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Verizon now touting own 'Visual Voice Mail' service

post #1 of 79
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Playing catchup with rival AT&T and technology available on Apple's iPhone since last year, Verizon Wireless on Monday introduced its own visual voicemail service to a limited number of subscribers for an added monthly fee.

The new application, dubbed 'Visual Voice Mail,' offers a visual interface for managing voice messages, allowing users to browse, hear, delete, reply and forward their voicemails without having to first dial-in and listen to the messages in sequential order.

"Scroll through your messages, pick the ones you want to listen to, erase or archive them right from your screen on your wireless device," Verizon says on website touting the new service. "You can call back, text and add to contacts directly from the Visual Voice Mail screen."

Users of the $2.99 per-month service will be able to store up to 40 messages for 40 days, create up to 10 greetings, and specify up to 20 distribution lists and 50 distribution members to receive messages.

For those users who wish to avoid human interaction entirely, the Visual Voice Mail application also offers an option to reply to a voicemail with a text message or another voicemail.

The Alcatel-Lucent- and Comverse-powered service is currently available only to owners of LG's Voyager handset, though Verizon said it "expects to offer Visual Voice Mail on additional devices in the coming months."

Unlike the iPhone, which is capable of receiving new features and software updates over the Internet, existing Voyager owners will need to make a trip to their local Veirzon Wireless retailer to receive a software update that includes the new Visual Voice Mail application.



Newly manufactured Voyager handsets will include Verizon Software version VX10KV09 or later, which will be capable of using the service without an in-store software upgrade.

For those readers curious about the new service, Verizon offers an overview and 7-page user guide on its website.
post #2 of 79
What a rip.....

One thought he was invincible... the other thought he could fly.

They were both wrong.

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One thought he was invincible... the other thought he could fly.

They were both wrong.

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post #3 of 79
Apple or AT&T didn't invent visual voicemail. So they aren't copying them.

Well they are, but Apple didn't make up the idea.
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #4 of 79
"existing Voyager owners will need to make a trip to their local Veirzon Wireless retailer"

Ouch
post #5 of 79
Both users who go through the trouble to get this service on their LG phone will be happy. Most will take a trip to an Apple store to get the real thing.
post #6 of 79
So does this mean the verizon network now has a snowball's chance of working visual voice-mail on a liberated iPhone?
post #7 of 79
While this is a bad deal for them, adding the feature benefits everyone. Soon more companies will need to have it, and phones get a little bit closer to actual ease of use.
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post #8 of 79
That Interface is rediculusly Clunky. I'm always amazed at how other companies can never copy Apple/At&T with any effectiveness.
post #9 of 79
it doesn't matter who invented it. Apple got a carrier to actually implement it. Not to second guess Ireland!
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post #10 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by Samnuva View Post

That Interface is rediculusly Clunky. I'm always amazed at how other companies can never copy Apple/At&T with any effectiveness.

I'm not.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #11 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by walshbj View Post

it doesn't matter who invented it. Apple got a carrier to actually implement it. Not to second guess Ireland!

How dare you Murph!
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #12 of 79
Quote:
Unlike the iPhone, which is capable of receiving new features and software updates over the Internet, existing Voyager owners will need to make a trip to their local Veirzon Wireless retailer to receive a software update that includes the new Visual Voice Mail application.

Really? I'll have to try that next firmware update OTA. Snark aside, third-party apps and their respective updates != new features. But it is nice to get firmware updates via itunes without having to go back to the store, so suck it Verizon!
post #13 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

Apple or AT&T didn't invent visual voicemail. So they aren't copying them.

Yeah, but someone, somewhere is gonna file a lawsuit.
post #14 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

How dare you Murph!

I need to retract my comment anyway. It's all fanboi.
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post #15 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by walshbj View Post

it doesn't matter who invented it. Apple got a carrier to actually implement it.

I recall Apple accepting terms of the patent holders for VV, I'm guessing the fees are wrapped into the new iPhone and/or carrier fees. I wonder how Verizon did with these fees? $2.99 is steep. The iPhone stores the messages on the device' capacious internal storage, but the info of "40 messages for 40 days" sounds like Verizon will be still be hosting the voicemail messages on their servers but will just send the relevant text data about the call to the handset.

The downsides is that you'll have to be in cell range to listen to voicemails and it will have a longer delay than the iPhone's local voicemail spooling. The upside for Verizon is that these same servers will potentially be able to allow all their phones, regardless of internal storage to have access to Visual Voicemail with a firmware change.
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post #16 of 79
If you can't beat them, join them?

