Initial experiences and thoughts on Google Voice

By now, I’m sure you’ve heard of Google Voice. I won’t go into its details and assume you’ve read the posts about Google Voice from Lifehacker.[1. I don’t know another website discussing Google Voice as comprehensive and insightful as Lifehacker. If you know any sites or blog posts that are, share them in the comments. Don’t spam. I’ll moderate them.]

So, what are my hang-ups?

Tinfoil hat — All my eggs in one basket? I think that’s one reason why I “left” Gmail.

Lose my unlimited mobile-to-mobile calling, text, picture, video messaging — A lot of my friends are on Verizon Wireless. I’d be ditching them. I’d also be losing out on the Friends & Family® feature in my plan.

Don’t think about adding your Google Voice number to that list. From the My Friends & Family® management page:

Telephone numbers must be entered in standard, ten digit format; only domestic landline or wireless numbers (other than directory assistance, 900 numbers, or customer’s own wireless or voice mail access numbers) may be added; all qualifying lines on an account share the same Friends & Family numbers, up to the account’s eligibility limit.

Devin Reams was trying this, but later found that this violates the rules.

I got my invite a week ago. Yesterday, I got my number. But, I’m still not sure if I’m going to use it. Perhaps I’ll wait a month or two to see if Google will address questions like these.

Were you a GrandCentral user before Google bought them out? What can you say to my reasoning?

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Bryan Villarin

Bryan is a Community Guardian at Automattic. He's also a photographer, card magician, and cat whisperer. (Thanks to my friend and colleague Steve Blythe for the sweet photo!)

2 thoughts on “Initial experiences and thoughts on Google Voice”

  1. I’ve had a Grand Central number… forever, I think. And I never really used it. With Grand Central, you couldn’t text and have them forward to your cell (or even show up in your inbox). Google Voice has fixed that and even forwards to multiple cells (if that applies to you). BUT…. still too many limitations.

    Mobile to Mobile is still one of my biggest hang-ups. Too many free minutes I would be giving up just to have a couple of features.

    Dialing out is another. There are a couple of programs from Windows Mobile that will dial out for me natively, but with so many people have caller ID these days, I want people to be able to see my number when I call.

    The one inbox concept is probably the last important feature. IF I could somehow forward my existing voicemail calls to my google voice inbox, then it wouldn’t matter which number you called, I would always get your message in my one inbox (that transcribes and texts me). Otherwise, I’ll end up missing voice mail messages.

    The only good thing I like about it is that since I have two cell phones, I can give out 1 number and it doesn’t matter which I’m carrying. I can also block out times for privacy/silence except those emergency people who must get through.

    Still debating and waiting to see gradual feature rollouts that fix my problems.

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  2. I find it good from a business standpoint. I have bad reception at home, so I don’t want clients calling my cell when I’m home. If I’m home, I’d rather have them call the home phone, but I don’t necessarily want them to have that number. If I only give out the Google Voice number to my clients, I can control which phone receives the calls, and I can even decide when to close for the day by sending all calls directly to voicemail.

    Like

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