voicemail

While telephony has changed through the years – from landlines to mobiles to VoIP – voicemail has remained pretty much the same with plain vanilla functionality of receiving recorded audio messages when you can’t answer the phone.

Smart Voicemail aims to alter this perception, and attempts to be the next evolution of voicemail with status updates & availability to quickly let callers know why you missed their call.

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T-Mobile Germany has been reported to be working on adding visual voicemail, a feature that enables smartphone owners to view available voicemail messages in list, removing the requirement to contact the audio voicemail service. Should a handset and mobile operator support such functionality, it can prove to be an efficient way of managing messages left by contacts.

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For many who updated to Mango in the last day, especially if you were on AT&T, you may have noticed the lack of visual voice-mail. We covered how this was a carrier decision--or rather a technical hurdle they had to overcome in order to get it to work.

While AT&T did not launch Mango with visual voice-mail, the door is certainly open for them and others to enable it at some point. Indeed, that seems to be the case with AT&T who in response to a Tweet asking when will they enable VVM, responded:

"We're working to offer that as soon as we can, and will share more info here when we have it!"

While that still won't satisfy everyone, you have to be just a little happier knowing that AT&T does plan to offer VVM for our phones in the near future.

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Picture this - you wake up tomorrow morning, turn on your Mango powered Windows Phone (since this is entirely hypothetical), and what do you see? The voicemail alert. You open up the built-in voicemail manager and out-pops Chuck Norris. He's round-kicking his phone and informing you to give him a ring back at some point to discuss gardening tips.

According to a relatively reliable leaker in a DM to us, this is to be a reality in the next major update. To add to this, a tweet was published shortly after the visual voicemail leak which announced that with the addition of Skype and Live Messenger on the Windows Phone platform, when sending a text to a contact who is currently online on either service, the text will be sent via that available channel of communication.

Too good to be true or just logical next step for Microsoft? Perhaps we'll find out on May 24th, won't we?

Source: WP8 Twitter

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Good news, Sprint peeps. Gone are the days of the 20-cents per minute charge for forwarding your calls to a service such as Google Voice.

Our Sprint-loving pals at Precentral spell it out:

Conditional call forwarding uses the *28xxxxxxxxxx code, where the xxxxxxxxxx is your phone number. Note that your original number still rings before forwarding happens and you'll need to futz with your Google Voice settings if you want to send calls directly to voicemail before ringing your Google Voice number. There's plenty more information in this forum thread. Dial *38 to turn it off. Direct *72 call forwarding still costs you $.20 per minute.

That's it, folks. We'd still like to see Sprint drop the fee for direct call forwarding, however. But we all know how carriers feel about us messing with their voicemail.

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One of the biggest features (and we'll consider this a feature) that's been missing from Google Voice has been number porting. You've had to get a new number, and share it with family, contacts and friends.

No more, sort of. Number porting's still not ready, but now you can use an existing number with Google Voice, though you do miss out on a few features, including call screening and recording, SMS via e-mail, call blocking and conference calling. (See a chart of the differences after the break.)

If you don't want to go that route, another option (and this is what I've been doing for some time now) is to switch your voicemail over to Google Voice. Go to your Google Voice account>Settings>Phones and hit the "Activate Google voicemail for this phone" link. (Update: Our pals at Pre Central remind us that Sprint is still charging 20 cents a call to forward to another voicemail system, though that supposedly is changing.)

But, wait, there's more! It's a bit of a pain leaving the Google Voice Web page open all day. jkontherun points us to nifty little Adobe Air app that handles the bulk of the work. It's not perfect, but for most part it gets the job done.

Now, Google, can we get a proper Windows Mobile app already?

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We're prepping a piece on a couple of third-party Google Voice apps for Windows Mobile, but isn't it time Google puts out one of its own? And so we join with our smartphone brethren in calling for for one. Click the pic above to hit up Google's suggestion page, then suggest an official Windows Mobile app.

And while we're in a PSA/Rage Against the Machine sort of mood, check out David Pogue's "Take Back the Beep" campaign.

Because knowing is half the battle.

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Simulscribe - Quick Video Demo

One of our main concerns is getting info when we need it. This has brought about great features such as text messaging and email on the smartphone. Great features that, say, our mothers aren't going to use when they need to talk to us right away. So she calls me while I'm at a concert, goes to voicemail, which I'm not about to listen to. When then? I get the voicemail sent to me in text so that I can read on my phone while the music blares in the background. Right now I

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Pinger For All

Pinger, the neat little service that lets you send really quick voice mail messages to people (think of it like a combination of SMS and voicemail), announced at CTIA that they've upgraded their service so that you can send these quick little notes to anybody in the US. Previously, if you sent a message to a non-member, they had to muddle through the signup process -- which was my biggest roadblock to using it.

They also showed off a neat little Blackberry app that allowed you to browse through and send Pinger messages - and also said that they're working on a WM version. Neat.

Pinger, Inc. today expanded its service to tens of millions of Blackberry and US mobile phone users. Pinger, which provides text messaging for your voice, released a mobile application to optimize the Pinger experience for Blackberry users. In addition, Pinger expanded general support for mobile phones on nearly every US mobile carrier

Read: Pinger Press

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