Google Voice

Posted by: John Rougeux

Google Voice - 07/10/09 07:57 PM

So today I got an email from Google inviting me to use Google Voice.

Quote:
Welcome to Google Voice! Google Voice gives you a single phone number that rings all your phones, saves your voicemail online, and transcribes your voicemail to text. Other cool features include the ability to listen in on messages while they are being left and the ability to make low cost international calls. To start enjoying Google Voice, just give out your Google Voice number. You can record custom greetings for your favorite callers or block annoying callers by marking them as SPAM. Just click on the settings link at the top of your inbox. We hope you enjoy Google Voice.


I have mine set up but haven't used it yet. Anyone else get an invite?
Posted by: carp

Re: Google Voice - 07/10/09 08:25 PM

So how does this work ? Is it free
Posted by: John Rougeux

Re: Google Voice - 07/11/09 05:16 AM

It's free.

I haven't done a lot of research or used it yet, but apparently you can select a number from a list and assign 1 or more phones to ring for that #.

So, I assigned my cell phone to that number. Someone calls the # google gave me (after I give it out) and it'll ring my cellphone.

I guess it's good for when you don't want to give out your real number just in case, say for businesses, online friends, etc.
Posted by: Jim_

Re: Google Voice - 07/11/09 08:22 AM

That's interesting, I'll check it out. I wonder how that works when it hits the voicemail, which one would it go to I wonder. I'll play with it and find out.
Posted by: Jim_

Re: Google Voice - 07/11/09 08:26 AM

Okay, you need an invite, bummer. I signed up for one.
Posted by: John Rougeux

Re: Google Voice - 07/11/09 09:46 AM

If I could send out invites, I would. I'll keep an eye out on that.

Ok, I tried the Call feature. You click on Call in your browser and this pops up:

Click for full size

I put my home phone in the Call box and it rang to my cell phone. I answered my cellphone and then my home phone rang. Caller ID on my home phone showed my Google phone number.

I am starting to see some potential here.
Posted by: John Rougeux

Re: Google Voice - 07/11/09 09:54 AM

I just tested out calling the phone number. When you call, a recorded voice asks you for your name while Google tries to connect.

So when I answered my cellphone, it said the recorded name (my name) and asked if I wanted to connect or send to voice mail.

I sent it to voicemail and then left a test one.

In about 15 seconds, I got a text message saying that I got a voicemail and it had the message I left in text form!

Here is the voicemail on the website:

Click for full size
Posted by: Jim_

Re: Google Voice - 07/11/09 09:58 AM

Thanks for the info. Pretty neat with the voicemail recording.

What happens if you don't answer, does it go to your voice mail on the cell or home phone, or both?
Posted by: John Rougeux

Re: Google Voice - 07/11/09 10:05 AM

Good question. Going to try that now.

Some tips they provide:
Tip: To answer calls without having to press "1", turn off call presentation
Tip: Create groups of contacts to apply the same phone rules to several callers.
Tip: Add callers to your address book and Google Voice will read you their name without screening them.
Tip: Tag annoying callers as spam and their calls will go straight to voicemail.
Tip: Press "2" on your phone while listening to a voicemail to return the call.




Posted by: John Rougeux

Re: Google Voice - 07/11/09 10:08 AM

Ok, if I don't answer the cellphone, it says I have one missed call. It then rang my home phone (the number I was calling) and I answered it.

A recording said "press 1 to disconnect, press 2 to leave a voicemail". I pressed 2. It then said "are you still there? Press 1 to disconnect, 2 to leave a voicemail". Pressed 2 again. Got a response of "I'm sorry you are having difficulty. Goodbye"

So that sounds like a bug.

This time I'll let it go to voicemail on the home phone.
Posted by: John Rougeux

Re: Google Voice - 07/11/09 10:13 AM

Ok, when I didn't answer the home phone, after about 30 seconds I got a voicemail on my cell. All I heard was a ring, one time.

My home phone got a voicemail too but it's that automated voice from Google that, if I didn't know that I was doing this, would confuse me.
Posted by: Jim_

Re: Google Voice - 07/11/09 10:20 AM

Okay, so it seems it doesn't ring them all at once, it must try one then the next. That would make sense.
Posted by: John Rougeux

Re: Google Voice - 07/11/09 10:23 AM

This is nice: Tip: Share a voicemail by emailing it to any email address through the "More" menu.
Posted by: John Rougeux

Re: Google Voice - 07/11/09 10:25 AM

Well, you can have it set to ring just one (which I do) or add phones. I'm not sure why it rang my home phone after I ignored the cell.

But then I thought about it and decided that I wouldn't be ignoring my cellphone if I was the one making the call..duh! So then that confusion of the voicemail wouldn't be a problem.
Posted by: John Rougeux

Re: Google Voice - 07/11/09 10:45 AM

Some other screenshots;

Settings:

Click for full size

Widgets:

Click for full size
Posted by: carp

Re: Google Voice - 07/11/09 11:42 AM

Humm

Looks like a tie in for Google Android phones ? Looks like a nice supplement if you have standard cell phone service like I do , real basic service

But ?
Doesn't smart phones like iPhone/mobleMe and Blackberries/Exchance , already do most of that stuff ? I dunno I don't have one
Posted by: John Rougeux

Re: Google Voice - 07/11/09 12:41 PM

I don't think they do everything like this.
Posted by: macbeemer

Re: Google Voice - 07/13/09 03:58 PM

I just got the invitation and completed my set up, giving my home number. I figure i can check my home voicemail toll free when I'm on the road.
Posted by: Jim_

