Got my Google Voice

Last week at work, a colleague at work was talking about a Google app he just configured called Google Voice. Google Voice reminds me of a service I use to sell at Bell Atlantic Mobile called Contact Line (which gave you a 800 number for people to call and that call would be routed to your pager, cell, office, or home phone); but Google Voice is more advanced with the web interface, e-mail and SMS notifications.

First you need to sign up for Google Voice. I had to wait about four days to receive the e-mail which invites you to setup the service.  I got to choose my new phone number from a list in my area code (you can use your zip code too).  So far here is what I like about Google Voice:

  • First I can give that number out to anyone without having to give them my personal cell, home, or work phone numbers
  • If I change jobs or move to a office, I can configure Google Voice to go to the new phone number without having to notify everyone of the change
  • I can configure any phone not to receive calls during hours when I know I am not there: example would be no need to ring the home phone when I am at work
  • I can have Google Voice transcribe the voice message into text and send me an e-mail to one or multiple e-mail addresses when a voice message arrives (see comments below)
  • I can have contacts in different groups to enable different features (Friends, Family, Coworkers)
  • Allow Caller ID to be passed through to my phone instead of of my Google Voice number

The one option that I don’t think works too well is transcribing the voice message into an e-mail.  I left several test messages and many words are wrong.  Plus I receive 2 SMS messages to my cell phone with each new voice message.  The first message states I have a new message then a second message follows with the poorly transcribed message.  To resolve that just disable Transcribe from the Settings screen.

I also decided to have the Caller ID send me the Google Voice number instead of the number of the person calling me.  I might change that back after seeing how well these settings I picked worked.

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