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RingPlus Users Can Now Record and Translate Calls and Limit International Call Costs

At CES this week new Sprint MVNO RingPlus announced "In Call Apps" which provide three optional new features to all RingPlus users:
  • Phone Booth: Lets you set a limit on the cost of international calls. At the start of an international you tell the system  how much money you want to spend on the call. When the limit is reached the call is automatically ended. Hopefully you get some warning and a chance to extend the call rather than being disconnected mid-sentence. 
  • Recall: This is a phone recording and transcription app which emails you and the other party an audio recording and speech to text transcription of the call. The other party is notified that the call is being recorded so you should get their permission in advance. RingPlus cautions that recording soMeone without their permission is illegal.
  • Cloud Translator: Machine translation of calls between English and an another language. Spanish, German, Russian, Mandarin, French, and Italian are currently supported. Both sides of the conversation are translated so you can have a conversation with a someone who speaks one of the supported languages without you knowing their language or they knowing English.
In call apps have to enabled by the user on their RingPlus online dashboard before they can be used. Once they are enabled, they can be engaged by pressing ** during a call. To disengage an in call app press #.

According the RingPlus, select users also have access to a fourth in-call app named "Asha" that  lets them engage and dis-engage the other apps by using a voice command instead of pressing keys.

Phone Booth, is free, other than the normal cost of the international calls. Recall and Cloud Translator are a rather pricey 45¢ per minute. I don't have a RingPlus account and haven't tried any of these apps. However, based on using things like Google Voice's voicemail transcription and Google Translate, I fear that the speech to text and especially the real-time language translation are going to have quite a few errors. Real-time machine spoken language translation is considered one of the hardest problems to solve in computer science and efforts to date tend to be more unintentionally amusing than useful.

If you have a RingPlus account and you try any of the in-call apps, please let us all know how well they work in a comment.

RingPlus has more information about the in-call apps on it's Website and user forum.

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  1. Cool, but when will RingPlus be able to do something very basic, like Call-Waiting?

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