When Lazaridis was putting so much emphasis on voice, maybe he shouldn’t be putting all his eggs in one basket. Given, that’s pretty unfair to say about the God of Hybridization himself, but hear me out. We’ve got two software releases from WES that are butting heads to provide voice-to-text conversion for BlackBerrys, which would seem like a step backwards if we’re to run with RIM’s current focus on voice.
First on the list we have SpinVox, launching Voice-to-Screen Messaging Service. After converting your voice mail to text and e-mailing it to you, the software links up with your address book, so you can reply by SMS, e-mail or phone.
SimulSays can provide the exact same functionality. On its own, SimulSays organizes your voicemails in a convenient UI, and it’s free to boot. But you need SimulScribe, a service thatâ€™s been around for awhile already, to transcribe your voicemail to text on your mobile so you can read it later through SimulSays.
So far, RIM’s been making fixed-mobile voice convergence a matter of including more voice functionality, but with software like this coming out, the data facet of BlackBerrys can offer huge growth in the other direction. Sure, BlackBerry users need voice, but we’ve got a QWERTY keypad jammed on our face every time we make a call; we use these products for the text. The enterprise integration is good, but data functionality still has a role to play and needs to be weaved in there with the voice, otherwise it’s just call forwarding.
Most interestingly, “the launch comes after RIM executives trialled the SpinVox Voice-to-Screen product on their own BlackBerry smartphones and immediately saw the benefits of receiving their voice messages converted to email.” RIM knows this is something they need to get working on. At this point, as ever, it’s just a matter of time.