When we describe hullomail as a visual voicemail app we often need to explain so here we go… 👇
Visual voicemail does exactly what it says on the tin. It allows users to view their voicemails on screen, and to choose, out of a list, which voicemails they want to listen to and which ones they want to skip over. Since its inception in early 2007, visual voicemail has taken on many forms, and has increased the productivity of hundreds of thousands of individuals and businesses around the world. If you haven’t tried it out yet, download it for free on iPhone or Android.
Pre Visual Voicemail ☎️
Before the likes of hullomail visual voicemail came along, voicemail was not at all user-friendly. It was time consuming and over burdensome, especially for users in a hurry to listen to a certain message.
Historically voicemail offered a telephone user interface (TUI) for users to interact with, options would be spoken down the line and numbers on the telephone’s dial pad needed to be pressed to select a certain option. You probably remember, or may still even suffer the tedious set of options; press one to listen to this message, press 2 to skip this message, press 3 to delete this message and press 4 to repeat this message. Judging from this, it is easy to see how much time could be spent checking messages on a daily basis.
Visual voicemail changed all this and made voicemail appealing to a much wider audience.
The Beginning 🕰️
Like with many great inventions the early days of visual voicemail are mired in controversy. Initially launched on the iPhone in 2007 as a signature feature, Apple were quickly challenged by a company called Klausner Technologies claiming patent infringement. The patent in question, named ‘Telephone answering device linking displayed data with recorded audio message’, was eventually settled by Apple after they agreed to license the technology.
These early difficulties did nothing to impede the rise of visual voicemail, helped by the explosion of smartphones on the market; visual voicemail has grown exponentially and has become an essential part of the lives of countless people worldwide.
Visual Voicemail and the Smartphone ❤️
Without the smart phone visual voicemail would clearly have been a non-starter, and it is safe to say that visual voicemail owes its success in part to the smartphone. As previously mentioned the iPhone was the first device to offer visual voicemail to its users, and other devices quickly followed suit. It is hard to imagine visual voicemail being where it is today if we still only had access to basic phones.
Visual voicemail is usually offered as an application by both phone providers and third parties, and in its simplest form displays messages in a list in order of time and date received. Users are then able to interact directly with the application by randomly choosing which voicemails they want to deal with first.
Once a message has been selected, users are taken to the message screen from where they can play, pause and delete the message. This screen typically includes a slider indicating how long the message is, and whereabouts in the message playback currently is.
In practice visual voicemail application interfaces are rarely this basic, and often include a settings page where users can set up their voicemail in a way that suits them best.
It is easy to see just how much time can be saved with visual voicemail, especially for users who receive a lot of messages on a daily basis.