You ever get a call from someone you really don't feel like talking to at the moment and decide that you'll just let it go to voicemail and wait and see if they leave a message? I know I do. In fact, I really dislike talking on the phone so I tend to do it a lot. That habit of mine used to make checking my voicemail rather annoying as well. Especially after letting 5-6 messages build in there.

So instead of actually, you know answering calls I decided I'd switch to a visual voicemail service and make it a lot easier on myself. I decided to go with YouMail. Read on after the break for a quick run down of what YouMail is all about.

The basis of YouMail is that it intercepts your voicemail messages and transfers callers to YouMail. Upon installing the app, providing some basic information such as your name and phone number and also an email address you're pretty much set up. Any calls that come into your device that go unanswered will be transferred to YouMail and then the messages will be displayed on your device visually.

If you're wishing to explore deeper in the application you can certainly do so. Options for notification settings are also included in the app as you can choose to get a text or when a voicemail is received or just use the regular status bar notifications.

One final feature of YouMail that I found great was the ability to create your own custom greetings. Setting those up is easy, just open the preferences and select "Create Greeting" and save it.  Yes, you can do this on your carriers services as well but then you lose out on the other benefits of YouMail.

All in all, for a free application YouMail is a pretty awesome alternative to regular voicemail. It makes checking voicemails so much easier, especially if you're a person that let's them build up before checking them. YouMail is available now in the Android Market.

 
There are 54 comments

TScottTC says:

In no way do I mean to troll, but what are the differences between this app and Google Voice?

biggbrother2 says:

Seriously though, is this a paid ad for YouMail? If so, you should post a disclaimer. My suspicions are raised because the article is not very in-depth. It's short. And it mentions not a single other alternative to the reader, like Google Voice, which is free. Some phones/carriers, like the Motorola phones on T-Mobile already have visual voicemail included, making this app unnecessary.

I understand you guys have to pay the bile, but if his is a paid advertisement, it should be noted. If it isn't, it should be written with a bit more depth to avoid that inference. I learner this in Journalism 101.

NO it is not: http://forum.androidcentral.com/430692-post1.html

The intent of this article was to review YouMail, not compare it.

But how can you do a review and not compare it to such a similar app, that's completely integrated into some android phones already, especially if you have a GV number and that could be arguably better. Just based on this quick review, there's no reason to use this instead of Google Voice. I agree there should be some mention or brief comparison of GV in a visual voicemail app review.

daft hero says:

My assumption is that the articles titled "Android Quick App:" are just quick reviews.

Yea I agree, I'm also a little suspicious of some of these comments lol I think I'm gonna check it out and judge the difference with google voice

You're right. It's short. And the prefix "Android Quick App" helps point that out quite nicely.

If you have any other concerns, read our editorial policy first, then e-mail me and I'll explain to you further if need be.

biggbrother2 says:

Thanks for the link to the editorial policy. I had never noticed it before. Although, it was posted just a month ago, so that may have been why.

Again, I've been participating around here since the TreoCentral days. So obviously I like the content, and far be it from me to question the journalistic integrity of you guys.

For me, the term "Quick App" didn't infer to me that this would be basically rundown of features, since nothing was criticized and no competitors were mentioned. For example, when I read a "Short Take" on a new model in Car and Driver magazine, I understand it's NOT a full comparison article, but other potential competitors are usually mentioned, and some criticism is levied , even if it's mentioned that final judgement will be reserved until a full review is conducted of the model.

Perhaps the title should be "Today's App Spotlight" or "App Short Take" to better describe it. Just my humble opinion.

biggbrother2 says:

Yes, but in your review you state "I decided to go with YouMail...", but you never really stated why you decided this, and why you chose it over alternatives.

You do list various positive reasons why you like the app, but you do not levy a single criticism of it. Is the app perfect then?

Please take this as constructive criticism. I would love for you and Phil to go on and win Pulitzer prizes and become millionaires and studs with cult hero status. These were just my perceptions when I read the review.

