SEATTLE, April 8, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Innovative new ways to manage phone calls are making inroads on our nation's roads. RealNetworks, Inc. (NASDAQ: RNWK) is rolling out a new version of LISTEN, an app available to T-Mobile and MetroPCS customers enabling users to activate music sharing and status messages for their callers to hear as they wait to connect. The 2.0 update introduces a new DRIVE module, as well as additional customization options. Since its April 2014 launch LISTEN has witnessed strong growth, with its active subscriber base growing by 244 percent in the last six months alone.
According to research from the National Safety Council, distracted driving is at fault for 26 percent of the nation's car accidents, with 21 percent of accidents stemming from a simple phone call. With DRIVE, LISTEN aims to keep the attention of smartphone-addicted drivers away from the phone and on the road, driving these percentages closer to zero. When enabled, LISTEN detects when users are driving and plays an automatic message back to their callers: "Thank you for your message. I'm driving now. I'll contact you as soon as I can." In addition, users can also opt to send an automatic SMS text message response—allowing drivers the ability to safely communicate to family and friends that they're on the road and can't take the call.
"With DRIVE, we're helping our users keep their focus on the road while LISTEN handles the phone, eliminating the urge to reach for their devices as soon as the initial ring sounds off," said Max Pellegrini, president of RealNetworks' Products and Marketing division. "The additional updates we've made are aimed at giving users more control of when and where their phone rings while keeping callers in the loop with customizable status messages that can even be synced to a user's calendar."
Other new features from the 2.0 update include:
- Custom status messages: Make it personal and create a 30-second custom status message to play back to specific callers when busy, for anyone from mom and dad to work colleagues and best friends.
- Recurring status messages: Android users can save time and peace of mind by scheduling a recurring status message or automatic text message.
- Calendar integration: Android users can sync LISTEN with their calendars, keeping their schedules transparent with incoming callers. For example, if a user's calendar notes that they are in a meeting, LISTEN will automatically: a) play back a pre-set status message to callers, b) send an automatic text message to callers and texters, or c) do both.
- Geofencing: When enabled, the geofencing feature allows LISTEN to automatically set a status message for callers based on location. For example, while at the gym, LISTEN can now automatically let callers and texters know that someone's busy in yoga class for the next thirty minutes.
All features from the 2.0 update will be available for both LISTEN standard and premium subscribers. LISTEN is currently available to both T-Mobile and MetroPCS customers on iOS, Android, and Windows phones.
Not on T-Mobile or MetroPCS? Visitors can leave their email address on LISTEN's website to be notified once LISTEN is available on more carriers here.
From RealNetworks, the pioneering company that originally brought streaming video and audio to the web, LISTEN is the first direct-to-consumer smartphone app that allows consumers to quickly and easily customize their callers' experiences using the mobile call paths. With LISTEN, users can replace the traditional 'brrng brrng' that plays as calls are waiting to connect by assigning songs for them to hear or leaving status messages explaining why they can't answer the phone. It also incorporates music sharing and productivity tools. LISTEN is currently available in the United States, Germany and South Korea.
About RealNetworks, Inc.
RealNetworks creates innovative products and services that make it easy for people to connect with and enjoy digital media. RealNetworks invented the streaming media category and continues to connect consumers with their digital media both directly and through partners, aiming to support every network, device, media type and social network. Find RealNetworks corporate information at www.realnetworks.com.
RealNetworks and its respective logos are trademarks, registered trademarks, or service marks of RealNetworks. Other products and company names mentioned are the trademarks of their respective owners.
SOURCE RealNetworks, Inc.