Monday, October 30, 2006


I can tell Youmail is going to take off. It's currently in a free Beta stage that couldn't be more attractive. If you love your cell phone, Youmail is a fun customizable voicemail feature that adds another level of uniqueness to your phone.

At it's core, Youmail is a service that re-routes your standard voicemail to their service which lets you assign multiple voicmail messages to specific numbers. It's like assigning your favorite Barry Manilow song to your honey's phone number. Their service is free and works with any cell phone, but they send you a TXT whenever someone leaves a message. You'll need to check with your service plan to see how text messages are handled. You can set a default voicemail for all unkown calls, so don't worry, you'r professional image isn't at stake. One other feature offered is the "ditch mail" feature. They claim that if you get a call from someone you'd rather never hear from again, you can send a numeric code which will "give them a ditch mail, and you'll never here from that person again." You can access, record, delete, and manage messages from their site. Alternatively, you can choose to record and assign a new custom email from your phone.

I've signed up and found the voice interface to be clear and helpful. I've listened to a couple messages my friends left me, and they sound just as if I were using my service providers voicmail service. As of this writing, I haven't gotten feedback from them on how my custom voicemail messages sound, but I listened to them on my computer and they sound fine-virtually indistinguishable from my service provider. I haven't tried the ditchmail feature, and am a bit confused by it. I started wondering if they totally block that number or if they simply send some kind of default message stating that I don't want to hear from them again. I'm counting on the former, but I have a feeling it won't work for unavailable calls-which would really be great to stop telemarketers.

I don't know how long this service will stay free. I'll be surprised if they don't start charging. The big service providers are already charging extra for customized ringbacks, and other extra services. If it does stay free, then kudos to Youmail.

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