About a year ago I signed up for Google Voice. At first I was a little skeptical about how well this would work. Do I really need another number for people to call me on, and what can I do with it. Well, I’ve used my Google Voice number as a primary contact number for people to reach me instead of my cell phone.
The client I currently work for has a shielded building. You can not receive a cell phone signal no matter how close you are to the windows. But what if I daycare needs to call me because of an emergency. Sure I can give them my office number, but I work at two different sites. They aren’t going to know where I am today. That’s where Google Voice comes in. I can give them one number and it will ring multiple phones at different times of the day.
Now Google Voice is connected to my Gmail account. When I access my Gmail account in Google Chrome, I can use my headset and call from my PC to any landline number in the United States and Canada for free. I can use the Google Voice mail system to store the messages, and enable all kinds of features.
One feature that I don’t think works all that well is voice mail transcription. I dumped that feature back in October 2009 after several failures. The transcriptions didn’t come close top what the message was. I might look into it again.
I’ve not tried the Google Voice extension / plug-in with Internet Explorer, Firefox, or Opera on my Windows 7 PC or my Ubuntu Linux notebook at home. I’ll try it out this weekend to see how well the video chat works compared to Skype. Maybe I’ll switch over to Google Voice for everything and use Skype as a backup.