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20" Aluminum iMac (August 2007) - Snow Leopard 10.6.4
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post #17 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Unlike the iPhone, which is capable of receiving new features and software updates over the Internet, existing Voyager owners will need to make a trip to their local Veirzon Wireless retailer to receive a software update that includes the new Visual Voice Mail application.

Hmmm, well, I can't speak for this particular phone, but I've certainly done OTA firmware updates on Verizon phones before (though not "over the Internet"). Maybe they just want you to come in so you know for sure they're going to charge you $2.99/month, or to try to sell you something else.
post #18 of 79
Quote:
Users of the $2.99 per-month service will be able to store up to 40 messages for 40 days...

This is something I've never understood. Why haven't all voicemail systems (including the older 'non-visual' ones) simply downloaded the messages to the handset's memory, and allow the user to manage them as they see fit? Why this exclusive dependence on the carrier's servers?
post #19 of 79
Amazing how not many consumers actually know who Apple is. 'The iPod people?' is the response I used to get a lot when I asked a few who made the iPod. Many people don't get that Apple, Mac, and iPod are all the same company. The same people have no idea how much Apple seems to push the industry when they reveal new products... I know apple didn't invent visual voicemail, but once again they're going to make a very niche idea mainstream, simply by making it simple, useful and attractive.

This is mainly what copycats don't get, and why they never seem to pull it off right... IMO. I think that 'iPod people' thing has worn off a bit now that Apple's getting so much attention too.

Jimzip
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post #20 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dlux View Post

This is something I've never understood. Why haven't all voicemail systems (including the older 'non-visual' ones) simply downloaded the messages to the handset's memory, and allow the user to manage them as they see fit? Why this exclusive dependence on the carrier's servers?

Who knows what would happen if consumers discovered that carriers aren't really doing anything to warrant that $7.00 system access fee...

That and telcos are lazy. Why implement a new feature if you're already sucking your customers dry as is?

Jimzip
"There's no time like the present, and the only present you'll never get, is time." - Me
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post #21 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by dssstrkl View Post

Really? I'll have to try that next firmware update OTA. Snark aside, third-party apps and their respective updates != new features. But it is nice to get firmware updates via itunes without having to go back to the store, so suck it Verizon!

Who said OTA? But updating over the internet via iTunes is a whole lot better than waiting on line at a store.
Quote:
Originally Posted by pmjoe View Post

Hmmm, well, I can't speak for this particular phone, but I've certainly done OTA firmware updates on Verizon phones before (though not "over the Internet").

Really? With my RAZR, the only thing I can do OTA is update the roaming-list database. The "program your phone" option when dialing *228 is simply the activation sequence. As far as I can tell, it doesn't install any actual firmware.

When Verizon released a RAZR firmware update a year or so ago, you had to take it to the store. And then convince them to do it, since the update was never advertised - it was simply preloaded into newer phones.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dlux View Post

This is something I've never understood. Why haven't all voicemail systems (including the older 'non-visual' ones) simply downloaded the messages to the handset's memory, and allow the user to manage them as they see fit? Why this exclusive dependence on the carrier's servers?

Because they can bill you for a feature when it runs on their server.

Whenever something doesn't make sense, just think of the greed angle, and all of a sudden, it all makes sense again. This is true for nearly all industries, but cell phone carriers are some of the most extreme examples.
post #22 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dlux View Post

This is something I've never understood. Why haven't all voicemail systems (including the older 'non-visual' ones) simply downloaded the messages to the handset's memory, and allow the user to manage them as they see fit? Why this exclusive dependence on the carrier's servers?

When VM started out phones didn't have the capacity to store messages. It became the way things are done and Verizon apparently wants to continue along that path.
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post #23 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by Guartho View Post

So does this mean the verizon network now has a snowball's chance of working visual voice-mail on a liberated iPhone?

I just left Verizon for AT&T and an iPhone 3g. I would have left sooner, but I was waiting for the 3g.
Verizon is CDMA. AT&T's GSM service at my home is sub-par, but it is good where I am most of my day: at work.
So liberated iPhones, as far as I know, don't have a snowball's chance in hell working on CDMA networks, visual voicemail or not.

