YouMail, a free visual voice mail solution to organize cell phone messages like e-mail for online playback and response, announced on Thursday that customers can start viewing those same voice mail messages from their mobile phones.
By pointing the mobile browser to YouMail's home page, fans of the service can access their account with the usual login and pin to view contact's images, play back messages in any order, and forward or reply to voice messages in a form factor tailored from YouMail's servers to many high-end smartphones.
YouMail certainly isn't the first visual voice mail … Read more
One rung down from having a friend call you to get out of a bad date is SlyDial, a new service that lets you send people voice mail messages without actually having to call them. Yes such a feature exists if someone legitimately leaves you a voice mail (giving you the option to leave a voice mail reply), but SlyDial lets you skip that first step by simply sending them the message as you would an SMS message. It's tricky, it's evil--I love it.
Maybe the best part is that it works on all the carriers. In my … Read more
Google is partnering with homeless shelters in San Francisco to distribute free phone numbers and voicemail accounts to those without homes, the company said Wednesday.
The Internet giant is expanding a service that was started by Grand Central, a San Francisco-based start-up that Google acquired last year. Grand Central's technology allows calls to be routed to a home, business, or cell phone using a single phone number. The service offers people a way to organize and unify their communications, a Google spokesman said.
Grand Central had already been offering the free phone number and voicemail service to people in … Read more
If you're so addicted to America's celebrity culture that you'd love to have a famous voice answer your cell phone, then Alltel has an answer (of sorts) for you. Today the carrier announced its new Voicemail Max program, which will enable customers to personalize their outgoing voice-mail greetings with the voices of actors, comedians, celebrity impersonators, and musical artists. Among the available content is voice clips from such luminaries as Larry the Cable Guy, Steve Harvey, Orlando Jones, T.I., and popular voices from the cast of Reno 911!. Though that's not the most A-list list … Read more
Note: This product was updated on December 7, 2007 to include descriptions of the full software feature set.
I'll come right out and say it. The biggest problem with my first experience with YouMail may have been my own human error, or bad timing. The biggest problem with my second experience is a controversial capability I tackle later on in the review--so keep reading!
In my original review of the voice mail system that lets you manage voice messages online, I said YouMail had a lot of potential, but wasn't delivering on its promise of catching my voice mail messages. It could be that I skipped a beat, and missed punching the crucial star (*) key when entering YouMail's phone number into the Motorola Razr V3 handset I tested with. Or, offers YouMail's PR representative Derek Brookmeyer, I may have actually done this as the signal cut out, in which case YouMail would not have completed my voice mail forwarding, and Verizon would not have warned me the action was unsuccessful.
So now, the complete review:
YouMail's concept fits snugly into the intersection of two meta trends--personalized greetings (such as Vringo) and online mobile management (such as Dashwire). However, since you program YouMail to take over native voice mail duties, it involves a lengthier time investment up front.… Read more
VoIP and telephony service babyTEL is launching a new Facebook application this morning called Telephone that gives you access to a phone and answering machine without leaving Facebook. Instead of going the embedded route, like YackPack, babyTEL instead relies on a small Java runtime that sits in your computer's taskbar, or the dock if you're on Mac OS X. Once you fire it up, there's a simple authentication process to pull up your list of friends on the social networking service, and allow you to call them for free--assuming you have a headset or speakers and a … Read more
I am in favor of any tool that saves me from listening to voicemail on a phone. I use CallWave (review) on my cellular line to shunt voice mails to my e-mail, and I've been using GotVoice (review) on my home phone for the same purpose. GotVoice, to date, has been a bit of a hack: It got your voice mails by dialing up your voice mail, just as you did, and then entering the right touch tones so your messages would play, which it then recorded and sent to you. Pure replacement voice-mail systems (like CallWave, SpinVox, and … Read more
I've gushed already about CallWave, the free cellular voice mail replacement service. Today the service got even better--the company has just taken the wraps off Vtxt, its automated speech-to-text service.
Vtxt converts voice mail into text. When someone leaves you a message, the service e-mails or SMSes you the transcription. The conversion is far from perfect, but more than good enough to get the gist of the message. You'll still have to listen to the recording to get the message's full meaning and nuance, but with Vtxt you can very quickly scan your voice mails to find … Read more
Universal phone service company Grand Central (review) released last night a version of its browser-based control panel designed for mobile phones. It gives you access to your Grand Central voice mail and can connect you to people in your Grand Central address book as well.
Grand Central does its magic via the Web, not through a downloadable app on your phone, which makes the service a bit of a hack on a mobile. When you want to play a voice mail, you have to download an MP3, which on all the phones I know of will bring up a separate … Read more