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If you’ve ever wished you could get more out of your data in your mobile phone, you should check out Skydeck. Its new web interface, launching today, shows you your call history, text messages, your phone’s address book, tied together with useful premium features like voicemail-to-text recording and transcription, and the ability to call or text anyone else from your computer, using your mobile number. All of this information is displayed from your phone to Skydeck in real-time.
Skydeck sees your phone as a separate world of data, cut off from what you do on the web. By bringing your phone onto your computer, it helps you integrate this data with the rest of your online work. You can also import contacts into Skydeck from Gmail, Yahoo Mail and Hotmail, or from social contact aggregator Plaxo. Skydeck is most tightly tied with Blackberry and Android handsets. If you update an address on either device or on Skydeck, the information will be automatically updated on the other service. This address book also shows you information like who you talk to the most, and who else these users are connected to within the Skydeck service. In the future, the company may also look at integrating information from other sites, like social network Facebook.
Skydeck also lets you organize this information using tags to categorize calls and texts, as well as leave notes for yourself about those conversations. Its search feature lets you find everything from contacts to texts, transcribed audio clips and notes.
The catch here is that other devices aren’t completely supported, although Skydeck says two-way sync and real-time updates are on the way for Windows Mobile phone users. Most prominently, Apple keeps a tighter lid on third-party access to its data than some other device-makers, so Skydeck may take up to 24 hours to display information from your iPhone. That’s analogous to not being able to read your last 24 hours of email within an email client, and it’s why this iPhone owner is somewhat disappointed with this very useful-looking service.
Skydeck’s previous version, launched in private beta testing last March, has offered some of these features already. You provided Skydeck with your mobile number and your password for your carrier’s web site. Then it collected your account billing information from the carrier, and organized your call history in a web interface. A use-case, then, was being able to monitor how many minutes or text messages you had left in your mobile plan. Skydeck also rolled out some social features in June, like a way to categorize your address book based on who you call most, and a developer application programming interface, to let others access Skydeck data. It launched publicly at our MobileBeat conference in late July, and took home the prize for “boldest idea” — carriers have historically made it difficult for users to make this much use of their calling data, although Skydeck says that more than 20 of them have shown interest in its service.
The full service, for $29.95 a month, gives you unlimited calling or texting from your phone through Skydeck, it gives you unlimited voicemail recording and voicemail-to-text transcription, and an unlimited number of contacts. The basic service costs $9.95, charges 3¢ per minute per call and 20¢ per transcribed voicemail. For those looking to make international calls, they’ll have to use another calling service from their phone for the time being, although Skydeck plans to offer that service eventually.
San Mateo, Calif.-based Skydeck has raised $3 million from Saban Ventures.
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