In my post a couple of weeks ago, I mentioned that I would write about some of my favorite third-party applications for PocketPC phones. Well, as promised, here's the first.

The reason I chose to write about Microsoft Voice Command first is because I feel it's one of those must-have apps that you simply should get. As you might have noticed, most compact PocketPC phones, including the T-Mobile MDA are scarce on buttons. For most purposes, you're going to end up using the stylus, or just your fingers to select items on the touch-screen. This is primarily the reason why people refer to smartphones as "phones that are also PDAs" and PocketPCs as "PDAs that are also phones." There's no doubt that if you put a vanilla smartphone and a PocketPC side-by-side, the smartphone is going to be easier to use as a phone. But that's where Voice Command comes in.

Once you install this on your PocketPC, you'll almost never end up scrolling through your contact list or tapping on the on-screen keypad to call people. How is this different from voice dialing that's included on virtually every modern cellphone today, you ask? The difference is Voice Command does true voice recognition, and allows you to call anyone in your contact list without having to manually set up voice tags for every single person first (which, as you might imagine, is far too tedious). You can also dial new phone numbers by just saying "Dial [number]"

But that's not all. Voice Command is like your very own butler, Alfred (Batman reference, in case you didn't get that). You can just push a button and say "What is my next appointment?" and your phone will look into your calendar and read out the details of your next appointment. Or if you're driving, and you want to listen to some tunes, just say "Play" followed by the name of the song, and the phone will search through your media library and play the song for you. You can launch applications, ask for a list of missed calls, check your battery status, and do a bunch of other fancy things.

So go check it out. I liken it to desktop search; once you start using it, you'll wonder how you ever did without it. :)