Ovolab Phlink Adds Network Caller ID Announcements — Ovolab’s Phlink is a USB device that plugs into your phone line and, when bolstered by the Phlink software for Mac OS X, enables all sorts of fun telephony-related functions triggered by receiving a call. The recently released Phlink 1.5 adds a particularly cool and welcome feature that I’ve been wanting for a while – network caller ID, where a copy of Phlink running on a Mac connected to the Phlink device broadcasts caller ID information (you must have that service from your local phone company) for incoming calls to all other Macs running the Phlink software on the local network.
It’s a brilliant feature and seems to work fine. The only confusing part is that the Phlink software erroneously implies, during installation, that it won’t work without a Phlink device attached. One solution might be to have Phlink ask if it should install in minimal, network caller ID notification-only mode, if it doesn’t detect a Phlink device during initial setup. The network caller ID notification is limited to a transparent window that appears and then disappears; the remote copy of Phlink doesn’t seem to log the fact that a call came in or perform any actions based on the remote notification.
The primary competition for Phlink is Parliant’s PhoneValet, which offers a roughly similar set of features for handling incoming calls, though PhoneValet doesn’t yet have network caller ID notification. [ACE]