P.S. Please excuse my Froyo-keyboard-laced original post with all the bad grammatical errors. Hopefully the Gingerbread keyboard will improve my typing on the Nexus One!

bjs188 says:

Come off your high horse. This is a quick app review. It is insulting that you suggest Android Central publishes paid ads/revues without obvious disclaimers. youMail is a great app and I use it and love it. I don't need Google to control every aspect of my life, so I prefer this to Google Voice. Please try not to be a douche bag

solo1 says:

I've been using this app for over a year and its amazing .. It goes far deeper than just being a visiual voicemail app, but the COOLEST part of the actual FREE service is the ability to have a differnt outgoing message for every in coming call ... and with the hundreds of pre-recorded messages online it makes it easy .. I've turned at least 30 people on to this when they get freaked out that my out going messsages are customed just for them .. Even the suckas I don't want to talk to will get a professional sounding message that says " This call is experiencing a communication error and must be tried at a later time .. code 2185 " Then I set it to just hang up so they can't even leave a message .. Great Service. They need to have more updates on the app but all in all its great.

Putts says:

So are there carriers out there that don't support Google Voice for voicemail yet?

icebike says:

GV is really only available in the US, although there are hacks for Canada

DenverRalphy says:

I used YouMail when I was a BlackBerry user, since back then Google Voice wasn't very reliable.

Today though, GV is stable and completely free and has all the same features and more. YouMail is free, but the Transcription service isn't.

Your comment was actually more informative than the original review. Thanks!

Kwaii64 says:

I love youmail. Used it on my blackberry and now using it on my android. With people who like to call & leave 20 voicemails a day of pure foolishness this is a dream come true. tscotttc I wouldn't know the answer to that cuz google voice doesn't work properly on my phone.

lamonicaj says:

This is a free app!! It only becomes a paid app if you want to use the transcription service....which I feel isn't worth paying for.

Another cool feature that was not mentioned is when a caller hits voicemail it says their name....it always creeps out new people who call me when they hear their name said.

For example, "Hello, Marcus, Monica can't come to the phone right now".

Yeah I'm wondering the same thing, particularly since in the screenshot it says there's a free trial of the transcribing service, which is completely free with Google voice. Can you honestly say you decided to "switch to a visual voicemail service and make it a lot easier on myself" and went with YouMail instead of Google Voice? Also neglecting the fact that you can listen in on people leaving the voicemails and jump in anytime to the call with Google voice? I can't be the only confused one.

sveilien says:

Can GV voicemail be used on your non-GV phone number? My GV number is my backup/public number, not my main number.

Yes, it can. It may depend on your carrier though. I have T-mobile USA and a nexus one and both my regular calls and my GV number calls go to my google voice voicemail, with transcripts and all. Only thing is if you want to "listen in" on them leaving the voicemail and join in the call, you might need a GV number for that.

Viper says:

Yes it can. I have it set up so that when people call my Verizon number and I don't answer, the GV voice mail picks up. It is very handy.

Edit: beaten to the punch!

dante501 says:

A nice feature about this app is it will greet people is saved in to the phone by there name. Like Hello Joe. Michael isn't available right please leave a message. It's pretty sweet. It works with most names.

thegeester68 says:

I use the default visual voicemail service on Sprint and my EVO. It works just fine even though I don't have fancy messages for individuals. They did just release an update to their VM app which includes a paid transcription service as well but if I truly need to go that route, then I'd probably utilize GV.

The transcriptions are great if the person leaving the voicemail speaks clearly and not too fast for the most part. With GV most of the time you get the gist of what they're trying to say. I'd never pay for the transcriptions though.

BigTex says:

Biggest and only question I have is will the message playback stream via BT headset? GV won't.

Maybe it's the BT headset or depends on the phone? I have a nexus one and GV streams the messages through my BT headset no problem right from the transcriptions in the app.

BigTex says:

I only ask as this is a documented bug with GV. GV will not play message back via BT unless Froyo is installed as OS.
http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/android/thread?tid=7a211e5903a0ed0...

moosc says:

Yes Bluetooth earpiece and speakerphone.

Cayman996#AC says:

YouMail is a great app and service. I've been using this since it was on my Blackberry. Cheaper than using Verizon's VVM and easier than Google Voice. As a service you can associate different VMail greetings to individuals and groups as well as "ditch" callers. The transcription service is spot on and after trying GV, I always come back to YouMail.

