There are some very good Voice 2.0 services available to help you be more productive and efficient in your work and one company that I chatted with back at CES in January is TalkPlus. I tried out their TalkPlus Mobile service late last fall and in the winter, primarily using their Java client on my T-Mobile Dash. TalkPlus also offers a long distance calling service with 4 options for those with and without a PC to make calls. TalkPlus Mobile's Java applciation was a good solution, but Java is not as integrated in Windows Mobile (actually it is a separate 3rd party application) so the interface and experience wasn't that great. I was sent some information from Andy Abramson on a new Nokia S60 application that allows you to use TalkPlus on supported 3rd Edition devices.
I have been trying it out for a few days on a Nokia N95 and Nokia E61i and have posted several screenshots from both devices in this TalkPlus S60 image gallery.
This new application is a HUGE improvment over the previous utility and the seamless integration with your device will have you using TalkPlus Mobile more and more. TalkPlus Mobile allows you to place calls from your mobile device and mask the outgoing number to one of your other verified numbers. The current beta program lets you choose a local "virtual" number so you can select to have outgoing calls show your mobile number or new TalkPlus number. You will soon be able to add up to 10 phone numbers to your profile so you could place a call from your mobile phone and have it appear as if you are calling from the office.
The TalkPlus "virtual" number can also be used for incoming calls and after speaking with the TalkPlus CEO, Jeff Black, I think TalkPlus will serve a great purpose for those of us that travel to foreign countries. On a few recent trips I took to London, Spain, and Mexico I thought I would go to each country and then buy a pre-paid SIM and pop it into my phone to make and receive calls. However, the SIM has its own number so you would have to let everyone who you want to receive calls from know your temporary number and people in the U.S. would have to make international calls so I gave up on that idea. With TalkPlus you can give out your "virtual" number and then receive calls with any SIM as long as you have the S60 TalkPlus client installed on your device. You could also do a mashup of TalkPlus and GrandCentral like I discussed back in February.
The TalkPlus S60 application allows you to place calls, check your voicemail, access your phonebook, view your call history, setup a conference call, and manage your account. The voicemail display shows the phone number, date, time, and duration of the message that was left on your TalkPlus number. If you select to listen to your voicemail then the TalkPlus voicemail box number is called and you are taken directly to the selected voicemail message. You can also have voicemail message alerts sent to you via email or SMS with download links directly to .wav files of the messages. TalkPlus is not a free service and current rates are 2.7 ¢/minute for US domestic calls and US$6.99/month for the first number with each additional number costing US$1 less.
You will need data services enabled on your device since wireless data is used to pull down call history and voicemail data from the TalkPlus servers. An unlimited account may not be necessary, but make sure you don't go over your alloted data since those costs can get quite high.
While TalkPlus supports international calls, this feature is not yet enabled on the S60 mobile client. It will be coming out in later versions of the beta though so stay tuned for that functionality. There are charges for international calls and I recommend you check out their rates for more information. They advertise that you can save up to 99% on mobile international calls.
The more people that beta test and provide feedback on the application, the better it will be when the full version is released. If you have a S60 3rd Edition device, then I recommend you sign up for the beta that will give you US$30 credit to use for domestic calls during the beta trial period.