Voicemail company Callwave recently introduced a new service that allows mobile phone users to screen their calls as if they are using an answering machine. Technically Callwave replaces your carrier's voicemail system and adds a few twists, including the screening feature. After sending a call to voicemail you get a call from Callwave that lets you listen in on the caller. You can then choose to either cut in and talk or let the caller continue to leave a message.
The basic version of the service is free and according to Callwave is going to stay that way. The free version does limit messages to 1 minute and conversations after picking up a screened call to 20 minutes (since the conversation is going through Callwave). A pro version for $3.95 a month ups message limits to 3 minutes and has no limit on connected call time.
Features of both packages include:
In a quick test of the service, we were impressed. The ability to screen calls and receive voicemails in email were our favorites, as all cell phones already include the ability to transfer calls. It has the features of a normal voicemail system and isn't dragged down with ads, despite being a free service. If you use more than one phone, each will need configured for the service. Entering in a sequence of numbers does it and Callwave gives another sequence to restore your carrier's voicemail.