Lonely? Talk to Your Pocket PC

Fonix's VoiceCentral for Pocket PC ($30 street) lets you use a few simple voice commands to control your Pocket PC, but sometimes there's a bit of a communications gap.

Fonixs VoiceCentral for Pocket PC ($30 street) lets you use a few simple voice commands to open and close applications and hear the contents of your contact list, calendar, task list, and inbox. Its a convenient alternative for PDA navigation and doesnt require voice training.

When first installed, the software detects your Pocket PC model, programs the devices Record button to start VoiceCentral, and launches. You can choose from several male and female voices, but although you can adjust volume, speed, and pitch, youre unlikely to find a combination that doesnt sound robot-like.

VoiceCentral recognizes your contacts automatically. To hear a contacts information, you say: "Contacts." The program asks: "Which contact?" You speak the name and can then request all the contacts information or a single field, such as the work phone number. The program can also read appointments, tasks, and e-mail to you on voice command. VoiceCentral performed consistently with PIM applications.

You can open other applications by their official names or by nicknames, but VoiceCentral doesnt integrate with these as it does with PIM applications, and using nicknames produces inconsistent results. For example, we recorded "Reader" as the launch name for Microsoft Reader, but whether a man or woman spoke the word, VoiceCentral launched the Memory application.

VoiceCentral for Pocket PC offers the convenience of hands-free navigation and useful integration with standard PIM applications. For those who need hands-free mobile access to their PIMs, VoiceCentral for Pocket PC is a viable solution.