are much more common than with other remote controller apps. An example of ViTO, rendering a page in one of the HS-860 test CCF's:
And, the same, NetRemote IR on a QVGA (iPAQ 3660) device (remember, it doesn't display CCF files OK on VGA devices!):
: if you're a Pronto/CCF freak (like me), get something else, as this app only seems to work in native mode. In native mode, however, it's not bad (but not outstanding either), especially now that it also includes voice support.