Google Voice: What it is, and What it isn’t
There was a time when cellphones were wonders, and carrying a cellphone made life so easy and made you always available and unavailable at the same time, if you know what I mean. However, as time passed by, it became quite annoying to deal with many telephone numbers including the basic home, office and mobile numbers.
Things that make your life easy can also complicate it! Well, the Google Voice is an awesome service that could totally change the way you make and receive calls and this could be as revolutionary as it was when the cellphones first came in. Firstly, Google Voice allows you to consolidate all your telephone numbers in one place, under the Google Phone Number.
The whole world does not need to know your Google Phone Number, and you could still choose who calls on your home, office, mobile numbers and redirect those calls to your Google Phone Number. Consolidating your telephone numbers and making it easy for you to manage your telephone numbers isn’t the only thing it can do. Now let us take a look at all the things that a Google Voice can, and cannot do.
The Google Voice service can help you maintain your privacy, and allow people to call you not when they wish to, but if you wish to. For example, if you do not like someone calling you up often, you can direct them to your Google Voicemail, where the message is recorded and it can be played later when you want. Google Voice also lets other people not know your real phone numbers if you wish to just use the Google Phone Number. This makes it difficult for them to locate your location. On the contrary, you could choose to give one of your other numbers and that can be directed to your Google Phone Number which needs to be shared. It is all about how you use it!
Google Voice allows you to make cheap and economical International calls through VoIP services. You could send unlimited number of SMS for free and even save them online to check later.
You have full control over your calls, and you could choose to record any call at your will, and then later convert them to text messages. It would be saved too. The only downside is that the other person would be notified if you plan to record a call, which doesn’t do justice to the idea of recording in the first place.
How to Use Google Voice to Make Calls
At the moment, the Google Voice is an invite-only service but that does not mean you need to wait for someone to send an invite. All you would need to do is go to Google and submit your address and wait for the invite to come through. Some get it within 48 hours, and some within 2 weeks. Nevertheless, it is worth the wait. Once you get the invite, you could choose the Google Phone Number you want and if you plan to change it later, you need to pay $10.
Next, you could add all the numbers you choose to put under the Google Phone number umbrella and then set up your voicemail account. Later you could go ahead and choose your SMS settings and buy international call credit through the Billing service.
There are several ways to make calls through Google Voice service and you could choose one of the several apps available for your phone, or use the call-in method where you dial your own Google Phone number, and then dial 2 and then enter the number you choose to call. There are also several other cheats and methods to call up using your Google Phone number, all leading to less money spent and more money saved.
You could also add Google Voice to your preferred contacts, and when you make a call to Google Voice, you can actually avail al the benefits that your service provider may give for your calling circle. However, make sure it is “OK2 to add Google Voice to your preferred contacts, as it may be against your carrier’s user policies. Last but not the least; you could use one of the many free or cheap VoIP services.
- Google Voice service may look amazing but it has got its downsides. For example, you may not be able to use your own telephone numbers in the same way you have been using. Moreover, once you unify all your numbers under the Google Voice number, you will have to tell everyone your Google Phone number, which defeats the purpose in the first place. Also, Google Voice is in beta stage, so it may not be all that cool to trust all your number with it.
- Secondly, you can only record calls that you make and not the ones you receive, and also, the other person would be notified when you are about to record.
- The mobile app is quite confusing and may not work on ever phone. The online mobile interface is awesome, but a little too tiresome to learn.
- In the US you may be entitled to monthly minute allotments, which means you may not be able to make all those free calls the way you thought you could, though it is possible to use of the cheats which many authors have mentioned.
So, Google Voice Rocks?
Google Voice can be a great way to minimize telephonic expenses, if you consider all the upsides and downsides, and plan properly. The trick is to know what you are getting into, and to see if this really works for you. Ideally, it is great for those who do not have to hide from a lot of people, and also for those who make a lot of calls to friends.
It might however not be a great idea to use Google Voice, if you use your many telephone numbers to cheat on your wife or husband. Moreover, you might want to wait till the service is launched on a regular basis, and wait for the beta period to get over.