The quagmire of messaging

I read an article from Wired this morning, Screw Texting. It’s Time to Pick a Universal Messaging App, that really struck a chord with me. The state of texting/messaging is one of those quagmires I think we’ve all simply gotten used to the low-level buzz of aggravation.

sms_largeAs an iPhone user, I mostly use the built-in messaging app, but I don’t really love it. I love the the fact that it’s free to send messages to other iOS users (when their servers work and when the other party has thought to sign their device in with their Apple ID). Then there’s plain texting to non-iOS users. Then there’s the occasional person who reaches out to me via Facebook Messenger (which I hate). THEN there are the voicemail messages I receive transcribed to text by Google Voice (see my post True Visual Voicemail from just a few days ago) which are, essentially, text messages to me.It’s maddening.

And the crazy part is that it’s not brain surgery – all of these apps basically perform the same function. Why can’t someone build ONE that performs the core features extremely well (by the way: a massive emoji collection is not key to my productivity) that is so compelling that we all want to get on-board?!

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True visual voicemail

From Engadget: Apple reportedly wants to turn Siri into your receptionist

imgresThe long-and-the-short of this story is that Apple is investigating the idea of introducing transcribed voicemail messages to your mobile device, something Google Voice has been doing for a few years now. I’ve been using it for ages (once you install GV, it will walk you through the process of supplanting Apple’s built-in voicemail capability with its own) and, though it’s a bit dodgy in its transcribing capabilities, has long been a function I can’t live without.

The simple fact of the matter is that it’s much more convenient to be able to read the message a person left rather than have to play it back – particularly when it’s a long one.

This report actually comes at a good time, as a) Google Voice has been neglected for a long time, lacking UI updates, feature improvements, etc. and b) I use iOS’ speech-to-text function all the time and find it to be pretty good, so it would probably be a step up from Google’s offering.

Until then, though, don’t hesitate to install Google Voice on your iOS and start enjoying transcribed voicemails right now.

Download Google Voice for iOS here.

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