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RIM Introducing BlackBerry Visual Voice Mail

Gordon Kelly


RIM Introducing BlackBerry Visual Voice Mail

We admire RIM for many things, not least its brave attempt to push into the touchscreen sector with that most Marmite of handsets, the BlackBerry Storm. That said, isn't this a little too close to the 'sincerest form of flattery'?

BlackBerry smartphones - beginning with the Bold - are getting Visual Voicemail. That's right, just like the iPhone Visual Voicemail - except it's called 'Visual Voice Mail'. Ahhhhh...

Unearthed by those BlackBerry undercover hounds BGR, we learn that the feature will arrive with the Bold's OS firmware update for US handsets on AT&T. Quite when this will happen is currently unknown, as is whether the admittedly handy feature will be appearing on any other BlackBerries (surely it must do eventually), or on other US or international networks.

Personally I suspect the path to seeing it on O2, Vodafone, T-Mobile, Orange and 3 will be rocky as RIM doesn't bully its providers in the same way Apple enjoys. That said, if one network can be persuaded it may provide just the differentiator that will see others follow suit. Watch this space...

That out the way, I feel I've earned the right to rant about something now: the stupid name. There is nothing 'visual' about Visual Voicemail/Voice Mail. Just because you can play, pause, rewind and scroll through a seek bar doesn't make it visual. You can do the same with tracks on any MP3 player or modern handset going and we don't call that 'visual music'!!

*Bangs head against the desk* (one time, for real, for added emphasis).


via BGR


January 20, 2009, 11:22 pm

Don't see why network adoption should be a stumbling block - presumably RIM would provide the requisite software at the network end, so the networks' costs should be small.


January 20, 2009, 11:25 pm

@John - it causes a HUGE problem. Like you I initially questioned why but had it out the mouth of telcos themselves (who didn't get the iPhone) saying it is a logistical nightmare and a major put off.


January 21, 2009, 3:17 pm

@Gordon - thanks for the response. I didn't realise it would be so problematic! I guess in that case O2 has the jump on the other networks given the ground work they have already done to get VVM working with the iPhone. I'd guess the others will be keen to catch up so as not to be seen as lagging on features. Also, I'd imagine this feature will be something other phones will all be emulating before too long, so it is an expense every network will have to swallow at some point if it wants to remain feature-competitive.

To be honest I don't see why it has taken so long to get VVM - it is something I thought years ago was an obvious enhancement - rather than your phone telling you just that you have voicemail, it would list out unheard (and saved) messages by time and duration, using caller ID where available to provide information on the person leaving the message, linked to your address book where listed. Relatively straightforward from a pure software point of view. The only issue I foresaw was the chicken and egg issue of needing both handset and network support, which I guess is why it took the might of Apple to strongarm networks into implementing VVM if they wanted to offer the iPhone.


January 21, 2009, 8:38 pm

@John - agree completely, just wish it wasn't called 'Visual Voice Mail/Voicemail' !

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