It’s hard to believe but PhoneTray is over 6 years old. PhoneTray Free 1.0 was released on October 18th, 2003. We were working on PhoneTray Free for all those years but other things always had higher priority. A big part of the problem is that PhoneTray Free is free. We get only 3-5 donations per month and we have to work on other projects and do consulting work to make money. That’s why new versions of PhoneTray are released not very often lately.
I know that many of you like PhoneTray and a lot of people find it useful: PhoneTray Free was downloaded over 2 million times and has (as far as I can tell) at least 50,000 active users. I want to assure you that we are committed to PhoneTray and want to continue development. I believe it’s our mission to save the world from telemarketers or run out of money trying 🙂 We are working on the new, designed from scratch PhoneTray software that will be much better than PhoneTray Free. Here is what we are planning for the future:
PhoneTray Pro is a direct successor to PhoneTray Free. It will do everything that PhoneTray Free does and will have improved interface and many new features. Below is the list of major improvements over current PhoneTray:
- Automatic blocking of thousands of known telemarketers and phone scammers. Phone Pro will use our www.phonetray.net online database to block calls from phone numbers that telemarketers and phone scammers use. You will get automatic protection right away without manually adding numbers that you want to block.
- Built-in answering machine. PhoneTray Pro will have built-in voice mail system that you can use instead of your answering machine. PhoneTray Pro will protect its voice mail from robocalls, so you won’t get recorded messages left by computer autodialers.
- Network support. PhoneTray Pro will run on the computer that has dial-up modem connected to the phone line, but you will be able to get call notifications on any other computer on your local network.
- Call recording. You will be able to record phone conversation when needed or automatically record all calls from selected numbers.
- Direct modem access. PhoneTray Pro will work with modems directly without using Windows TAPI driver. This will improve caller id decoding and solve many problems with incompatible modem drivers.
We are planning to sell PhoneTray Pro packaged with the Hiro USB voice modem for $45-$55 or software only for $25-$35.
PhoneTray Web will use the same core software as PhoneTray Pro but with the web-based interface. Small client software that uses your dial-up modem to monitor incoming calls will have to be installed on your computer, but everything else will be done on the web. Your data will be safely stored on our server, encrypted and password-protected. You will be able to access call log, voice mail, contacts etc. using your login/password from any computer connected to the internet. PhoneTray Web will automatically block telemarketers and phone scammers like PhoneTray Pro but will offer some additional features:
- Voice mail with web access. As PhoneTray Pro, PhoneTray Web will have built-in voice mail system plus you can check your messages from any computer.
- Web-based phone book/contact list. You can add your contacts to the web-based phone book and the contact info will show up on incoming calls. You will be able to synchronize your contact list with other services like Google Contacts, Yahoo! Contacts and (eventually) with your iPhone, Blackberry or Android phone.
- Web-based privacy management. Like PhoneTray Pro, PhoneTray Web will automatically block thousands of known telemarketers and phone scammers. In addition, you will be able to change all privacy settings, create your own blacklists and whitelists, select zap messages etc. on the web.
- Email and instant messenger notifications. You will be able to get incoming call notifications on your MSN Messenger, ICQ, AIM, Yahoo! Messenger and Google Talk. Also PhoneTray Web will be able to send you an email when a call comes in or when a caller leaves voice mail.
We are planning to offer PhoneTray Web service for $3-$5 per month. We will also offer a starter package with Hiro USB voice modem, client software and 3 months of service for $30-$35.
We need your feedback!
There are only 2 of us who develop PhoneTray and we need to concentrate on one of those projects. What do you want more, PhoneTray Pro or PhoneTray Web? Eventually we want to have both but we have to finish one of them first.
Please vote and leave your comments. Tell us what you think about PhoneTray Pro and PhoneTray Web. Tell us what you want to get from PhoneTray in the future. Your comments are always welcome!