Re: Google Voice - 07/13/09 05:23 PM

You got one? They don't like me.
Posted by: FSM

Re: Google Voice - 07/14/09 06:25 PM

i've had it since last week. i had my wife call me and had my cell phone and home phone assigned . . . they both rang. i answered with my cell and it stopped ringing on the home phone.

you can also press 4 during a call to record the conversation. this is nice if someone is giving you info (e.g., a phone number). something else i like is that when my wife and i finished, i could look up our conversation and see the date and time of the conversation. it had her name (since i had an extension address book already in Google for Gmail, i guess) and number and the length of our call.

i am going to start using this number full time when folks ask for it.

i like that you can choose the number you want. i think i spent 20 minutes finding one that would be easy to remember. i noticed that one prefix available in my area was 843. that spells THE. when i lived in Lawrence, Kansas i had a phone number that was 843-2378 -- THE-BEST. unfortunately, all 843 prefixes started the next for digits with a 1 and 1 doesn't have a letter assigned. so i picked something else. ah well.
Posted by: macbeemer

Re: Google Voice - 07/15/09 06:46 AM

I'm not really sure how best I can use this. I think I could have pick a number from the other end of the country to make it cheaper for western friends and relatives to call me. However, I'm still not sure I want folks to have all that much access to me all the time. I can see through some of the available custom configs how it might be good to set this up to ring all my phones to give out to a doctor's office while waiting for lab results, or to FedEx while waiting for the next delivery (like they call before not delivering) or to my wife who may need some help, but I don't think I need to have universal access, and I'm not sure I need to have this level of tune-ability over my phone commo. We'll see.
Posted by: FSM

Re: Google Voice - 07/15/09 01:26 PM

most people who use a cell phone don't even think about long distance any more.

and, if you attach this to your home phone then you can make long distance calls using Google Voice with your home phone and drop long distance from your home phone as you don't need it any more. i just realized this . . . i think i'll drop our long distance today.
Posted by: macbeemer

Re: Google Voice - 07/15/09 03:27 PM

Originally Posted By: FSM


and, if you attach this to your home phone then you can make long distance calls using Google Voice with your home phone and drop long distance from your home phone


enlighten me - I'd love to be able to call my Dad for free
Posted by: carp

Re: Google Voice - 07/15/09 03:42 PM

Originally Posted By: macbeemer
Originally Posted By: FSM


and, if you attach this to your home phone then you can make long distance calls using Google Voice with your home phone and drop long distance from your home phone


enlighten me - I'd love to be able to call my Dad for free


Me too , I cannot see Google doing that for free ?
Posted by: macbeemer

Re: Google Voice - 07/15/09 04:33 PM

OK - I think i have it. Export your address book contacts (if you want to) as vCards. then import them from the desktop into your Google Voice contacts. Then you have your home phone set up as one of your google phones, and choose a long distance number to call. You have google dial the other guy, and in the "call" window, it states it will connect you for no charge. It then rings your home phone, and you hear the other number ringing and then they answer. I just called my Dad. I will use this carefully until i see my next phone bill. Remember, Skype was free for the first year...
Posted by: carp

Re: Google Voice - 07/15/09 05:28 PM

Thats what I was thinking a Skype thingy

Its gotta cost Google something to do this and if its free theres a catch somewhere or it's coming soon
Posted by: Jim_

Re: Google Voice - 07/16/09 12:04 AM

There's a few ways to talk long distance for free or near free. Our cable company has a plan for $30 a line all the features and free long distance.

Skype to Skype is still free. Skype to US and Canada landlines and mobiles costs but it's only $2.95 a month and they allow 6 hours a day, 10,000 minutes per month.

Below is a nice wireless Skype phone, works with Mac, of course it requires you be near a computer but at least you're not tethered to it by headset or speakers and mic. I can walk outside and around the house with the phone, about 20-30 feet from the computer it works well.

http://www.dealtime.com/xPO-Keyspan-CORDLESS-VOIP-PHONE-SKYPE
Posted by: FSM

Re: Google Voice - 07/16/09 10:50 PM

yeah Beemer, i think you have it. John outlined it in an earlier post:
Originally Posted By: John Rougeux
Ok, I tried the Call feature. You click on Call in your browser and this pops up:

Click for full size

I put my home phone in the Call box and it rang to my cell phone. I answered my cellphone and then my home phone rang. Caller ID on my home phone showed my Google phone number.

I am starting to see some potential here.
if the Google number is showing up on caller ID then i'd guess that the long distance is not being charged to a different number. and Google specifically states that any money needed in your account is only for international long distance rates (which are low, fwiw). i am pretty confident that this would work as i described for free.

EDIT: The image even notes that "Google will call . . . for FREE in the USA"
Posted by: John Rougeux

Re: Google Voice - 07/17/09 06:51 AM

Vonage doesn't charge you for long distance either.
Posted by: macbeemer

Re: Google Voice - 07/17/09 07:07 AM

Originally Posted By: John Rougeux
Vonage doesn't charge you for long distance either.


Right. But isn't there a charge for the overall service?

edit:

Basic 500

$17.99/Month†
Includes 500 Minutes within USA & Canada
Additional minutes only 3.9¢/minute
Posted by: John Rougeux

Re: Google Voice - 07/17/09 07:22 AM

yeah, there is. And actually their prices have gone up to $23 for basic services.
Posted by: FSM

Re: Google Voice - 07/17/09 04:22 PM

i just received a second invitation. i think i'll have my wife sign up and then use her account to replace our home long distance stuff.
Posted by: Jim_

Re: Google Voice - 07/22/09 06:14 PM

I'm somebody, I got my invite.
Posted by: polymerase

Re: Google Voice - 07/24/09 05:29 PM

I'm somebody too.