This is one of the reasons, iPhone aside, I was looking to ditch Verizon. They just don't get it. They cock block all of a phone's features, and then charge you for using the ones that are included on the most basic phone. People are running for the iPhone not because it's tpouch screen, or looks nice, but because the feature set its awesome, and the carriers aren't killing you to use it. My AT&T bill is ~$80, including 200 SMS. My Treo 650, on Verizon, about 18 months ago, was around $120 a month. What the big V ( number 2, I might add) needs to do is step up the features like VVM, and NOT CHARGE FOR IT. The damn phones are fully functional. Verizon goes through the trouble of removing the stock software and then charging you for using theirs.

This is the reason the USA needs to stop carriers from exclusive phones and what not. No subsidies. Let the consumer buy the phone at retail, then choose a carrier. No contracts. The prices will surely fall, and the better customer service, the more subscribers you will gain.
post #24 of 79
I'd rather have free visual voicemail than free SMS.

Losing your messages after 40 days sounds really irritating to say the least. I have a few on my home phone that I've kept much longer. How long can you keep your messages with an iPhone?
post #25 of 79
I do remember reading somewhere that Apple had begun licensing Visual Voice Mail, and that it had a few patents on the technology.

I guess I had it mixed up, Klausner settled with Apple for using the technology.
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post #26 of 79
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Originally Posted by nagromme View Post

How long can you keep your messages with an iPhone?

I don't think there is an auto delete for saved iPhone messages.
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post #27 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by bloggerblog View Post

I do remember reading somewhere that Apple had begun licensing Visual Voice Mail, and that it had a few patents on the technology.

I guess I had it mixed up, Klausner settled with Apple for using the technology.

Yep. Just googled. They settled with and licensed it from Klausner Technologies. Guess Verizon licensed likewise.

Note that the name of the feature is the same.
post #28 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by gilles_deleuze View Post

Note that the name of the feature is the same.

We know that Klausner has patented it but I can find no info on a trademark from them for the Visual Voicemail title. The name for a similar functioning VOIP and POTS service used By Nortel/Citrix also bares the VV moniker.

PS: This was a non-story when it was announced that Sprint had also licensed VV for its Samsung Instinct.
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post #29 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dlux View Post

This is something I've never understood. Why haven't all voicemail systems (including the older 'non-visual' ones) simply downloaded the messages to the handset's memory, and allow the user to manage them as they see fit? Why this exclusive dependence on the carrier's servers?

I don't know, but sometimes it's handy to not have the phone be the place it is stored. If the phone can't be located or it's out of battery, then any other phone can be used to get the messages. If you lost the phone, wouldn't you be losing your messages too?
post #30 of 79
To echo what's been said before - that's one clunky interface!

Why are the telco's so stingy with their messages? With Telus in Canada I can store up to 3 messages for a limited time. I have to pay something like $10 per month to get more. When I signed up I questioned this absolute rip off. I get 6gb free with Google. How much space does 10 messages take up?
post #31 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

I don't know, but sometimes it's handy to not have the phone be the place it is stored. If the phone can't be located or it's out of battery, then any other phone can be used to get the messages. If you lost the phone, wouldn't you be losing your messages too?

(My original question was a bit brief because I was heading out the door.)

@solipsism: Yes, it's clear that older handsets had next to no memory, so downloading VM messages wouldn't have been feasible. But that's no longer the case with many models today.

@JeffDM: I should have specified that downloading the messages would be an option, and the limitations on messages left on the server would remain. This could be more like IMAP, except that the messages on the server expire after 40 days or whatever. An added benefit is the user could retrieve an earlier message from a landline or other handset within the expiration period. After that, the messages you've downloaded are yours to keep or delete as you see fit, just like email.

@Everyone else: Carriers are greedy?!? I would have never guessed!
post #32 of 79
off topic
I came across the following quote while reading some "random" articles here and there:

Quote:
Responding to questions from New York Times correspondent John Markoff at a Churchill Club breakfast gathering Thursday morning, Colligan laughed off the idea that any company -- including the wildly popular Apple Computer -- could easily win customers in the finicky smart-phone sector.
"We've learned and struggled for a few years here figuring out how to make a decent phone," he said. ""PC guys are not going to just figure this out. They're not going to just walk in.'"

