Callwave Mobile Visual Voicemail

The name Callwave brings me fond memories of desktop software for managing phone calls through a voice modem. As the POTS voice business gradually erodes to cell phone and voice over IP, the company is re-inventing itself with a service to replace your existing cell phone voicemail service with something more useful. If you switch to the Callwave mobile visual voicemail, instead of having to listen to voice messages on your phone you get them delivered to your inbox, which is similar to the GotVoice service I wrote about in 2005.

By getting the voicemails in your inbox, Callwave also makes it possible to either automatically dial your phone to connect with the caller or respond to the voicemail via email, which might save you additional time over playing phone tag. Another cool feature of the Callwave service is call screening, so you can accept a call, send it to voice mail, or listen in on the voicemail to see if you really want to take the call. I recently switched my own voicemail to Callwave to try it out and everythings working so far. The service is currently in a free beta period - rumor has it if you sign up before the end of the beta, you'll never have to pay a subscription fee.

UPDATE from 8 January 2008: After living with Callwave Visual Voicemail for a couple of days I'm not impressed. I've received several complaints about the message quality from people attempting to call me, so I'm switching back to my core service. The voice to text feature that sends me SMS messages is also less than impressive - it does a lousy job of recognizing words and converting them to meaningful text. I'm still on a quest to find something more interesting to make it easier to work with my voicemail.