YouMail Visual VoiceMail Plus for 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 to save, delete, and respond from or from your phone.

Transcribing the voice call into text costs extra with a tiered pricing plan. The personalized greeting messages you can tailor to favorite callers is free.

Future versions will likely take advantage of the push notification slated for Apple's iPhone 3.0 software update, due out June 17.

To celebrate the release, YouMail is announcing a contest on June 16. YouMail will enter anyone who downloads Visual Voicemail Plus on the iPhone or BlackBerry in a drawing to win a year of its Read-It Select Unlimited free transcription service, valued at $329.99.

YouMail is available on BlackBerry and iPhone, and can be found as a beta app for Android.

Jessica Dolcourt reviews smartphones and cell phones, covers handset news, and pens the monthly column Smartphones Unlocked. A senior editor, she started at CNET in 2006 and spent four years reviewing mobile and desktop software before taking on devices.