Prior to my iPhone I had been a long time Windows Mobile user. One of my favorite features as simple as it was, was custom ring-tones. I was the person that had a specific ring-tone for all my closest contacts. I also changed those ring-tones pretty often and spent a lot of time creating new ring-tones.
I have recently found a new service that has me spending a lot of time like I did with ring-tones but this time with custom voicemail. The service is called You Mail and it has several cool features.
The first is that I can create custom voicemail messages for all my contacts. So my wife, parents, business colleagues, college friends etc all can have their own voicemails personalized for them. I literally spent hours when I first signed up for this free service creating custom voicemails for all my contacts. I went so far as to get out my recorder gear and break out my guitar to record a voicemail for my wife with all my musical abilities, which isn’t much, but it was fun. If you don’t feel like going through all the trouble to record a custom voicemail for your contacts you can simply pick from a large list of community voicemails that are fun and funny as well.
The second compelling feature is that I can check my voicemails online in a user interface that looks similar to web based e-mail. I found myself doing this more then I thought I would.
The third compelling feature was the text messaging voicemail alerts. Now having experienced visual voicemail on the iPhone this feature was found lacking however for those without the iPhone it is a poor mans visual voicemail.
After experiencing many of these different services it really got me thinking the levels of personalization and customization that are still unexplored in consumer services. I am happy to see You Mail innovate in consumer services and start to give consumers more control over their devices.
I look forward to seeing more innovation in 08 in consumer services.