AppsGood and EVO

Mandatory voicemail update for HTC EVO adds Voicemail-to-Text free trial

Evo-vm-update-vtt

A new update for the stock voicemail app is now available for the HTC EVO. Unlike the previous update, this one is mandatory and won't stop bugging you with a notification unless you install it. You actually need to check for it manually first, though, so I suppose there's a chance you won't have to get it if you use the app and don't tap Menu -> Settings -> Check for update. Or maybe the update will pop up by itself after a while (it only showed up for me when I looked for it).

In any case, the new version is T.5.1.0.48 and it includes an offer for a one-month free trial of Sprint's Voicemail-to-Text transcription service, which "systematically transcribes" messages into text so you can read instead of listen to them.

The transcription is shown on the same screen that you normally listen to your voicemail from and is also in the main list of messages, so it takes no extra effort to access the text. The service is worth checking out because you won't be automatically subscribed after the trial period is over (so you don't have to worry about forgetting to cancel and then being billed), which means you have nothing to lose. The transcriptions can be copied and pasted into other apps and are searchable too, so the feature can be quite useful.

Evo-voicemail-transcribe

The problem I've run into so far on my EVO, however, is that the transcriptions can sometimes take a really long time to appear. As you can see in the screenshot above, I got a message at 11:46 a.m. and 31 minutes later, the message was still being transcribed. I've also received messages that were transcribed almost immediately, though, so maybe it was just a glitch.

On the other hand, an issue that everyone is likely to experience is the inaccuracy of the transcription. Look at this:

Evo-transcribe

See that? "For taking love long" it says. The actual voicemail was "What's taking so long?"

Yeah, I think you're going to be tapping that "Rate text transcription" button a lot. Or maybe this is an opportunity for someone to start WhatSprintThoughtYouSaid.com!

Thanks, Carl!

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Jenn K. Lee

Jenn K. Lee is the founder of Pocketables. She loves gadgets the way most women love shoes and purses. The pieces in her tech wardrobe that go with everything are currently the Samsung Galaxy Note II, Sony Tablet P, and Nexus 7, but there are still a couple of vintage UMPCs/MIDs in the back of her closet.

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32 thoughts on “Mandatory voicemail update for HTC EVO adds Voicemail-to-Text free trial

  • Oh boy, a carrier, once again, turns a free google service into a paid service. It’s nice that they are offering a non-auto sign up of the service, however.

    Reply
  • Avatar of Nick Stewart

    I haven’t used Sprint’s voicemail since June 4th… Google Voice all the way.

    Reply
  • Avatar of FifthE1ement

    As the above user posted WTF is Sprint doing?! They are finally getting some momentum with sales and services but all of the carriers simply cannot go to long without raping their customers. It’s like a need they have and must fulfill! “Must overcharge users…. Must stoppppp themmm…” (Sprint Guy) lol. Their is probably a free app to do this only better and why should I update and have my voicemail screen be used up by a button I’m not going to pay for later! They want to charge for everything and their worse than the banks with fees!

    Reply
  • Avatar of DCLocal

    I don’t consider this raping the customer. It’s a new service with a free trial and NO auto sign-up to snag you into paying for something you don’t want.

    Yes there are free apps that do the same thing and Google Voice is hard to beat, but there is a lot to be said for the tight integration Sprint’s offering appears to offer. I’ll give the trial a whirl and if they can offer it for $2-3/month and the service proves itself, I could see myself signing up.

    Reply
  • Avatar of Terrell Washington

    IF YOU WANT IT NOW GO TO YOUR VOICEMAIL > HIT MENU ON YOUR EVO > GO TO SETTINGS > THEN CHECK FOR UPDATE AND BAM THATS IT

    Reply
  • Is this safe for root users?

    Reply
  • I use You Mail but I have a Google Voice Number. I didn’t know Google Voice had free transcription. You Mails you have to pay for also and I got a trial but it wasn’t so great. I don’t care that much about this feature. But if it worked well then maybe.

    Reply
  • Avatar of BrettC

    So, I did the update and now my VVM icon is the ugly “stock” icon. I used to have the more attractive green one that looks like a message box/window that came with both Fresh and Man’s Warm ROM.

    Any idea how to get it back?

    Thanks…

    Reply
  • Avatar of Tiradora

    When i tried to uninstall it, it popped up in my icon bar as mandatory and would not go away.

    Reply
  • Avatar of Tiradora

    Personally i am not interested in this service. Google has the same issues with transcription. With that said i will be one of the folks that will not complain, as i suspect it should be gone soon. However i do not feel it has to be a mandatory “upgrade.” As i have noticed in the market(since recently updating to the latest 2.2) is that some items are “checked” for automatic updates. Facebook was one of them. :/

    I already receive emails and flyers. I recently stopped the sprint texts…sadly since the update Sprint Zone(i now have 2 for some reason) has a mind of its own and it MUST have something checked or it will run at will..which it already does. As i have told them, i appreciate the updates and concerns however Mandatory “marketing” is not how to win me.

    Reply
  • I have had Youmail on my Evo and my Pre before and it works fine for me.. never had to pay anything

    Reply
  • The transcribing on google voice is just as bad. But at least its free and google has said they are going to make it better. Google voice is way better than sprint. I will keep using gvoice unless sprint wants to offer this service for free.

