announcements

Rolling Out a Stack of New Features and Smart Phone Capabilities with Burner 3.3

We’re on a mission at Burner – to build a better, smarter phone number.  

Today we’re rolling out a stack of features and updates, including a new Google Sheets Connection for text and contact exporting, a new-and-improved Slack Connection, exciting new VoIP and tablet capabilities, and a number of other enhancements including bulk message actions and an easier way to connect Burner to IFTTT and Zapier.

New Connection: Google

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We’ve been thrilled by the response to our recently launched Connections platform (original blog post).  The best part of it is seeing how people use the various connections, in particular our Developer Connection – which lets users connect Burner to any webhook-enabled web service.  A number of people wanted to pump incoming Burner texts into Google Sheets, which they enabled via Zapier (recipe), so we decided to make that integration native.  

Now you can directly authorize a connection to Google from within Burner, and all incoming texts are automatically added to a new Sheet as they come in, with all new contacts being added to a separate tab.

We’ve overhauled our Slack Connection as well, affording greater control over how teams can use Burner from within Slack.  Now you can connect a Burner to a Slack channel (where any team member in the channel can see or reply) OR connect to Slackbot, which lets you use Slack as your personal texting client with Burner numbers.  We’ve also refreshed our commands around a “/burner” syntax.

Our users have been coming up with lots of interesting uses for the Slack connection, from customer service to public Q&A’s – and we think all companies interested in talking to customers by text should give this a try.   Hit us up with questions or comments at 310.919.5060 if you want to experience it yourself.  We’ll hit you back via our Slack 2.0 connection.

Finally, we’ve made it easier to connect Burner to IFTTT and Zapier – two services that let you create hundreds of custom recipes across dozens of services.  Want to flash the lights when you get a voicemail, or text your thermostat a new temperature setting? Just navigate in the app to the Developer Connection and you’ll find new links and walk-throughs.

In-App Calling, Powered by VOIP

Perhaps the biggest feature we’re rolling out starting today is a new capability allowing users to control whether calls come in and out via their underlying carrier phone (which is how Burner has historically worked) or calls are made and received within the app itself (via VoIP).  This lets users choose the call flow they prefer and makes Burner much more useful in wifi-only situations, on tablets, across multiple devices, and even internationally.

It's something many users have asked for, and we hope will love.

Burner In-app calling (VoIP) options are available today on Android and will be rolling out on iOS over the next few weeks.

 

 

OTHER NEW THINGS

Number Picker:  Now you can choose from a list of possible numbers and pick one that is easy to memorize. The devil may be in the details, but so is satisfaction.  You choose a local number that suits you, and isn’t that the way things should be?

Bulk delete and mark-as-read:  Many of us use Burner to avoid large numbers of unwanted calls and texts, all of which occupied inbox real estate and generated unnecessary “red ball” notifications on the app icon.  Now you can clear these with bulk actions that let you mark-as-read or delete large batches of messages.  (From within a line or the “recent messages” context, just pull down to see these options.)

Offline support:  Burner now offers better support for reading your messages offline too.

Of course these features join many others, including text auto-replies, bot replies, custom photo backgrounds and line colors, message reminders, and so much more.


We are building phone numbers from the future.  The future isn’t taking what you get and making do - the future is about choice, flexibility and utility.  We are relentless about bringing the future of phone numbers to our customers, and Burner connections,VOIP and the many improvement we’ve made to the latest version of Burner are collectively a big step forward. Check it out here.

 

Download Burner today!

Hello? It’s The Future – your phone numbers are here!

Introducing Burner Connections - connect your phone number to Dropbox, Evernote, Slack, SoundCloud, and more to follow.

Introducing Burner Connections - connect your phone number to Dropbox, Evernote, Slack, SoundCloud, and more to follow.

***UPDATE: Burner Connections is now available on Android!

We’re running our lives almost entirely through the phone these days.  SMS has become the new email, with more important communications than ever going through that inbox.  And we each have a constellation of software and apps we use in our everyday lives that you might call our “personal OS”. 

But phone numbers have remained static and one-dimensional. While our devices and operating systems keep getting smarter, carrier-issued phone numbers, with their basic calling and texting features unchanged in years, have failed to keep pace.

Today we’re introducing Burner Connections, an innovative new platform that enables phone numbers to be smarter, do more, and connect better to the rest of your stack.  This is a major step for us as we evolve from thinking about Burner numbers as a privacy tool to thinking of them as next-generation phone numbers that empower our users to take control of their identity, privacy, and productivity.  

