What's your funniest Google Voice transcription flub?

Earlier this week, I bashed Google's visual voice mail service for its inability to transcribe my voice messages into understandable English. (OK, most of the article really focuses on a new flexibility in Google Voice, which I do like.) To be fair, poor transcription isn't all Google's fault. They're offering a free service based on a computer-aided technology that improves each year. The real problem is that machine transcription just isn't good enough.

Up until yesterday, I hadn't received more than a handful of visual voice mail message translations imbued with any meaning in … Read more

Yakkers, rejoice

YouMail's visual voice mail service adroitly blends voice message management in the cloud with an on-phone in-box for hands-on filing. After authorizing YouMail to handle your voice mails, you'll be able to view those messages in any order from the app's in-box. Contrast this to the traditional method of calling an access number, inputting your PIN, and listening to your messages in chronological order.

After a disappointingly rudimentary initial offering, YouMail has boned up on the navigation and activities that users can do online. It now has push notification for new messages, the ability to delete messages, … Read more

YouMail visual voice mail iPhone app gets pushy

We're big fans of visual voice mail, which lets you view, and then listen to, your voice mail messages in any order you'd like, not just chronologically. It's even better when that service is free (voice-to-text transcriptions, however, are typically extra). To that end, we were happy to see that YouMail's visual voice mail app for iPhone updated on Thursday, getting features such as push notification, and a new activities ribbon that lets you reply to and forward messages. You can also now organize messages by folders.

In addition, YouMail 1.5 includes a feature for … Read more

Yakkers, rejoice

YouMail's visual voice mail service adroitly blends voice message management in the cloud with an on-phone in-box for hands-on filing. After following the step-by-step activation process of only a few minutes, you'll be able to view the voice mail messages you missed from the app's in-box. More importantly, you're able to play the message in any order. Contrast this to the traditional method of calling an access number, inputting your PIN, and listening to your messages in chronological order. For those whose in-boxes remain full, either through neglect or significant popularity, the ability to skip around … Read more

YouMail's visual voice mail comes calling on iPhone

YouMail's visual voice mail app for iPhone may look less sexy than the sleek, crafted application interfaces we've grown used to, but in its first effort, functionality will be more important than form.

This last weekend, users of YouMail's freemium Visual Voicemail Plus service were able to start reading and responding to voice messages from iPhones. Like rival visual voice mail services, YouMail lets you manage voice messages like e-mail messages in exchange for making the service your default mobile answering machine. In addition to playing back voice messages in any order you choose, you're able … Read more

Mobile in-boxes: Will Google devour them all?

The universal mobile communications in-box is emerging as a trend at CTIA 2009 in Las Vegas. Variations on the theme combine visual voicemail, text messages, e-mail, calling, and call forwarding in one online deck that's as easy to manage as your e-mail in-box.

Skydeck (Skydeck review) has a traditional e-mail layout that does calls, voicemail, text, visual voicemail, and call control for a fee. RocketVox is a great-looking private beta that manages e-mail from multiple accounts (including Gmail), IM, SMS, voice-to-text, VoIP calling, visual voicemail, faxing, conference calls, calendars, and screen sharing with a vague social networking angle. RocketVox … Read more

YouMail gets real with a BlackBerry app

Since its inception, YouMail, a visual voicemail service for mobile phones, has had one big problem. You could view and play your mobile phone's voicemail messages online, or--beginning lat June--by pointing the mobile browser to, but messages weren't stored on the device itself.

Starting Wednesday, YouMail has begun to change that with a native YouMail in-box for BlackBerry phones. Visual Voicemail Plus is a free downloadable app that stores your incoming voice messages along with the caller's name, number, and time of call.

In addition to viewing and playing messages in any order you'd … Read more

YouMail: How about a voice mail secretary?

How would you like to have your own secretary for taking and delivering voice messages? It sure beats slogging through your phone's voice mail menu, especially if you're short on time or if you want to quickly refer to a saved message.

YouMail's new transcription service, launched from beta on Thursday, adds a (premium) human touch to its otherwise free "visual voice mail" service. In addition to receiving automated transcriptions of cell phone voice messages online, YouMail users can now pay for real people to transcribe their messages and send the gist through SMS or … Read more

YouMail puts voice messages on the mobile screen

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

Voice-to-text services seek a human touch

If you want to convert a series of 1's and 0's to text, ask a computer. If you want to convert a voice message into a text message, ask a human.

That's the crux of the argument given by VoiceCloud, which launched into the voice-to-text fray on Tuesday with a speedy, employee-focused transcription service.

Speech-to-text is a huge trend in wireless and Web apps this year that--judging from the numerous services showcased at the CTIA Wireless conference in Las Vegas this week--is heating up as an important frontier in cell phone software. You may have read about … Read more