HulloMail launches voice-emails (“Hullos”) and iPhone app: Total genius!

I’ve been using HulloMail as my voicemail replacement for about 6 months and it’s been flippin’ fantastic (not to mention the fact it’s actually free of charge!). I really like the way that voicemails arrive as emails with audio attachments in my Google Mail, however in recent months, HulloMail have been innovating like crazy to deliver their service in a mobile application. As a result, I’m a heavy, heavy user of their BlackBerry application that lets me flick through and play my voicemails as necessary.

I’ve also installed and made a lot of use of their Android app.

And I’ve been waiting for their iPhone app too. The brilliance of the HulloMail service is that it’s handset independent. So when I installed the iPhone app and logged in, my voicemails were right there ready and waiting. (Even though my iPhone operates on a different number that I never bother to give to anyone. )

I’ve obviously redirected my main number to HulloMail so if you call me and I can’t answer, you’ll be handed over seamlessly to the HulloMail system.

There’s a real bit of innovation that’s arrived with the iPhone app though: They’re called “Hullos”.

As Rolf Harris says, can-you-guess-what-it-is-yet?

A ‘Hullo’ is a voicemail sent from the HulloMail iPhone app (BlackBerry and Android apps will be activated with this soon). It’s the equivalent of sending a voicemail… but without having to arse about actually placing the phone call.

This is brilliant because I *continually* need to leave messages for people. Oh, email, Twitter, yeah.. they all serve a purpose, but voice is just quicker and a lot more convenient. So I’ve been using this tons over the past few days. I often want to ‘leave a voicemail’ because I don’t want to interrupt people by calling them. It’s actually somewhat inconvenient if you’re trying to leave a voicemail but the person answers. It’s even more annoying when the person answers in a flustered manner because they’re riding their bike, or in a board meeting, or whatever.

It works fantastically well on the iPhone. In fact, here’s what the iPhone app looks like:

If you call and leave me a voicemail (and you’re a HulloMail subscriber), I obviously see your voicemail arrive on the HulloMail app. HulloMail has already queried my Google Contacts to see if it can find your name — if so, that’s appended to the voicemail record. I go ahead and listen… then to send a reply, I just hit the shiny new ‘reply’ button. That opens up a recording window with a 30 second counter. I hit ‘record’, speak, then send. Done. Really, really cool.

If you’re NOT a HulloMail subscriber, then I get the option to still send you the voicemail — but it’ll be emailed. (Because your piece of shit mobile operator’s voicemail is 15 years old and can’t handle this kind of thing.)

I strongly encourage you taking the time to check out the main HulloMail service — and once you’ve created your account, if you’re on the iPhone, search for ‘HulloMail’ and download the app.

The service works beautifully with BlackBerry and Android. And if you’re using something else — like a Nokia — it’ll still work, just you won’t get the fancy voicemail UI.

Everything you need is at http://www.hullomail.com.

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3 Responses to HulloMail launches voice-emails (“Hullos”) and iPhone app: Total genius!

  1. Jakdaw January 7, 2010 at 8:58 am #

    If only MMS wasn't a hopeless pile of shite then we'd have been doing this for the last five years, with no need for apps.

    What happens if you want to reply to someone you don't have an email address for, does it let you send a Hullo to them only if they're a Hullomail user? (In which case, is there, somewhere behind the scenes a MSISDN -> yes/no API that I can abuse to see who has tried Hullomail?)

  2. Ewan January 7, 2010 at 11:38 am #

    I'm not sure Jakdaw, I'll need to check…

  3. andymunarriz January 7, 2010 at 6:56 pm #

    Right now you can reply to a voicemails from HulloMail users and contacts with email addresses at the moment.

    Our back end does have the capability to send to any phone number using an SMS with a link to the HulloMail Voice Portal but we want to see how uptake on the current approach is…

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