As far as the app the goes, very stable and easier to use than the BB version. Keep up the good work YM.

briankurtz79 says:

I thought everyone had visual vm. EVO

Ms Charli says:

I have been using YOUMAIL for YEARS!!! I love it! It has some very nice features such as setting certain people to hear different voice mail to separate business calls from pleasure. It has loads of funny voice mail greetings to choose from. I love when they introduced smart greeting where it actually says the callers name. Ooh and I can't forget "Ditch mail" which has annoyed many ex's and telemarketers for a few years. It offered call block long before this was available on cellphones as an App.

Give it a shot I've had an account for about 6 or 7 years and youmail has come a long way. AND IT'S free versus Verizon's $5.99 a month charge for this feature!!!

Commander says:

Not to get too off track but YouMail was founded in January of 2007. How have you had an account since 2003?

To all the other people being a pain about the reviewer, try it. Try it vs GV. Only you can decide if it is right for you. I've had YouMail since it launched which was before GV was readily available. I've used both. They bother work great.

YouMail Pros:
- Smart Greetings
- Different message for each caller
- Ditch Mail

YouMail Cons:
- Pay for transcription (Who really used this anyway?)
- No Extra phone #
- Does not route calls to other phones when primary phone is not answered prior to VM
- Needs an extra account to remember

GV Pros:
- Single Sign In (Gmail account does it all)
- Works without the GV # but also gives you an extra # if needed.
- SMS Text is also supported
- Transcription is Free
- Routes call to all phone numbers prior to voicemail so you can have several phones ring after your primary number doesn't pick up and then it goes to VM

GV Cons:
- Lack customizable of VM Messages. See YouMail Pros
- Transcriptions just plain suck (*Making this feature basically worthless; but sometimes very funny)
- Can't have 1 phone # on 2 GV accounts (This isn't really in the realm of VM)

I'm sure I missed a ton of other stuff but that highlights it and should go to show that you need to try the app tyo decide if you like the feel and function. IMO GV is best but my wife loves YouMail. YouMail is a strong VVM contender.

pinch55 says:

Yes, you can listen to messages over bluetooth. One thing that may pose an issue for some is that this forwards calls. If you don't have free call forwarding, Sprint does, it could get rather pricey.

For those who critize the reviewer, that's really uncool. Instead of critizing, check out the app for yourself if interested. If not, pass on the opportunity. Let's not make the review a big issue.

As for YouMail, I've tried it and it's okay. I think the transcription from voice to text is far better than GV or the visual voice mail available now for Evo user or Sprint subscribers. However, I've yet to see any voice to text transcription that works flawlessly. The question is do you want an app on your phone or not.

I say try it for yourself. I did and decided to stick with GV at first but then fell back to what was offered by my carrier. The only difference between all of these is your prefence.

biggbrother2 says:

How is it "uncool" to offer valid criticism to a reviewer on an internet blog the specializes in news and reviews of technology products?

You state that we should just "check out the app yourself". The entire reason for the existence of this site is for readers to get insight into whether an app is good or not, without having to install every app that is out there on their phone. If people just 'tried every app for themselves', then we wouldn't need sites like this to keep us up-to-date on what's worth installing out there.

miller7796 says:

So you expect them to provide a review on every app available? Sorry, not going to happen. If the reviewer likes the app, then it will be reflected in the review. My suggestion, read the comments in the market if you want to know more about the app...or try it out yourself. But since it sounds like you don't want to be bothered with trying it yourself, maybe you should go back to an old Razr.

biggbrother2 says:

I never said that I expected this site to provide a review of every app available. But I am pretty sure that between Android Central and the hundreds of other blogs/sites out there, almost every app will get reviewed.

And I do read the comments in the Market. However, this "Quick App Review" brought this app to my attention. I don't just go into the Market looking for Voicemail Apps. This review brought it to my attention. But since this is not Twitter, and more than 140 characters are allowed, I expect to be given more than just a reference to the Market commentary.

Android_Lee says:

I tried this out about a year ago, but stopped using it after I read ALL the fine print. Apparently, by agreeing to use thieir service, you are allowing YouMail to collect information on the people who call you for for telemarketing purposes to your callers. Now, I haven't used this in a few years so I'd like to think that's not the case anymore, however, they have to pay for their services somehow.

I use mine all the time- wife and mother call me all the time (and I send the to voicemail all the time. My wife has never gotten a phone soliciation other than the political ones during election time- however those are obtained from a different source.

Not saying that it couldn't start- but I have been using Youmail for over 3 years and haven't had this happen.

lekky says:

Google Voice is only available in America, sheesh. What about the rest of the world, we exist you know?!

