It is 2017 and while technology steadily advances itself year after year, two areas never really get touched. We saw the introduction of visual voicemail with iOS and Android, but there hasn’t been much innovation after that. For instance, Apple just added a transcription service in iOS 10, but it still carries a beta tag and doesn’t perform that well. Moreover, another big problem facing communication would have to be spam calls and telemarketers. This is not all bad news, though, there is hope at the end of the tunnel, and it is YouMail, an interesting application that offers a free tier and a paid plan.

YouMail does not just give you the voicemail you have always dreamed of and fix the spam call issues, but it brings a sense of intelligence to calling. It combines a virtual assistant, powered by a strong AI presence, that aims to help you spend more time doing what you want and to get work done faster. YouMail does not just add your name to the “Do Not Call” list, but it does something about this.

Since using the application for a few days, I have stopped getting the usual array of calls that includes me winning a luxury cruise that turns out to be nothing. YouMail calls it “SmartBlock,” that not only stops these spam calls, but these calls will not even show up on your phone. Once that phone numbers dials yours, which happens in just milliseconds, YouMail checks if that number is a spam one based on thousands of numbers in a database. On top of this YouMail’s patented technology knows what patterns to pick up on and key signs that it is spam.

Once the app detects an incoming spam call, it blocks it from hitting your phone and stops it from calling you in the future. Also, if a spam call does get through you can report it as just that, and it will not happen in the future. YouMail has data to back this up— in 2016 alone they blocked over 500 million spam calls.

This data stems from their RoboCall Index, which was created by YouMail to show how much of a problem this is. However, there is also a solution for consumers, small businesses, and even the large telecom companies. Amazingly enough, the data keeps growing at an alarming rate, and it can be frustrating to see just how many robocalls there are. While the number of calls did dip at the beginning of the year for the first two months, it is now climbing back up the hill. For instance in the United States for March 2017 there were an estimated 2.5 billion calls which means each person can expect to get seven calls.

Even better, YouMail fixes this issue of robocalling, spam calling, and telemarketers—really, however, you call it, this application can provide the fix. You can even choose the level of blocking, either aggressive or moderate. The difference here is that aggressive will block all known spam calls, while moderate will only prevent verified spams from calling on that list. Even better when the blacklisted caller attempts to reach you, they will get a message saying the number out of service. You can even customize the response they get back, and this moves us nicely into another sweet feature of YouMail.

The other big area that has been lacking innovation is of course voicemail, and while Apple has taught Siri a few tricks when it comes to it, there is not much change there. YouMail reinvents the voicemail game by adding intelligence to it. You can program different responses for different callers, quickly respond back to individual calls, and access your message from just about anywhere. YouMail’s eye-popping feature on the voicemail side of the house would be the “Smart Greeting” which can intelligently pull the name of the person calling and state it back in the voicemail message they here. It will even let them know who they have reached and politely say that you are unavailable. There are also several other pre-recorded messages, like one that says your number is out of service and one that is more professional. These can come in handy if you are using the service for a work phone or a professional one. Plus, the number out of service message can works wonders with telemarketers. You can even create a message that will let the party know when they can reach you next or how to reach you best.

YouMail creates a seamless experience that thoroughly enhances communicating on a smartphone in 2017. I also think that while this service is invaluable alone for the blocking of robocalls, for a small business the customizable voicemails plus all the other features like free and simple conference calling make it a grand slam.

You can get YouMail’s basic visual voicemail for free, while they offer a premium plan that features the robocalling blocking and all the other great features at $12 per month (or $120/year).

This post is sponsored by YouMail, but the opinions here are that of NJTechReviews.

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