SlyDial officially launches with premium service, handy shortcuts

SlyDial, a straight-to-voicemail call service I covered back in early April, has opened up its doors to everything this morning after undergoing three months of beta testing. New on Monday is a premium service heavy users can subscribe to in order to get all the perks of the service without having to listen to the in-house ads that run before connecting you to a call. There are a few plans available: either a 15 cents per call one-time fee, or a $4.95 monthly or $29.95 yearly plan, which only makes sense if you think you're going to be sending more than 30 SlyDial calls a month.

More useful might be the new quick-dial functionality included for registered users. You can add any contacts from your phone book and have the service automatically connect you to their voice mailboxes. It saves you from having to enter the number or make a phone call in the first place; it'll simply call you instead.

I still hold true to what I said about SlyDial in my initial hands-on. It's a potentially evil service for people who misuse it (see the guy in the video embedded after the break), giving anyone the excuse that they "tried to call you" without having to approach actual conversation. That said, it can be wonderfully convenient if you want to send someone the equivalent of a voice text message without interrupting what they're doing.

SlyDial is a creation of Mobile Sphere, the same folks who did Joopz, the PC-to-mobile phone text-messaging service and Webware 100 2008 finalist.

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Joopz does SMS messaging for Outlook

This morning Web-SMS service Joopz is launching a new Outlook plug-in that turns your desktop e-mail client into a one-stop SMS hub. Once tied into your Joopz account, you can send and receive text messages like you would e-mail. The tool also syncs up with your Outlook contacts, to let you send notes to anybody with a phone number.

The service is flouting the new plug-in as a handy way to keep in touch with friends, but for business users who use SMS to communicate with their colleagues while out on the road, this could be a handy, finger-saving tool … Read more

Love is in the Webware

Happy Valentine's Day from Webware. We don't have chocolate, flowers, or cheesy cards for you, but we do have a roundup of Valentine's Day-related Web services and specials for you to get in touch with that special someone.

>> YouTube is offering video valentines. You've got six kitschy and humorous videos to choose from, featuring a slightly overweight cupid who causes more harm than good. For quick and easy personalized Webcam videos to your sweetheart, try out Viddler or Gabmail.

>> If your honey is stuck in the office all day, cheer him or … Read more

Jyngle sends real-time mobile messages to groups

Jyngle from Brevient Technologies says it's "real-world, real-time" voice mail and SMS messaging.

It's a social network--set up groups online and make them public or private. From a phone, dial in, submit a PIN, record a message. The voice or text message is then sent to the mobile phones of the predetermined members of that group.

Brevient says the ideal application is event reminders or meeting changes. At first glance it seems a bit complicated, but probably useful for messages that need to be heard ASAP.

Joopz, brings SMS messaging to your PC (Update x2)

Text messaging can be a tricky affair. It got David Beckham in a lot of trouble with his wife, and if you're on a U.S. carrier, it's likely given you some trouble on your monthly bill. Throw in the difficulty of typing with twelve keys, and conventional messaging loses some of its appeal. That's where Joopz comes in. Joopz is a browser-based SMS service that lets you use your 100+ button PC keyboard to send and receive text messages. Many carriers already offer this functionality from their Web sites or with special, free e-mail addresses, but … Read more