Anyway, this app looks horrible, no research before making this post???

Check out HULLOMAIL. Seems much better than this app, especially the UI (or lack of one in the case of YouMail).

corydunbar says:

youmail has everything google voice does, but it also allows you to set audio files as you voicemail greeting. huge props to youmail. as for google. get with the picture, you must add this feature.

Magellan says:

This may come as a shock, but not everyone uses Google Voice, me included. It is nice to have options.

vinny#AC says:

I enjoy when different apps are reviewed. Some apps I never get a chance to look at and I usually read and check out all the apps that get reviewed. Thanks and keep up the good work..
PS I use Google Voice. T-Mobile offers their own visual voice mail but I prefer Google Voice.

geezagame says:

Think some people seem to forget that Google Voice is US only. YouMail seems pretty good to me, but hey I'm outwith the US so it doesn't matter what I think right?

stealthdroid says:

I don't usually log in to comment on these kind of articles but seriously, you should at least put a "sponsored article" disclaimer on stuff like this so avid readers can skip to the genuine content. I used YouMail premium (paid) services for a couple of months before I was invited to Google Voice and there is no way an author writing for freakin ANDROID CENTRAL would use this as their visual voicemail service... especially over Google Voice.

likwidsoul says:

Wow I use a programs just like this. Its called Google voice....

onixblack says:

So both Youmail and Google voice is a great alternative to not pay for Verizon's Visual Voice mail service....awesome

Jonneh says:

Love YouMail. Been using it on my Blackberry for 2 or 3 years now. Like someone else said, Google Voice sucked back then. I still use Youmail thought because I never switched over to GV, since Youmail was working perfectly fine for what I needed it to do. Best of all, FREEEEE.

I use BOTH google voice and youmail. They both have some similar qualities- HOWEVER google voice does not work with your current phone number- It works with the google voice number (to my best knowledge)

I love the fact I can create and/or select from pre-recorded greetings- some funny, some serious- for individual numbers.

Google voice is more than just visual voice mail.

I prefer the interface of the Youmail app.

-Also (i'm not sure if you can do this in google voice) in Youmail- you can send a voicemail to an email address. I use that a lot too.

I have both- and use both- FOR ENTIRE different reasons.

Commander says:

That's not quite true. GV will act as just Visual VM. You can tell your phone not to make calls wiuth it and set your settings online to use your wireless provider cell phone. Then all you do is conditional call forward your cell phone to your GV #. This means when you don't answer it rolls to your GV # where VM will be left by the caller.

cvolkerts says:

I have been using Youmail for years -I replaced the voicemail on my work phone, mobile phone, and home phone with it - I love it. I also have Google voice and use it but I like the extra features of youmail for my voicemail. I can email/forward voicemails to others, the archive is fantastic. It keeps a complete record of all calls (I have several times gone to the web and shown folks that "no you did not leave me a message, you just hung up- see? right here is the record or you call - liar" ;) The transcriptions are great, the auto greeting with callers name is awesome, using the webinterface you can also change the name of the contact so Youmail greets folks with whatever you want (friends get called all kinds of interesting things based on my mood). You can use generic or custom greetings for each and every contact, groups of contacts, callers from particular prefixes - anyway it is a fantastic app and yes some folks do use both google voice and youmail. I do. I definitely recommend this app.

javroch says:

To be honest, I used to use YouMail for a while, but with the introduction of Google Voice I see it as kind of a worthless app. Yes, there are a few small things that YouMail does that Google Voice doesn't, like greeting your callers by name. However, I think most people who called me were more freaked out than anything that they were greeted by name and I ended up turning off that feature. I think in time, Google Voice will make YouMail completely obsolete if it hasn't already.

alanjr_uk says:

Why no mention of HulloMail (apart from fellow commenter lekky!) - it has a MUCH nicer looking UI and with the introduction of push notifications a few months ago works really really well. It also handily backs up all your messages to your Gmail account so you can access them when you only have WiFi (ie no 2G/3G) - great for roaming abroad & you also can get them in your email program.

Ok, so I downloaded and installed this app, decided it wasn't for me and deleted it from the apps listing....buy how do i unsubscribe? Revert back to standard Sprint voicemail? Using a Sprint Hero.