Its basic service converts voice mail into text messages and then sends them directly to a mobile phone along with your e-mail account. With this product, you can see who has called you and even what they said in a convenient list. The iPhone only lets you see who called; it doesn't convert the voice mails to text.
While SimulScribe works with business-class devices, there hasn't been a solid option for non-smartphone users until now.
Jumping on the visual voice mail bandwagon are Action Engine and Acision. Their new service works on Brew, Java, and Windows Mobile phones, encompassing a large swath of handsets in the market. It supports on-device message access, which lets people play the audio of the message on the phone's built-in media player; a visual interface that includes the date and time of the call, urgency, and caller information as available; full voice mail management, including message archiving and deletion; and one-click return calling.
I have to admit, the visual voice mail feature of the iPhone is certainly appealing. It saves time by letting you skip to the voice mails that are important, rather than forcing you to go through each message before listening to the next.
None of the major carriers announced plans to offer this service from Action Engine and Acision, and they did not make it clear how consumers would take advantage of it. Empowering everyone with this service, though, should be a natural step in the evolution of mobile services and not be restricted to people willing to pay $600 for an iPhone or other enterprise-supported device.