VoxOx upgraded the software's personal assistant feature with new remote management features, some of which Google Voice and BT's Ribbit don't have. From their mobile phones, users can now check their voicemail, dial any number, make outbound conference calls, change their greeting and their PIN numbers, transfer to free directory assistance, and change their SMS Callback settings. VoxOx parent company TelCentris Communications made the announcement Jan. 7 at the Consumer Electronics Show.
, the free Web phone platform that lets users make
calls from PC to PC and from PCs to landlines and mobile phones, upgraded the
software's personal assistant feature with new remote management features.
Officials from VoxOx parent company TelCentris
Communications made the announcement Jan. 7 at the Consumer Electronics Show,
where thousands of companies are presenting new high-tech hardware, software
and services for eager consumers.
into its Web calling services video, instant messaging, two-way text
messaging, file sharing and social networking. When consumers download VoxOx,
they receive a free phone number and are invited to set up the app's personal
assistant to manage their calls.
For example, users can check boxes to have their personal
assistant answer their calls with a personalized greeting, and then give
callers a number of options, including leaving a message, or finding the person
by ringing their home, office and mobile numbers sequentially, or all at the
The PA, as VoxOx refers to it, also includes voicemail
notification, call recording, worldwide call forwarding, inbound caller ID,
among other tools. Other, more sneaky features such as Eavesdrop allow users to
listen to voicemail messages as a caller is leaving them.
But the new PA for this inbound/outbound calling service
boasts remote access features that lets users manage their PA with their mobile
phone instead of just their computer, VoxOx CTO Kevin Hertz told eWEEK in an
From their mobile phones, users can now check their
voicemail, dial any number, make outbound conference calls, change their
greeting and their PIN numbers, transfer to free directory assistance, and
change their SMS Callback settings.
For example, users previously had to enter a new
authorization number into their VoxOx account through a Web-connected computer
to change SMS callback settings. Now users can do this via their mobile phones,
which is crucial for users communicating via VoxOx on the go abroad.
"Even though it's only one of our features when you
stack our personal assistant against the other personal assistants out there, we
definitely feel that it has the richest feature set available," Hertz
There is a saying in the high-tech software business that
it is hard to compete with free. Perhaps VoxOx' stiffest challenge is that
competing Web phone services such as Skype, Google Voice and BT's Ribbit are
also free for consumers to use.
All of these offerings have more marketing
clout and resources behind them. Conversely, TelCentris hasn't marketed
VoxOx because the platform is still in beta and the officials want to
iron out the kinks before it broadens the platform's distribution,
That's one reason why Hertz stressed VoxOx pushed hard to
make sure that the new PA features outstrip what rival platform have done. For
example, while VoxOx rival services Google Voice and Ribbit let users dial
calls, and check voicemails remotely, they don't enable SMS Callback settings or outbound conference calling. VoxOx now does.
However, it's a safe bet that Google Voice will be adding
such functionality. Google has
big plans for this platform in 2010
particularly on Google Android-based
smartphones. VoxOx will find itself challenged to add new customers
this year. While VoxOx boasts hundreds of thousands of users, Google
roughly 1.5 million users.
Users can download VoxOx for Windows or Mac, and all
inbound and all calls between VoxOx users are free. TelCentris is charging
$2.45 per month to let users make unlimited calls to landlines and mobile lines
in U.S. and Canada, which is 15 percent lower than Skype.