Along with Connections come a number of other new features, including much-requested premium subscription lines.

Introducing Burner Connections

You’ve heard of apps for your phone… Burner Connections are like apps for your phone number. Connections let you link phone numbers to other applications you love, enabling them to do things they couldn’t do before, like sharing voicemails, automatically saving picture messages, letting your whole team answer text messages, or even creating your own SMS bot.

Here, watch an overview:

 

The four integrations we’re rolling out today are:

  • Slack, which allows you to set up a phone number whose incoming messages will be routed to any channel you want, and which anyone in the channel can reply to

  • Dropbox, which auto-archives voicemails and picture messages (both in- and out-bound) to your Dropbox

  • Evernote, which lets you use the Evernote notebook UI to set up your own SMS bot — each note’s title acts as a text command that returns the contents of the note

  • Soundcloud, which auto-posts voicemails to your Soundcloud account and is great for creative and content-generation use cases.

 

Let’s take a deeper look at Dropbox - a Connection with use cases ranging from personal to business. Once you log in and authorize your account, Burner automatically creates a folder in Dropbox that will save a copy of every voicemail and picture message you receive as long as the Connection on your Burner number is toggled to “ON.”  Archive those sweet happy birthday messages from your relatives, or share business-related pictures with a colleague… whatever your need, your phone number is no longer an island separate from the rest of your software.

Read more about our Dropbox Connection.

 

The Slack Connection is really cool - one that we see a huge amount of potential for in the workplace. When you connect Slack to your Burner number, all incoming texts and voicemails are routed to the designated Slack channel. And anyone in the channel can reply from within Slack.  It’s a great way to have an office or team phone number that multiple people can monitor, and a simple way to extend the team workflow to include text messages.

Read more about and test out our Slack Connection.

 

Evernote might be the most exciting of our Connections – it lets you build an SMS auto-response bot. Say you’re a musician, an Airbnb host, or a teacher, and people often text you with the same questions. When you connect your Burner number to Evernote using Connections and choose an Evernote notebook, Burner magically turns your number into a bot that anyone can text.  The title of each note acts as a command, and Burner will instantly reply to texts with the contents of the note.  You can even customize a welcome greeting for first-time visitors to your bot.

Read more about our Evernote Connection.

 

The Soundcloud Connection is still in the experimental stage and was built to show the power of social networks and SMS when combined. Once you setup the Connection, any voicemail you get on your Burner number will be automatically shipped over to your Soundcloud page and converted into an audio track on your profile. You can set these to be private or public by default. Check out how one band is using the Soundcloud Connection to power fan engagement here..

Read more about our Soundcloud Connection, try it out for yourself, and check out a case study.

 

Burner Premium lines

More and more members of the Burner community use their numbers for business and other important projects. So much so that longer-term, auto-renewing Burners have been one of our most-requested features. So we’re really happy to be releasing Burner Premium today as well.

Not only will your Burners auto-renew without your having to remember to buy credits and renew your line on an ongoing basis, but you’ll also get unlimited calls, texts, and picture messages for a great low price. Subscriptions will start at $4.99 a month and will be managed through iTunes in-app purchases.

Of course you can still buy and renew Burners in various a-la-carte configurations if you prefer to, and you can “burn” a Premium line any time just like any other Burner.

 

Search, Photos, and More

Got a conversation going with a colleague, but can’t remember whether an important piece of info is an email, Facebook, or Burner thread? Well now you can find it easily.

The newest version of Burner takes advantage of a great new capability introduced in iOS 9.  You’ll now be able to search your active Burner conversations from anywhere on your phone, by pulling down the Spotlight Search bar.

Finally, we’ve introduced new options for customization that let you upload your own background header photo to any Burner line. Alongside being able to customize the color, we think this is a really nice way to map your phone “identity” to whatever project you’re using it for, and to keep multiple Burner lines differentiated in ways that make sense to you.

Hello?  Is it me you're looking for?

Smarter phone numbers that are free and nearly free, that you can get on demand and that act like software, being programmable and connected to the rest of your stack. And you don’t have to go through a carrier to get them.  We’re pretty sure this is what the future of the phone network looks like .

We can’t wait for you to check out the new Burner and hear how you’re using Connections, and what improvements you'd like to see.  Please let us know in the comments, on Twitter via @Burner, or in the Burner team's text-enabled Slack channel at (323) 457-5241.

 

More on Burner Connections: