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Tag: Google Voice
Blog from your phone, call for free or use your computer to make free phone calls. Google Voice isn’t the easiest Google service to explain to non-techies, partially because it can be used for so many different things. Find a short list of those things below.
Using only a phone to manage voicemail is old fashioned: Google Voice does a much better job. Manage your voicemail on your computer or phone, and enjoy unlimited free texting within the US and Canada. It’s a service no human should be without, but which is sadly (still) limited to humans who reside in the United States of America. Google, remedy this!
Find below just a few advanced Google Voice tricks. Know some more? Leave them in the comments below the article and share them with the world.
Blog From Your Phone
Imagine being able to blog by phone, from anywhere. It’s not farfetched: our very own Ryan devised a method of voice blogging. It’s not perfect, but it’s a great way to get in a quick blog post from the road.
Free Calls and Texts To Canada
Cell phone has no concept of long distance, provided I’m calling or texting a US number. It’s another matter when you call or text Canada: that costs extra. Good thing I have Google Voice: it allows you to call or text Canada for free.
You can do this one of two ways. The first is to call Google Voice number from my cell phone, then call Canada from that. It’s easy, but requires some extra dialing.
The second way requires some setup, but works very well: have your Canadian friend send a text message to your Google Voice number. Assuming you’ve set up Google Voice to forward texts to your phone, you will now have an American number you can use to reach your Canadian friend. Save this new number and you can call your friend as though it were a domestic call, anytime.
Free Calls From Your Browser
This isn’t exactly a secret, but many people don’t seem to realize it: you can make free phone calls from within Gmail, provided you’re calling a number inside the US or Canada.
Even cooler: if your Google Voice number is your primary phone number, you can pick up your phone calls in Gmail. You just need to turn on chat and install the Google video chat browser extension.
Another related but also lesser-known trick: you can add any phone number to a Google Plus Hangout, allowing you to include people without Internet access in your conversations.
Combine Google Voice and Skype
Skype is a very affordable way to make long distance phone calls, but there is one problem with it: unless you set up a call display number you appear as ‘unknown caller’ on the phone of the person you’re trying to reach. Many people will, assuming you’re a scam artist, and refuse to pick up.
You can buy a phone number from Skype to avoid this. Or, if you don’t want to spend money on a subscription, you can set up your Skype account to display your Google Voice number for call display. That way people you call will see a real phone number.
You might consider doing this even if you’ve paid Skype for an incoming number: people will call you back at your Google Voice number instead of your Skype number, meaning you’ll get the call on all of your phones instead of just Skype.
Add a Voicemail Feature To Your Blog
Want to hear from the people who read your blog? Add a voicemail button to it. This allows people to leave you a voicemail without telling the world your phone number. People who visit your site can enter their phone number and, in one click, connect their phone to your voicemail inbox.
Other Cool Tricks
Of course, there are many more cool things you can do with Google Voice. Ryan outlined several of them in 2010, and his tricks still work very well. They are:
- Integrating Google Voice for all mobile calls
- Listening in to your voicemail in real time
- Automatic transcriptions of all voicemails
- Recording phone calls
- Custom greetings for different groups of people
The heavens parted and the gods smiled upon tech fans this Tuesday, November 16. No, we’re not talking about The Beatles finally landing on iTunes (although that was also pretty cool) — Apple has finally blessed the official Google Voice app for the iPhone, and you can download it for free right now.
It’s a big year for Google Voice — the service finally went out of invitation-only beta and opened its doors to the public at large, followed by two third-party apps that take advantage of the service (GV Mobile+ and GV Connect) being blessed with admission to the App Store yet again. The only thing that remained was an official app from Google themselves, and now that wait is over.
Google Voice applications have had a pretty tumultuous history in the App Store. At first, Apple approved them, and the people rejoiced. Then, seemingly out of nowhere, they were pulled, with ‘duplicating features that the iPhone comes with (Dialer, SMS, etc).’ cited as the reasoning. The people were, understandably, pretty friggin’ mad.
Over the past few days, the developers of at least two such applications have been indicating that they’d been hearing good news from Apple, suggesting that the Apps would be making an Apple-approved, no-jailbreak-required return. Sure enough, they’ve just started popping up in the App Store.
After banning all Google Voice-related apps from the App Store, Apple’s Google Voice moratorium appears to be over.
This comes fourteen months after Apple removed all Google Voice apps from its App Store — including fan favorites GV Mobile and VoiceCentral — and refused to approve Google’s official app. That ban led to an FCC inquiry and the creation of an HTML5-specific web app to sate iPhone users. As recently as last month, Google told us that nothing had changed in regards to the status of its native iPhone app, but since that conversation, Apple has made some significant changes to its developer policies.
With the release of GV Connect, it seems like only a matter of time before other apps (like GV Mobile+) will make their way back to the App Store.
Both Google’s official Google Voice web app and the well-made BlackSwan VoiceCentral web app bring Google Voice to the iPhone. However, because these are web apps and not native apps, the system address book isn’t the same. Other features like push notifications and masked calling are also unavailable, although it’s unclear if anything short of an official app will bring some of those features.
For that reason, many users who jailbreak their iPhone devices have used various Google Voice apps from Cydia.
For users who rely on Google Voice as a central number, having a dialer that can directly access your address book is a pretty big deal. Now that iOS supports multi-tasking, doing things like sending SMS messages and switching between a call and a web browser should be easier too.
We haven’t downloaded GV Connect (we’re waiting for GV Mobile) but are excited that Apple’s more lenient policies seem to mean bringing back useful apps to users.