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.22.214.171.124 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.
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:
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!