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post #33 of 79
Figures the crooks at Verizon would charge you for it. If they could, they would charge you to browse your own address book! As another already pointed out, Verizon cripples most standard features on a phone, then charges you for it.
post #34 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by bloggerblog View Post

off topic
I came across the following quote while reading some "random" articles here and there:

Responding to questions from New York Times correspondent John Markoff at a Churchill Club breakfast gathering Thursday morning, Colligan laughed off the idea that any company -- including the wildly popular Apple Computer -- could easily win customers in the finicky smart-phone sector.
"We've learned and struggled for a few years here figuring out how to make a decent phone," he said. ""PC guys are not going to just figure this out. They're not going to just walk in.'"


In Markoff's defence he was probably thinking along the lines of MS' mobile OS. Though I think he made that claim after the demo of the iPhone was available, so he should have seen it and realised that Apple has to create just one HW platform to make it work and that it's Unix-based OS is considerably more scalable than what MS had to work with.
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post #35 of 79
You would think Apple would have patented the phrase "visual voice mail" by now.

Lawsuit coming.
post #36 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cubert View Post

You would think Apple would have patented the phrase "visual voice mail" by now.

Lawsuit coming.

You don't patent phrases, you trademark them, besides, visual voicemail has been in Asia for several years now. If there's anyone suing, it won't be Apple.
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post #37 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by technohermit View Post

This is one of the reasons, iPhone aside, I was looking to ditch Verizon. They just don't get it. They cock block all of a phone's features, and then charge you for using the ones that are included on the most basic phone. People are running for the iPhone not because it's tpouch screen, or looks nice, but because the feature set its awesome, and the carriers aren't killing you to use it.

As a current Verizon subscriber, I'm well aware of how of "cock blocked" their phones are, but how is the iPhone really that much better? My crappy Motorola KRAZOR supports more Bluetooth profiles than the iPhone's paltry one. Any syncing of contacts/calendars/music/etc. still required physically hooking either the Verizon phone or iPhone to the computer. I guess for an extra $100 a year, you can wirelessly sync the iPhone contacts and calendar now via MobileMe, but all other syncing still requires that physical connection.

All of the things I really didn't like about my Verizon phone are still present on the iPhone.
post #38 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by hillstones View Post

Figures the crooks at Verizon would charge you for it. If they could, they would charge you to browse your own address book! As another already pointed out, Verizon cripples most standard features on a phone, then charges you for it.

I'm currently with Verizon and they definitely are a big rip off. On my last months bill, I had $20 in data charges. I couldn't believe it, I don't use the web on my phone. When I sat and thought about it, I realized that my wife was looking for a new ringtone using the Verizon Tones application. Now, I've been with them for 6 years and in that time I've probably got about 4 or 5 ringtones. NEVER have I been charged for browsing for a ringtone, only for purchasing one. I received no notice from Verizon saying that they were going to start charging for it.

I'm seriously thinking about changing to AT&T (mainly for the iPhone) but I had a really bad experience with them in the past. The only reason why I've stayed with Verizon this long is because everyone I talk to is on it so I never go over on minutes.
post #39 of 79
Competition is good, and, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and...
post #40 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by technohermit View Post

I just left Verizon for AT&T and an iPhone 3g. I would have left sooner, but I was waiting for the 3g.
Verizon is CDMA. AT&T's GSM service at my home is sub-par, but it is good where I am most of my day: at work.
So liberated iPhones, as far as I know, don't have a snowball's chance in hell working on CDMA networks, visual voicemail or not.

This is one of the reasons, iPhone aside, I was looking to ditch Verizon. They just don't get it. They cock block all of a phone's features, and then charge you for using the ones that are included on the most basic phone. People are running for the iPhone not because it's tpouch screen, or looks nice, but because the feature set its awesome, and the carriers aren't killing you to use it. My AT&T bill is ~$80, including 200 SMS. My Treo 650, on Verizon, about 18 months ago, was around $120 a month. What the big V ( number 2, I might add) needs to do is step up the features like VVM, and NOT CHARGE FOR IT. The damn phones are fully functional. Verizon goes through the trouble of removing the stock software and then charging you for using theirs.

1.) You bitch about Verizon yet your iPhone's reception at home is sub-par? How was it with Verizon - I bet no problem.
2.) You know and note that the iPhone is GSM and then bitch that is doesn't work on CDMA Verizon? makes no sense.
3.) Verizon has to cripple most phones because they have GSM feature that won't work with CDMA. example- the Razr.
4.) Verizon charges for the software- where? monthly?
5.) Can you get SMS pix on your iPhone from any other cariers including Verizon?
6.)How's AT&T's notorious lousy customer service? AT&T is ranked near the bottom according to Consumers Reports.
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