The Future of Voice Apps is HereLaura Rich
Decades ago, you picked up your phone and on the other end of the line was an operator who could help you reach whomever you so desired.
These days, it’s easier -- and a lot more complicated. Now, you can connect directly, but there are more options than ever. In addition to talking over a basic landline, you can talk over radio waves through your cell phone. You can even talk using the Internet.
More than ever before, there are many products and services to accommodate your phone experience. There’s no shortage of apps for the iPhone and BlackBerry devices. You can get services that to turn voice to text and vice versa. You can have a centralized phone number, and so much more.
From voice memos to call recording
The first step in exploring this new world is to understand what some of the new products will do for you. Here's a quick guide to help:
Visual voicemail. This is far less "Beam me up, Scotty" than it sounds. It simply refers to a reference list of voicemail messages, showing when they came in, who called, or a transcript of the message.
Group conferencing. An easy way to have a group call with friends and family members instantly.
Voice memos. This product is essentially a tape recorder on your phone, allowing you to leave audio reminders for yourself. The iPhone added this feature in a recent upgrade.
Voice-to-text. Using speech recognition software, voicemails and voice memos are converted into text, giving you a readable record.
Call recording. Just like companies who inform you that “This call may be recorded,” this product offers you the ability to do the same. Just make sure you inform the person on the other end of the phone, unless they do so first.
Protecting yourself from risks
It will still be a few years before these new technologies find their way into our everyday lives. Until then, say experts, enjoy them and their conveniences with caution. Here are a few ways to protect your privacy and data:
Follow standard password protection guidelines. Access to voice-based data is no less worth protecting than your text-based data. Remember to use a password that is difficult to guess, and never give it out.
Watch your language. If you have remaining concerns that your voice records could be accessed, be sure to limit your discussion of sensitive information, and abstain from revealing private information such as Social Security, bank account and credit card numbers.
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