Google Voice only gets better with launch of mobile app

Google Voice only gets better with launch of mobile app

Summary: Google Voice was already a game-changer when it re-emerged a few months ago with a new look and some new features. Now, with the addition of mobile apps for Blackberry and Android phones (of which there are expected to be many more later this year), the service becomes that much more powerful.

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TOPICS: Telcos, Google, Mobility
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Google Voice was already a game-changer when it re-emerged a few months ago with a new look and some new features. Now, with the addition of mobile apps for Blackberry and Android phones (of which there are expected to be many more later this year), the service becomes that much more powerful. (Interestingly enough, there was no iPhone app for Google Voice. Hmmm.)

As much as I like the Google Voice service, it's true that the experience has been less than perfect. The transcription of voice messages, for example, is so far-from-perfect that I don't even rely on it. But I'm also not losing sleep over that. It would be nice if Google could beef it up - but I'm glad that the company is focusing on other things instead - like these mobile apps.

For some time now, I have been using my Google Voice number as a find-me-anywhere work number. When someone calls my GV number, it rings in three locations - my cell phone, home phone and office phone. No matter where I am, that call reaches me. But I've resisted using it as my new mobile number, largely because there was no real way to make calls from my existing cell phone and have my GV number appear as the Caller ID number.

As a side note, SMS text has never been a problem - I can send and receive text messages using my GV number on my Blackberry and recipients see the text as coming from my GV number, not my cell number.

But phone calls were a different story - until now. By using the app, users can dial directly from within Google Voice and the recipients will see the GV number pop up.

In addition, the mobile app also integrates with the contacts on my Blackberry so I can better communicate with the folks who are in that address book. On the Google Voice Web application, the service integrates with my Gmail address book already and allows me to customize the settings, such as a specific ring tone for some callers.

The invitations for Google Voice have been out for some time now - and the company is slowly inviting people to get their own numbers, including a cool new feature that lets people use words to select their own vanity number - something like (408) CALL-SAM. (No, that's not my number.)

I've seen some chatter this morning about Google becoming a phone company - but I think that's a bit misleading. Google is providing a phone number - but not phone service. To use Google Voice, users still need access to phone service somewhere - whether it's work, home, cell or even your mama's house. Without an actual phone to ring, Google Voice is nothing more than a single-number voicemail service (which is perfectly OK for some people, too.)

When it comes to Google Voice, the telecoms shouldn't feel threatened. People like me are still paying for landline and mobile phone service - even if our Google Voice number is the only one we're giving out.

Also see: Dumb wireless pipe wars: Google Voice coming to BlackBerry, Android

Is the public debut of Google Voice just around the corner?

Google upgrades GrandCentral, launches Google Voice

Topics: Telcos, Google, Mobility

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12 comments
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  • How do you send SMS through your Blackberry?

    While reading your review, you mentioned that you have been able to send sms messages through Google voice on your phone? Might I ask how? Were you using the web-app or is there some other nifty trick that it would be fantastic to know about?

    It wasn't until I got GVMobile and could send SMS from my iPhone that I really started to get excited about Google Voice.
    Rob Oakes
    • re: SMS

      Actually, I should offer some clarification on this point. The functionality in the past had been limited to REPLYING to text messages, not SENDING.

      For example: A (non-GV-using) friend sends an SMS text to my GV number. When I reply from my phone, it appears to come from my GV number.

      When I initiate a text to a fellow GV user (I have a few in my address book), it automatically comes from my GV number - and vice-versa.

      With the new apps, you can now initiate an SMS directly from your address book with a new "Send SMS from Google Voice" option.

      For what it's worth, you could also initiate an SMS through the Web UI to send from your GV number.

      Hope that helps...
      SamDiaz
  • advertisement??

    Seriously? The article does not contain neither any substance, an explanation, or an analysis why mobile app affected GV. Just plain advertisement that pretends to be a technical news. Did you really take three people to write it?
    pupkin_z
  • Just got the Android app...

    ...I must say this is pretty interesting. Forget carrier based visual voice mail. You can have it on any phone they support now. I know Google is an agile company but imagine if they would have had this type of stuff for the Android launch.

    I'm off to lunch to play with Google Voice.
    storm14k
  • iPhone App

    There's a Google Voice iPhone client available now from Riverturn.

    Check it out here: http://www.riverturn.com/iphone/VoiceCentral.php
    kduerr
  • WinMo app?

    Hey what about us poor WinMo users?

    Additionally, I think Gvoice is the opposite of what I want. I think I want multiple phone numbers that ring on one phone. Who has a home land line phone anymore anyway?
    Colorado_AL
  • RE: Google Voice only gets better with launch of mobile app

    hmmmm, its on my iphone so i don't know what the article is talking about
    nytenor@...
  • Blackberry app is an A-

    It's good. Real good. Not perfect, but functionally correct.
    jfederline@...
  • WinMo app

    GVdialer (www.gvdialer.com) has worked well for me on my Fuze. It's not free but does have a 30-day trial period. They also have an iPhone client.

    www.google.com/voice/m works for phones other than Blackberries and Android-based ones but is a pain to use.
    Donbl
  • Portability

    Many years ago, the first time AT&T Wireless was "AT&T," I got a great, easy-to-remember mobile number. Now, I have a company-issue mobile, so that phone and number are sitting unused.

    I would love to be able to port that number to Google Voice, preserving the number and ditching the extra mobile line. I'm stuck with it in a service contract for now, but it's only costing me $9 a month.

    Can a number be ported to Google Voice? Do they have plans to allow such?
    Quinletc
    • Yes, I think so

      I have heard that the next step is allowing users to port their existing
      mobile number to GV for a fee, but no concrete details. Even if that
      rumor is false for now, it's a logical step for anyone in the phone biz, so I
      would be surprised if google was not working on this feature.

      FWIW, the VM -> SMS/email is pretty spot-on in my experience, at least
      to the point that I get the gist of the question. being able to read VMs,
      research the answer and respond without bringing the phone to your ear
      is a HUGE timesaver if you are meetings most of the day.
      Gritztastic
  • RE: Google Voice only gets better with launch of mobile app

    ejztua,good post!
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