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SlyDial officially launches with premium service, handy shortcuts

SlyDial launches its shady voice mail service. If you've ever wanted to leave someone a message without having to call and talk to them, this is for you.

SlyDial, a straight-to-voicemail call serviceI covered back in early April, has opened up its doors to everything this morning after undergoing three months of beta testing. New on Monday is a premium service heavy users can subscribe to in order to get all the perks of the service without having to listen to the in-house ads that run before connecting you to a call. There are a few plans available: either a 15 cents per call one-time fee, or a $4.95 monthly or $29.95 yearly plan, which only makes sense if you think you're going to be sending more than 30 SlyDial calls a month.

More useful might be the new quick-dial functionality included for registered users. You can add any contacts from your phone book and have the service automatically connect you to their voice mailboxes. It saves you from having to enter the number or make a phone call in the first place; it'll simply call you instead.

I still hold true to what I said about SlyDial in my initial hands-on. It's a potentially evil service for people who misuse it (see the guy in the video embedded after the break), giving anyone the excuse that they "tried to call you" without having to approach actual conversation. That said, it can be wonderfully convenient if you want to send someone the equivalent of a voice text message without interrupting what they're doing.

SlyDial is a creation of Mobile Sphere, the same folks who did Joopz, the PC-to-mobile phone text-messaging service and Webware 100 2008 finalist.

SlyDial now lets you plug in your contacts and be connected with them just by clicking the SlyDial logo on the left. CNET Networks