Voicemail the way Steve Jobs intended

Voicemail the way Steve Jobs intended

A new iPhone app promises to “make retrieving voice messages as easy as reading a text.”

A Hamilton-based company, BridgePoint, has developed an app enabling iPhone users to "visually" retrieve voicemails, cutting down the painful task of waiting for voice prompts to see who has called and whether to dig deeper to retrieve the messages.

Touch Voicemail enables users to view their voicemail in a list, which they can then act upon, says BridgePoint director Ben Wilson. He believes the company has a product that can be taken to the world but plans to focus on making the product work in the local market before venturing into English-speaking overseas markets.

“We found it strange and frustrating that everything on the iPhone was so easy, except for getting your voicemail messages,” explains Wilson. “A lot of people really hate voicemail, yet it’s a necessary evil if you get a lot of phone calls and messages.”

BridgePoint is a company providing mobile and IT solutions, and broadband services. 

Since the app's release in July, uptake has been good. So far there have been "a couple thousand" downloads through the app store. As well as this, Touch Mobile has transacted 20,000 voice messages so far. 

The app works through a subscription model. Those who download it can choose to pay either $2.59 per month or $24.99 per year for the service. There is no transcription service associated with the app at the moment, but this might be an added feature at a later point, Wilson says.

As well as letting users store and share voice message, Touch Voicemail gives them the ability to have multiple answering phone messages to swap out depending on the circumstances. “For instance, if you’re driving, you can create a message and let callers know that ... or if you’re sick, you can tell people who to call instead of you.” Wilson explains.

Wilson says he has received particularly positive feedback from people in sales roles or tradespeople as they are constantly handling phone calls every day. “We’ve also found it’s been popular among those who travel a lot – once the messages are on the phone, they can still be managed when the phone’s been turned to flight mode,” Wilson says.

As far as plans for the future go, BridgePoint plans to focus largely on Touch Voicemail rather than other projects. The company plans to roll out more features and add the app for Android-based phones.

Wilson does not expect the project to be profitable for the next couple of years as all money made will be put back into further development.