Skydeck just yesterday released a new version of its service with the tag “your cell phone, online,” and it’s already getting some positive feedback in the blogosphere.
Skydeck launched a beta version last June, but this week’s release includes more bells and whistles. The company has been working on it for the past two years, said CEO Jason Devitt, who previously founded Vindigo, one of the first U.S. companies to publish content and apps for mobile phones.
In a nutshell, the Skydeck service allows consumers to see their voice mail, text messages, calls, contacts, the last time they talked to a contact and more, right from the desktop. Users also can make notes about conversations and store them, and they can have voice mail transcribed through SpinVox.
The problem with data on the cell phone is it’s trapped on an island and difficult to integrate voice calls with other things, Devitt said. You can hop back and forth on a desktop between Skype, Google Mail and other things, but you can’t do that on your average phone.
Consumers can make calls from Skydeck as well; VoIP calling is integrated. The system will use the cell phone number so the person being called recognizes who’s calling. That way, people can use the same phone number whether they’re at or away from a desk.
Skydeck is targeting “anybody who lives and dies by their phone,” including lawyers, sales people, realtors, consultants, contractors, plumbers and more, he said.
Plans start at $9.95 a month; another option that includes unlimited calling from Skydeck goes for $29.95 a month.
With free calling, does Skydeck anticipate any push-back from wireless operators? Devitt said he’s be very surprised if that happened because the service will appeal to some of the carriers’ most important customers, and it offers features that operators currently don’t offer. It’s also another reason for customers to use text messaging and other services, he said.
“What we’ve done is bring together a set of technologies that I think no one has brought together before to create a brand new kind of service,” he said.
Skydeck’s solution works with just about every cell phone, but the full set of features requires a BlackBerry or Android phone. A Windows Mobile version is in the works. For those who don’t currently have a BlackBerry or Android phone, Skydeck can collect, with the end-user’s permission, data from cell phone records.
The company has not tried to build a full-scale unified communications solution, but it does offer a set of APIs that would allow a third party developer to build such applications.