New VoxOx Mobile Messaging App Unifies Several Communication Channels

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2011-01-12 Print this article Print

The free consumer service unifies all key channels--voice, text, chat, video, social media, e-mail, fax and content sharing--and brings them into a single user interface that can be accessed by virtually any type of connected device.

Facebook recently made headlines with its approach to unifying messaging-e-mail, chat and texting-and making it possible to respond to any of those types of messages through its new Messages service with any device the user wants. It remains to be seen if that's going to turn into a profit center for the world's largest social networking service.

In the meantime, 5-year-old cloud service provider TelCentris has gone Facebook a few steps better with the latest version (still in beta, but not for long) of its VoxOx application, which made its debut at the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas Jan. 6-9.

The freely available consumer service unifies all key communication channels-voice, text, chat, video, social media, e-mail, fax and content sharing-and brings them into a single user interface that can be accessed by virtually any type of connected device. All the necessary data storage is handled in the San Diego-based company's own cloud servers.

Sound too good to be true? A service that takes all those different types of messages and funnels them to you to accept with whatever device you happen to have with you? Worry not; VoxOx is for real.

(A caveat: Versions for iPhones, iPads and Android phones aren't yet available but are in the works.)

The irony is that with people in the world now more connected than any time in history, their individual conversations often do not intersect because they are all created in differing networks and stored on different servers or devices.

"There's real information overload right now, as we all know," TelCentris spokesperson Natasha Grach told eWEEK. "Multiple e-mail addresses, multiple instant messaging services, multiple social networks-even multiple phone numbers for people. Even fax numbers-some people still have those. VoxOx is the only service right now that unifies all the key communication channels-conversations and contacts-into one."

TelCentris is a registered telecom provider. Thus, with VoxOx, you get a free phone/fax number, which also is SMS-enabled, Grach said. Within the application interface (which is downloaded onto your laptop or mobile device) is a chat window, which also can be used to send text or e-mail messages.

An added bonus is that messages also can be translated to dozens of other languages within that window. Just click on which language you want to use for the message, and off it goes. Yes, Chinese and Japanese are on the list.

Connects with Facebook, Twitter, et al

VoxOx connects with chat and instant messengers Facebook, Twitter, AIM, Google Talk, Skype, Windows Live, Yahoo Messenger and several others.

VoxOx even has a service that allows users to send large data files up to 100MB to be stored in its cloud, so that recipients can go up and download them when the time is right. Again, all of these features are free of charge.

This central communications management enables users to manage all of their connections and contacts from one control window while at the same time providing a global phone service for free or at low-cost options. The international phone service is another story altogether; it is possible to make international calls for a few cents per minute, as opposed to dollars-per-minute on other service providers. Details on that are available from VoxOx.

The new VoxOx user interface has been simplified and made more intuitive to use.

Chris Preimesberger Chris Preimesberger was named Editor-in-Chief of Features & Analysis at eWEEK in November 2011. Previously he served eWEEK as Senior Writer, covering a range of IT sectors that include data center systems, cloud computing, storage, virtualization, green IT, e-discovery and IT governance. His blog, Storage Station, is considered a go-to information source. Chris won a national Folio Award for magazine writing in November 2011 for a cover story on and CEO-founder Marc Benioff, and he has served as a judge for the SIIA Codie Awards since 2005. In previous IT journalism, Chris was a founding editor of both IT Manager's Journal and and was managing editor of Software Development magazine. His diverse resume also includes: sportswriter for the Los Angeles Daily News, covering NCAA and NBA basketball, television critic for the Palo Alto Times Tribune, and Sports Information Director at Stanford University. He has served as a correspondent for The Associated Press, covering Stanford and NCAA tournament basketball, since 1983. He has covered a number of major events, including the 1984 Democratic National Convention, a Presidential press conference at the White House in 1993, the Emmy Awards (three times), two Rose Bowls, the Fiesta Bowl, several NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, a Formula One Grand Prix auto race, a heavyweight boxing championship bout (Ali vs. Spinks, 1978), and the 1985 Super Bowl. A 1975 graduate of Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., Chris has won more than a dozen regional and national awards for his work. He and his wife, Rebecca, have four children and reside in Redwood City, Calif.Follow on Twitter: editingwhiz

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