As a stand alone service, Google Voice is powerful and can greatly increase your productivity and ability to remain in contact with those whom you wish. When coupled with the Android operating system on a Android based phone, Google Voice has the potential to revolutionize the way you communicate.
What is Google Voice?
What Can You Do With Google Voice?
In the Google Voice settings area, you can register any number of phone numbers that you can have your Google Voice number forwarded to. If you travel the country or have more than one office, this “follow me” phone number can help ensure that you never miss an important call.
Another useful feature is the customized messages that are played for specific or groups of caller. I have one message that plays whenever a family member calls, another for friends and co-workers, and yet another for unknown callers. I've even created custom messages for specific clients. Voice integrates with your Google Contacts account, making creating groups an easy task. Like traditional voice mail, Google Voice can record your messages but can also forward a transcript of the voice mail to your email account. All messages can be retrieved either by calling into your account or by visiting your Voice account page.
If you’ve ever wished that you took better notes during a phone call, imagine the benefit of recording an entire phone conversation. Google Voice allows you to record up to thirty minutes of a phone call. Once recorded, a quick visit to your Google Voice account page and you can listen to the recorded conversation, download and save the conversation in mp3 format, and even have the entire conversation transcribed. Though the accuracy of the transcription is not perfect, it does capture most of the conversation correctly
Voice and Texting on Android Phones
Due to the seamless integration between Android based phones and all things Google, the Google Voice app, available as a free download from the Android market, takes your Voice account to new levels. Not only can you manage all your Voice settings directly from the Android Voice app, you can also use your Google Voice number for airtime-free calls. All you need is a “friends and family type calling plan. Simply add your Google Voice number to your list of included phone numbers, and all incoming and outgoing Voice calls are air-time free. I have been able to reduce my “peak time” minutes in half by giving out my Google number to many of my contacts. (Note: this may not work for every carrier, so try at your own risk.)
You can also use the Google Voice app to send and received text messages. And to make texting even easier to use, you can send texts directly from a computer once logged in to your Google Voice account. If your cell phone plan puts a limit on your texting, using Google Voice from your Android phone allows you unlimited texting, both sending and receiving.
Using Google Voice on my Android based phone is one of my favorite features of the Android operating system. Once you learn your way around Google Voice, you will learn how to customize it to suit your specific needs. You'll quickly find that having one phone number that can follow your around the county is not only convenient, but will be a tremendous boost to your productivity.