This week’s app is also a service, called HulloMail. It’s a visual voicemail service that acts as a replacement for the normal voicemail that your mobile network operator provides.
Although the iPhone, and many other smartphones, offer visual voicemail as standard, it’ll only work if your network operator supports it – mine doesn’t. This is where HulloMail comes in – you use a code to tell your network to forward calls to HulloMail after a number of rings and it’ll do the rest.
So, for the visual bit. Rather than dialling a number and using a series of phone-based menus to manage your voicemail, you instead use an app on your phone (iPhone version here). It displays a list of messages left, which you can play or delete, and also lets you send voicemails (or ‘Hullos’) to other users. The app will also notify you of new messages through a notification popup.
Like with regular voicemail, you can set your own greeting, using the app.
The main advantages it offers, over other services, is that you can store an unlimited number of messages. On a free account, messages can be 2 and a half minutes long; pay more, and they can be 5 minutes. Facebook and email integration means that you can share messages with your friends, or have any new messages sent to your email rather than just by text message or notification. The free version has advertising in the app – a premium version is ad-free.
If your network doesn’t offer visual voicemail already, then this is a good alternative. It fully supports iPhone, Android and Blackberry, and may support other smartphones if you have push email available. If you already have visual voicemail, then unless you find the extra features compelling you may want to let this pass.