Liz Gannes

Recent Posts by Liz Gannes

Pinger Adds Voicemail to iOS Calling and Texting App

While even the most basic phones come with a phone number and the ability to send text messages, an increasing number of people are choosing alternatives such as Google Voice and Pinger.

Some do so to avoid a phone and contract entirely, pairing those services with an iPod touch or other device. Others use the alternative services to add a second line to their cellphone or to avoid pricey text message charges.

On Wednesday, Pinger said it is beefing up its iOS service with the addition of voicemail.

As with all Pinger apps, it’s free and ad-supported. Existing users who want to use voicemail will be asked to ditch their old Pinger app and download a new one.

Pinger, which has 15 million users overall, is most popular on iPod touches. But interestingly, 30 percent of Pinger users are on smartphones, according to Pinger co-founder Joe Sipher.

The market for services that replace the traditional ones provided by the carrier is growing, with apps like WhatsApp and Touch quietly becoming some of the most popular downloads in the market.

Voicemail itself has been seen as a potential beachhead for so-called “over-the-top” services. French carrier Orange released an iOS app that replaces the iPhone’s built-in voicemail app with one that allows users to record separate messages depending on who is calling.

AllThingsD’s Ina Fried contributed to this report.

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