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Scheduling An Appointment With Vlingo And The iPhone Four

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I don’t have Siri because I don’t have an iPhone 4s.   I don’t plan on getting an iPhone 4s just because I don’t have Siri -I’m going to wait until the next “big” iPhone release… I do, however, have the need to schedule appointments into my Apple Calendar via voice with my iPhone 4 AND THAT, in my experience, is fairly difficult to do without Siri…  I’ve been using a relatively simple solution that I didn’t think was so innovative, but every time somebody witnesses me using it they seem impressed; so, I’m going to pass along how I’m accomplishing this as a post here at MusTech.Net.

Vlingo (A Siri competitor) does a number of amazing things, but adding an appointment to your built-in calendar(s) is not one of them.  I also do not jail-break my iPhones (for a number of reasons) so I can’t use any of the off-the-market apps such as Sara either…

Here is the list of what you need to implement my solution with Vlingo:

  1. an iPhone
  2. Vlingo  (FREE iPhone app)
  3. a dedicated Gmail (or other non-used) e-mail account
The following is my solution, using the Vlingo app, to “voice” schedule an appointment:
  1. Add the new e-mail (dedicated for calendar) to your iPhone in the Mail Settings
  2. Create a contact, “ME”, on your iPhone and add your newly created e-mail account to the contact
  3. Use Vlingo to e-mail yourself an appointment in this way (Touch “Press & Speak” on the Vlingo app to start):
    EMAIL “ME”, SUBJECT “Administration Appointment”, MESSAGE “July 30th 2012 4:00 p.m.”
    *You need to say the above “message” with little pause or interruption…
  • Vlingo will now e-mail your dedicated Gmail account the appointment.  The subject text (above) will be  “administration appointment” and the message itself will become a CLICKABLE/TOUCHABLE TIME and DATE stamp.
  • Now, simply touch the link and you will be prompted to create an EVENT with the SUBJECT TEXT  automatically appearing as the TITLE of the EVENT and the START/ENDS times correctly filled-in.  Voila! –a pretty smooth alternative.

As another note, I have my main e-mail accounts turned off in the “Fetch New Data” section of the ADVANCED e-mail settings (i.e. I manually retrieve the e-mail from those accounts).  The exception to this is my calendar specific e-mail account.  I have this set to fetch/push those e-mails/messages to me every hour.  In this way,  I can be prompted to input (and remember) my e-mail appointments into my calendar.

Perhaps it’s not the best solution out there for non-Siri and/or non-jail-broken iPhones, but it is working well for me.  I welcome your thoughts on an alternative, better way, and/or other solutions for freely scheduling voice appointments with the pre-iPhone 4s’ in the comment section below.  Also, if this solution works for you too, I would love to know.


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Joseph M. Pisano, Ph.D. is an industry innovator, education clinician and lecturer, trumpeter and conductor, and the creator of many education websites. He is currently the Vice President of Innovation and Engagement at Keystone Ridge Designs, Inc. After twenty-three years as a professor and administrator at Grove City College, he made the move into industry in 2018.  As one of the youngest full professors in Grove City’s history, he served in various roles over his tenure including the Technical Director of the Pew Fine Arts Center, Assistant and Associate Chairs of Music and Music and Fine Arts, Director of Music and Fine Arts Technology, Director of Jazz Studies, Stage Manager, and he finished his tenure as the Director of Bands where he directed the college’s Symphonic Concert Band, Wind Ensemble, Marching Band, Pep Bands, and various small ensembles.

He been named a TI:ME Teacher of the Year, received the JEN Jazz Educator Award, the PA Citation of Excellence, and named a “member for life” of the PA Intercollegiate Bandmasters Association. He is a past Vice President of the Technology Institute for Music Educators, an associate member of the American Bandmasters Association,  a past President of the PA Intercollegiate Bandmasters Association, and a member of various education and music honoraries. He has written for numerous publications including DCI Magazine, Teaching Music Magazine, and was the Educational Editor for In-Tune Monthly Magazine for eight years; he has contributed hundreds of articles to various publications. He is an active conductor, trumpeter, clinician, and educator. Find out more at his website jpisano.com.

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