Voice activated apps are becoming a very popular category for the iPhone with standouts like Dragon Dictate and Siri commanding space on many iPhone home screens. One of the first apps in this category, Vlingo, has undergone some improvements eliminating the multitasking required to import your dictated content from app to app.

The popularity of these types of apps are obvious. It’s a great way to increase your efficiency without having to navigate menus and buttons and also serves as a safer alternative to using your device while driving. Push a button. Say your command and the application handles the rest. Although speech recognition isn’t 100% perfect, the makers of the app do promise that the app learns your tendencies and corrects them over time. Like Dragon, you’re also prompted to an optional loading of your contacts to Vlingo’s servers to improve recognition.

With this latest offering, Vlingo has undergone some minor UI changes and now sports a big dictation button that you can press and hold or tap and speak to begin your commands. Using commands like “call”, “search,” “Facebook/Twitter update,”or “text/email,” you can perform web searches (Google, Yahoo or Bing), update your status on social networks or send messages to anyone.

Although the app is free, the messaging functions will constitute an in-app purchase costing you $6.99 for either SMS or Email or you can get both services for $9.99. The benefit of this feature is that the messaging is integrated into the app to facilitate transmitting the message, and helping to reduce further multitasking . Emails are easily sent in app while SMS is streamlined with one button copy and paste into your messaging app.

Depending on your need for a streamlined messaging experience, Vlingo does offer great value to the iPhone user when it comes to voice assisted applications. And at a cost of nothing, it’s worthy of a look and spot in that valuable iPhone home screen space.

Vlingo is available for free, now in the App Store.