Voicemail. I may not like it, but as long as my Palm plays such an important role in my daily life, it’s a necessary evil. Retrieving voicemail is a lengthy process - you call the voicemail system, wait for the prompts, type in your code, listen to each message in chronological order, wait for the code to delete the message (since if you are anything like me, you call so infrequently and pay it so little attention that you can’t remember to just dial “7”). You get the picture.
Most of my voicemails sit untouched for days at a time and quite honestly, if it wasn’t for the notification that continuously popped up, I’d probably ignore them altogether. When it comes to cell phones, there is nothing that pains me more than voicemail. Especially the all to often “call me back” messages. Since most phones display some sort of missed call notice, isn’t it obvious that the missed caller wants to speak to me and likely wants a call back? Unless there is an actual message of somewhat mild importance, I can’t understand or justify the need to leave a voicemail.
All of this has lead me to a long-standing voicemail ban with at least those closest to me. Since my husband and I firmly agree on the nuisance of voicemail, we know never leave them. The missed call notification suffices to covey the “call me back” message and if it’s really that important, we leave a text. It took my parents a little longer to get on board and I am embarrassed to say that my constant reminders have made them almost scared to leave me a voicemail. Their messages, now mostly inadvertent, are usually something to the effect of “Oh no” or “How do I hang this up?”
Thanks to one of my readers, I discovered the YouView voicemail application. YouView provides a visual voicemail experience similar to what I’ve seen on my friends’ iPhones. YouView takes the unknown out of voicemail by compiling a running list of messages with pertinent information such as the caller’s name and number, as well as the date, time and length of the call. Right from the list, you can click on and listen to a message (without typing any code), delete it by simply swiping the message away or call the person back. The app also gives you the ability to pause or move backward and forward within the message. Since each message is an individual item on the list, you can listen to them in any order and even listen to some while leaving others for another time. In the event you get an important message, you can download it to your phone or share it via email or text. Not only does YouView give you a message notification just like you would receive with the original webOS voicemail, but you can also receive notices via text and/or email.
A fun feature that I have not had time to look in to but hope to soon is the custom greetings. This allows you to vary your voicemail greeting depending on the caller, using either greetings from YouView’s library or your own personal message. How novel that not every caller has to listen to my same boring, professionally-safe greeting?
YouView puts you in full control of your voicemail, with significantly less fumbling, annoyance and wasted time. While I might not enjoy voice messages, I am no longer a slave to the voicemail system and can address them in an easy, almost pain-free manner.
So do I lift my voicemail ban or at least now cut my parents some slack? I haven’t yet decided, but YouView sure makes it tempting.
(Image via PreCentral)