Review: PhoneAmego

Improve use of iPhone & Google Voice (September 11th, 2009)

A small utility program designed to improve the use of your cell phone and your Google Voice account.

MacNN Rating:

ratingratingratingratingrating

Product Manufacturer: Sustainable Softworks

Price: $20 US

The Good

  • Excellent integration.
    Simple, easy to use.
    Very good help.
    Inexpensive.
    Includes Phone Amego Scripts.

The Bad

  • Enabling the text services in Snow Leopard is obscure.

PhoneAmego from Sustainable Softworks is a small utility program designed to improve the use of your cell phone and Google Voice account. Unfortunately, Google Voice is only available in the US at this time.

When PhoneAmego launches, it does not appear in the Dock, but a small blue menu appears in the status menu on the right side of your menu bar. The self-explanatory menu items in PhoneAmego include Call, Preferences, Help, Check for Update, and Quit. You should check for updates often, because the developer is very responsive to user feedback.

open window


Status menu


The main PhoneAmego feature is its integration with Google Voice. PhoneAmego installs an Address Book plug-in that lets you make a call directly from your Address Book. You enter your Google Voice account details into PhoneAmego's Preferences, and choose the Dial with PhoneAmego option on phone numbers in the Address Book. When you select that menu item, both your phone and the recipient's phone rings, and when you both answer, you are connected.

Address Book


Address Book


PhoneAmego also provides a text service that you can use in Snow Leopard.

Services Menu


Services Menu


Unfortunately, you have to enable it yourself by navigating through a series of Preference screens. The path to initiate Services is: System Preferences to Keyboard preferences to Keyboard Shortcuts to Services to Text. The PhoneAmego Help mentions this feature, but I wish that there was a more direct way to enable this feature. Once you've turned this on, you can select a phone number in most applications, and control-click on the text, and see a Dial with PhoneAmego menu item. Alternately, you can copy the text, choose Call in the status menu, and paste the number into the dialog.

Preferences Menu


PhoneAmego Preferences


PhoneAmego also integrates with your Bluetooth phone; it's second big feature. Once you've paired your phone with your Mac, PhoneAmego reacts whenever your phone interacts with your Mac. When your phone rings, a Growl-like window appears on your screen. If the caller's name and number exists in your Address Book, it displays on screen.

You can enable monitoring in a checkbox in the Preferences, so that PhoneAmego monitors the status of your phone on your Mac. PhoneAmego knows when your phone enters or leaves the Bluetooth range of your Mac, when an incoming call arrives, when you answer a call, and when the call ends. PhoneAmego runs Phone Amego Scripts when any of these events occur, and comes with several useful scripts that you can use as-is, or modify for your use. Two included script include: Lock your computer when the phone moves out of range and Mute iTunes when an you answer an incoming call.

You can purchase PhoneAmego through Kagi for $20. It requires Mac OS X 10.5 or later, and works fine on Snow Leopard, Mac OS X 10.6. A 21-day trial version is available for download on the site also.

Edited by Ilene Hoffman, Reviews Editor

by Marshall Clow


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