At a Glance
- Lets you manage multiple contacts and services; sleek look and easy to use
- Invites all of your contacts to join you by default
Stay in touch with all your contacts on all your services with this free utility.
Note: This review addresses v126.96.36.19953 beta of
Managing your contacts and communications can be a full-time job
in itself. The latest version of VoxOx, a free service that works
in conjunction with a free application, certainly can make the job
easier. VoxOx unifies most of your contacts and your communications
services, allowing you to stay in touch with (almost) everyone,
almost all of the time.
VoxOx lets you handle both inbound and outbound communications;
it sets you up with a free phone number that people can use to get
in touch with you, and lets you stay in touch with your
contacts–using the services through which you already communicate
with them. The latest version of VoxOx, which is still in beta but
widely available, is being called the “new VoxOx.” And it does
sport a whole new look and feel. The interface has been smartly
redesigned, featuring a clean look that wisely places the emphasis
on your contacts.
Once you sign up for a free VoxOx account and download the app,
you begin by adding networks; available options include AOL’s AIM,
Facebook, Google Talk, Skype,
Twitter, and more. You simply provide your login info, and VoxOx
imports all of your contacts from each service to your account. Be
warned, however, that the application’s default setting is to
invite all of your contacts to sign up for VoxOx, too. You should
uncheck this option if you want to avoid sending out dozens of
unsolicited invites like I did.
Chances are, you’ll have the same contacts on various services.
VoxOx will create multiple contacts for these people, but the new
VoxOx allows you to merge them, albeit manually. Luckily merging
contacts is an easy process–nothing more than a simple drag and
drop–but I do wish the process had been automated.
Once your contacts are added, you can chat with them, send them
text messages, send a fax (if they have a number), or initiate a
VoIP call right from within VoxOx. The new VoxOx even lets you
switch between various forms of communication, while still
retaining a unified message window, with a threaded view of your
conversation. That means that if you start chatting with a contact
via Facebook, but find out they’re turning off their computer, you
can switch over to communicating with them via text message. Making
the switch is as easy as selecting an icon on your VoxOx window,
and the message looks the same to you, not matter where your
contact receives it.
Like past versions, the new VoxOx sets you up with a personal
phone number, but the new version allows you to select your number.
This makes it easier to find a local number, although it’s worth
noting that VoxOx does not offer phone numbers in all area codes.
For example, I live outside of Boston, and VoxOx did not offer
numbers in my area code, though I was able to select one with the
617 area code used in Boston itself. You can initiate a VoIP call
using VoxOx on your computer, and the new VoxOx adds the ability to
make VoIP calls from any phone, such as a landline or a cell phone.
Calls made over this service, called VoxOx Call Connect, can be
initiated from the desktop app, via SMS, or by dialing a number
from your cell phone or landline.
Also new in the new VoxOx is voicemail transcription, which is
handy when you can’t listen to messages. It translates voice
messages into text, and delivers them to you as it would any other
text-based message. Overall, I found it to be pretty accurate,
though not perfect–which is to be expected.
VoxOx offers a handy way to stay in touch with lots of people
and on top of the many social networks we use. If you can get
through the setup without setting out dozens of unsolicited invites
to use the service, you’ll find there’s little not to like about