Ladies and gentlemen, the fight has begun. There was good reason that Apple withheld as much information about the iPhone as possible in the days leading up to its June 29 launch. But now that almost all features and a few reviews as well are out, it is easier to judge which are good, which are bad, which are wow and which are unnecessary.
One such feature was to be the visual voicemail that lists all your voicemail messages instead of reading them out serially. But SimulScribe, has announced the launch of SimulSays Beta, a free, downloadable visual voicemail application for the BlackBerry 8800 series, BlackBerry Pearl, BlackBerry Curve and Windows Mobile devices. With SimulSays Beta users can scroll, click and listen to voicemail messages on their phone’s display; saving time and money. Users can instantly select any voice message at random to play back with a simple click on the handset. Is that a bummer?
When SimulSays Beta is combined with SimulScribe’s award wining voicemail-to-text service, users can also read their voicemail messages in the application. SimulSays Beta integrates with the mobile phone’s contact book, allowing users to reply to the known caller’s message by phone, text message or e-mail. SimulSays Beta is currently available at on their site or at from a handset.
Once downloaded, the SimulSays Beta application is launched directly from the BlackBerry’s main menu. SimulSays Beta requires very little power and always notifies users of new voicemail messages, even when the application is closed. SimulScribe will be rolling out SimulSays on additional mobile platforms in the coming months.
“We strive to deliver voicemail in better, easier and more useful ways,” said James Siminoff, founder and CEO of SimulScribe. “SimulSays Beta was created to give our customers better control of their voicemail, saving them time and money. SimulSays Beta is ideal for people looking to add visual voicemail functionality to their existing mobile phones without having to purchase an Apple iPhone.”
Is this the start of non-iPhone users or Apple-haters putting together a phone with all the features of the iPhone except the Apple logo? There’s no doubt that more iPhone features would be replicated over the next few months and people may even start referring their phones to “I’ve got half an iPhone. I just need the finger scroll and I’ll be at 75%!”. Whether the finger scroll is 25% of the iPhone is debatable, but it is one feature that sets it apart from other touch-screen phones. HTC is already on their way to offering that feature to Windows Mobile loyalists with their ‘Touch’ phone.
Widgets, if you really decide to break it down, are good looking apps. Same or similar apps are available for the Symbian and Windows Mobile platforms. Maybe an engine to make them prettier will be launched soon.
One thing that would always remain in favour of the iPhone, however, is that it will be the phone that forced all these changes on the other manufacturers. Thanks to the incredible hype surrounding the launch and the product, all competitors would be watching the feature set closely. The iPhone is already a success. Never mind what features it is missing or what it cannot do that others can. No one cares. The race is simply on to emulate the iPhone is as many regards as possible. The positive side of that could be that newer phones may well have the good things of the iPhone while overcoming the shortcomings. I suppose I’m asking for too much!
For now, though, despite this and the HTC Touch announcements, the iPhone remains the firm ‘top-of-mind’ product.
Tags: iPhone, Apple, HTC, SimulSays, Touch, Features, Widgets
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