With Android being so open, users have the ability to choose a third-party app or service for their phone dialer and to handle their voicemail. YouMail is one of the options that's out there. It boasts many features, both in its free and premium tiers, including a way to report callers as spam, and keep robocallers from calling you for good. Blocking pesky robocallers is something that many companies are working towards implementing, including carriers, but YouMail already has it available. If you're looking for a better way to deal with voicemails, then you may want to give YouMail a try, since it is called a "voicemail replacement".
First up, you'll need to activate the service, after you have installed it on your smartphone. Now it's important to note that your wireless carrier will need to allow for call forwarding, as that is how YouMail works. In our testing we found that Project Fi does not allow call forwarding, and therefore YouMail doesn't work with Project Fi. But with most postpaid plans, it should work just fine. YouMail walks you through the setup process pretty easily, and then tests calling your phone's number to be sure that it is working properly before taking you to your inbox.
When you open up YouMail, you'll be taken directly to your inbox. This shows you all of your voicemails at a glance. From here you can select a voicemail to read or listen to, since YouMail does transcribe voicemails for you - keep in mind that it is not perfect, so there may be some issues with the transcription. YouMail does allow you to flag messages, as well as batch delete voicemails. So if you want to simply get rid of everything in your inbox, you can select all and delete everything. Now in the message view, you have a few options as well. Besides playing the message, you can also choose to call the person back, send them a text message, or forward the message to YouMail support. This is useful in case you need help. Although you can also share the voicemail with someone else. Finally, there is an option to block the caller, so you never need to hear from them again.
YouMail does allow you to use different greetings. There are many greetings that are already available, which the caller will hear when they reach your voicemail. But you can also opt to record your own if you wish to do so. YouMail also allows you to see who called you, and it'll also show for each call, whether the user left a message or not. YouMail also has auto replies available. Which the user can configure to send to the caller every time someone calls, or sometimes. You can also choose whether to reply via text or email (or both). YouMail allows you to also create multiple auto replies, but that is part of YouMail Professional and is a paid upgrade.
As far as blocking spam, YouMail has Smart Blocking. This works with their own algorithms as well as Robocall Blocking to intelligently block spam callers from getting through to your smartphone. This is great for those that get loads of spam calls on their smartphone. All of the blocked calls will be sent to a "number disconnected" recording, which should (in theory at least) get the spam callers to stop calling. Now if there are numbers that you want to have blocked, you can also opt to manually block these number(s). Which you'll need to head to directory.youmail.com and type in the 10-digit number with area code to have it blocked.
There are also a few interesting conference call features included. One is Smart Announce, which allows YouMail to record your name and information once and use it whenever you join a conference call. There's also Smart Summary, which is aimed at making it easier to follow up with conference call participants afterwards.
- Speed (4/5) - YouMail ran pretty fast, although it was a bit slow to get things activated.
- Features (5/5) - The app is full of great and useful features. And the addition of Professional and Plus features make YouMail even more useful for users.
- Theme (4/5) - It could definitely use an upgrade in the UI department. But everything is functional, and that's what you want from a voicemail app.
- Overall (4.5/5) - A pretty decent offering for replacing the voicemail app on your smartphone.
- A great tutorial for helping to get things setup and activated out of the box
- Great ways to keep spam callers out of your smartphone
- Getting voicemails forwarded to your email can prove very useful for busy folk
- A bit of a dated UI, but still usable.
- Doesn't work with all carriers (that's a bit out of their hands since it relies on call forwarding)
YouMail may not be everyone's cup of tea, there are plenty of other voicemail replacement apps on the market already, but YouMail makes a great case for being the one that you should be using on your phone these days. YouMail has done a great job at adding plenty of features for users in their free tier, making it so that users aren't forced to upgrade to their Plus or Professional tiers which cost $5 or $10 per month, respectively.