    Reply
  • Avatar of Office Ninja

    Yeah, its called Google Voice and its free ;)

    Reply
  • Avatar of Fr. Intervention

    I, too, have been using Google Voice for transcription, but it is horribly inaccurate….much worse than PhoneTag, which was remarkably accurate for me. I hope people will keep posting comparisons between Google Voice and the Sprint system. BTW, anyone know when Google is supposed to improve the system?

    Reply
  • Avatar of Greg l

    For people who have updated:

    Did Sprint make the actual voicemails sound any better or at least louder? I stopped using Visual Voicemail and went to Google voice because I couldn’t stand how crappy the Sprint voicemail messages sound. Google’s don’t sound awesome but at least they are loud enough for me to hear without putting the speakerphone to me ear! :o)

    One other annoying thing about using Google voice for VM is that my Spring VVM still auto-activiates itself and is freq listed in my Running Programs.

    Reply
  • Avatar of FifthE1ement

    The worst part about this update is that even when you install it and finish or don’t want to trial the text for it never goes away! You now have a big button and text asking you to sign up and there is no way to disable it! WTF? I checked the settings figuring there has to be a way to disable this huge button and the annoying way it looks. It basically destroys the voicemail app forcing me to download an alternative such as youmail. Why are they making this permanent and so obviously annoying?

    Reply
  • Sort of my feeling. I doomed you all with my e mail to Jenn telling her about this the other day. I often go through my phone looking for some new features and I found this…poop. Sorry folks. I tried to install it to moi avail. Somewhere in the phone it knows the update is there. Tried clearing the data for voice mail, among many other things and could not get the mandatory update notice. Please let everyone know if anyone discovers a way to revert back without the annoying notification.

    Reply
  • Avatar of Persnlmgr

    DO NOT GO TO SETTINGS ON YOUR VVM!!!!

    I was blissfully using VVM the last few days knowing this was out there… but it was not asking me to (demanding I) upgrade. The SECOND I hit the Settings button in VVM I was screwed. As it’s mandatory, once you hit settings you are SLAMMED into the upgrade. You can’t say no, you can’t cancel, you can’t back out.

    At least there IS an option asking if you want to try the transcription service. I said NO so it’s not asking anymore, but there is now a stupid bar on every VVM I listen to asking if I want to transcribe it.

    Blecccccchhhhhhh. Sprint does it again!

    Reply
  • Avatar of Persnlmgr

    (I just posted this on that string…)

    Hello? Sprint? Are you listening? CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?

    This is total ********. Now, every time I listen to a VVM, I’m faced with a stupid box that asks me if I want to use this new service (free for a month…guess you get what you pay for, eh?).

    If you want to upgrade my VVM for a technical repair or update, great, bring it on. But if you’re going to make an update MANDATORY, and the only reason for that update is to SLAM me into using some new service that’s really just a way for Sprint to line it’s pockets, that’s just not cool. And, as we all know, these transcription services are usually SO inaccurate they’re useless!

    After years with AT&T, I dumped my iBrick and got the EVO. I really didn’t take into consideration anything else about Sprint other than the phone, but in 6 months have grown to find Sprint giant leaps ahead of AT&T and Verizon in many ways, mostly how well the phone actually works as a phone.

    But between the Sprint Bloat that came on my phone, the really shoddy customer service, and (now) things like this VVM debacle, you’re losing me…

    CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?

    Reply
  • I’d say you are way off base with the shoddy customer service, they are the most improved in customer service, sense coming from verizon this really is not something to throw such a fit over, as verizon would Jack up or bill by ten dollars every month in the hopes we would not catch it. Grass is always greener…

    Reply
  • Avatar of persnlmgr

    Say what ever you like, but “most improved” is faint praise, indeed. I guess you’ve never tried getting simple answers from someone at the Sprint 800 line.

    Reply
  • I’m not going to e-bicker with you, but me, personally, has had a pleasant experience with Sprint. I take it you’ve not had to deal with vzw or t-mo customer support? If you have, you either lucked out or noticed both companies could not care less about helping a customer. :shrug:

    Reply
  • Avatar of gr8wayn

    Exactly. Gee, let me think. Pay for the service through Sprint or use Google Voice and get the same thing for free?

    Reply
  • Hi i have been trying to do this update & it tells me update is unsuccessful.. so this has been going on for the past 2 days. how do i get rid of the little icon telling me to update if i cant even get it to update!! help please… also my phone is rooted does that cause any problems with updates from sprint?? Candy

    Reply
  • Agree had VZW for 15 years dropped like a hot rock when EVO came out (even glady pad cancel fees), customer service has been great so far infact had a billing issue and they did not credit me like VZW on next bill they actually reduced my bill while I was on phone with them and when i went to pay online the amount was $ 10.00 less imediatly. I also like that the VVM is free unlike VZW they charge extra, can live with the bar asking for free trial no biggie.

    Reply
  • It IS a raping, because when you say “no” they keep on asking you until they can slip it in and there’s no way to get them to stop asking you…

    I accidentally hit the subscribe button with my ear when I was listening to a vm because the subscribe query pops up like 15-35 seconds into the vm when your ear is by the phone. I’m trying to figure out how to unsubscribe right now.

    Reply
  • PS I just figured out hoe to unsubscribe:

    Voicemail app –> menu / Settings / Unsubscribe

    Reply

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