On Voicefeed Makes iPhone Voicemail Personal [MWC 2012]


On Voicefeed will make you not hate your voicemails
On Voicefeed will make you not hate your voicemails. Photo Charlie Sorrel (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

BARCELONA, MOBILE WORLD CONGRESS 2012 — On Voicefeed is a neat new iPhone app which takes over your voicemail account and turns it into a kind of personalized everything box for your communications. The headline feature is being able to record personalized voicemail greetings for everyone you know, individually or by group. But there’s a lot more to it than that.

On Voicefeed works by letting you forward all of your voicemail to its servers, whereupon it is met with the correct message: sexy talk for your lady, straight-laced and boring for your boss. It is then sliced and diced into a sound file, and made available in the app or emailed to you. The message is also transcribed and shows up in the timeline of the conversation with your friend.

These timelines are pretty cool, and pull in everything, from phone calls to Twitter posts to Facebook updates. The only thing missing is SMS messages, as Apple doesn’t provide access to them.

The app, demoed to me at the Mobile World Congress by Giles Corbett of On, is very slick. To set it up, you install it, sign up for an account and then two new contacts appear in your address book. Dial of these numbers activate the voicemail redirect, hit the other to revert to your default carrier settings.

And amazingly, it works on the iPad. Your phone still rings, but one the voicemail has been processed, it is pushed to the iPad instead. The one caveat is that you need to have a cellphone contract: it won’t work on Pay As You Go plans.

The app is free, fully featured but with limits on the amount of groups and voicemails you can save. Pay $10 per year and these become unlimited. There are versions for iPhone and (soon) Android, but the Android version — while it includes your SMS messages, isn’t yet as polished at the iOS version.

I was totally ready to use this on my iPad, and further limit my exposure to my hideous Samsung dumbphone. But I’m a pre-pay user, so no luck there. You should check it out though: it’s pretty much what all voicemail should be.