Google’s transcription is “total crap” says PhoneTag CEO in Gadgetell interview

Sections: Communications, Email / IM, Features, Interviews, Mobile

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I just got off the phone with the always entertaining James Siminoff and he is freaking thrilled Google Voice is getting in the voice mail transcription game. This morning, Google announced GrandCentral would morph into Google Voice and its feature spec was upgraded to include a host of new gadgets, one of which is voicemail transcription.


Voicemail transcription is an awesome service that listens to your callers voicemail, converts it to text then sends it to you via email or SMS. This has saved me hours of listening to callers ramble on and gets me to just act on their message so much faster. I like it so much, I wrote about it back in May saying I love GrandCentral and PhoneTag working together. It is great that Google agreed with me.

Who moved my cheese?

Siminoff awoke to chatter on Twitter this morning suggesting his company died during the night. He suggests bloggers give too much credit to Google. “Category killer? Hardly! From a fear factor side, I don’t see Google moving my lunch. They are getting into a biz they don’t understand. l laugh at that.”

This morning, NYT’s David Pogue reportedNTY, “Companies like PhoneTag, Callwave and Spinvox already transcribe voice mail, complete with punctuation. They’re great, but they cost money. Google Voice is free.” Pogue along with others, have painted a tough picture for PhoneTag to compete with the likes of mighty Google. Does this worry Simonoff?

“If you are such a pussy that the idea of Google entering it is going to wipe you out, you don’t belong in the entrepreneurial world,” says Siminoff. If anything, the CEO says Google’s move is going to help the company, big time. “Having Google enter this market, validates transcription in a way that hasn’t been done before. Transcription will now matter to carriers.” Carriers has been a target for Siminoff’s for sometime as getting them to move has taken a while. Siminoff expects to share big news about carriers in the coming months.

“Total crap”

So what makes Google Voice so different from PhoneTag? Core technology says Siminoff. PhoneTag boasts the highest accuracy by far. Siminoff says he’s played with Google’s transcription and it is “total crap.” “They’ve got no core tech. Goog 411 is totally different, not a launch pad for voice mail transcription. We are way ahead of everyone else.”

Siminoff says he’s thrilled Google is in it. “Now I have someone to show our tests against and the clout to say we are better than Google.”

Company site: [PhoneTag]

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  • Portland Real Estate

    Im excited for Google Voice, and I have been ever since I heard that GrandCentral was being purchased. Its going to be nice to have a single unified communications point. If business accounts are available, I could even see switching my real estate agents over to the service.

  • JG Mason

    Great idea about business accounts and you've got to figure that Google is considering that. I've forwarded my business line to the new Google Voice and so far, it is working flawlessly.

  • Blazer

    Actually the highest accuracy is, they use human transcribers.

  • goosmoo

    I just saw this article today. FWIW, Google Voice has worked flawlessly for me, including the voice transcription. I wonder if the PhoneTag ceo is still as nervous about GV as he was when that article was posted. 😉

  • Frugy

    PhoneTag may have the highest transcription accurary but Google Voice is F-R-E-EEEEE… and does a decent job…