Many cell phone carriers and paid premium service providers offer a voicemail-to-text transcription service for your cell phone. For example, Sprint offers Android users voicemail-to-text transcription for $1.99 a month. This handy feature allows you to read your voicemails, rather than listening to them, which is handy if you are in a crowded or noisy area or some situation where you can’t be on your phone. For Sprint Android users, you can choose from Sprint’s paid service, or you can opt for a free alternative, such as Google Voice. However, some users have professed a certain amount of trepidation when it comes to accepting Google’s terms of service. Given the vast amount of data that Google archives and analyzes for demographic and advertising purposes, these worries may not be totally unfounded.
The only challenge to getting Yap up and running on your Android phone is that some carriers block it from the Android Market. For example, Sprint doesn’t allow you to download the Yap Voicemail app from Android Market as normal, likely because they want you to pay for their service instead. If you aren’t on Sprint, you can simply search for Yap Voicemail on the Android Market and download it for free.
If you are on your Android phone right now, try visiting this link:
If you are on Sprint or another carrier that blocks Yap Voicemail on the Android Market, you can still get it. First, allow your Android phone to install apps that aren’t from the Android Market by going into Settings > Applications and tapping Unknown Sources.
Next, point your Android browser to http://www.mediafire.com/?7yd1eg43pxa398e to get the installer.
After installing Yap Voicemail, you’ll be given the option to automatically re-route your voicemail to Yap. Yap will call your phone and take care of all the technical details. Afterward, you’ll have to record a new voice greeting, even if you already had one setup with your existing voicemail box.
From there, you’re all set. Yap Voicemail will begin transcribing your voicemails to text for you. No need to set up forwarding rules or get a new phone number.
As far as accuracy, Yap is fairly impressive. Preliminary tests showed it getting the words right about 90% of the time. This is in contrast to Google Voice’s performance when it was first released, but Google Voice has been getting better over time.
If you decide that Yap isn’t for you, you can go into the Yap settings and uncheck Enable/Disable Yap. Or, you can dial *38 on your phone to clear any forwarding rules that Yap set up.