[LINK] Google Voice

Scott Howard scott at doc.net.au
Sun Jul 5 10:06:40 AEST 2009

I've been using Google Voice (or GrandCentral as it was previously known)
on-and-off for a year or so.

The concept is good, but at the moment there's still a few major flaws in
the implementation.

The idea is basically that you give people your Google Voice number, and
then do intelligent routing of the call based on who is calling and the time
of day that they are calling.

eg, if a family member calls, then 24 hours a day it will ring both your
home phone and cell phone.  Business contacts might only ring your cell
between 9am and 5:30pm, and at other times they will go to voicemail, etc.
(Keep in mind that landline and mobile/cell numbers in the US are basically
equivalent and there's no way to tell them apart like there is in Australia.
In fact, I recently ported my landline number over to a cell service without
any difficulty)

The two biggest problems to date have been Caller-ID and SMS.

SMS was a problem because Grand Central didn't support it, so if someone
sent an SMS to your number it was simply lost.  Google has fixed this now,
and as of the release of Google Voice it will now forward your SMS onto your
cell phone.

The bigger problem is caller-id. Even if you give someone your Google Voice
number, when you make a call from any of your phones it will present the
caller-id of that phone - not your Google Voice number.  That means that
people find out your real number, which largely defeats the purpose.  This
is also true of outgoing SMS.

They have now introduced a way that you can call via Google Voice which will
send the correct caller-id, however from what I've heard it's awkward.
There is talk of them releasing a phone app that will get around this
problem, at which point it might become a worthwhile service.

The voicemail-to-text is an interesting concept, but still very much a work
in progress in terms of accuracy.

Previously you did need to have a US phone number in order to set it up, and
I presume that's still the case. Of course, that doesn't stop you getting an
account if you're not in the US, but it does make it a little more difficult
(I got mine when I was still living in Australia by using a US VOIP number
for my other number).


On Sat, Jul 4, 2009 at 5:47 AM, <stephen at melbpc.org.au> wrote:

> Hi all,
> Not sure of the details of this Google initiative opening soon (maybe
> initially for US residents only, who knows?) though it sounds stunning.
> Google Voice:
>  http://www.google.com/googlevoice/about.html
> Google Voice is a service that gives you ONE number for ALL your phones,
> and voicemail that is easy as email, and, many enhanced calling features
> like call blocking & screening, voicemail transcripts, call conferencing,
> international calls, and more ..
> Google Voice will be open to new users soon. We expect to have the
> service ready for new users in a matter of weeks, and are focused on
> opening it as soon as possible. The service is free.
> Google Voice Features:
> One number for all your calls and SMS
> Call screening - Announce and screen callers
> Listen in - Listen before taking a call
> Block calls - Keep unwanted callers at bay
> SMS - Send, receive, and store SMS
> Place calls - Call US numbers for free
> Taking calls - Answer on any of your phones
> Phone routing - Phones ring based on who calls
> Forwarding phones - Add phones and decide which ring
> Voicemail as easy as email, with transcripts
> Voicemail transcripts - Read what your voicemail says
> Listen to voicemail - Check online or from your phone
> Notifications - Receive voicemails via email or SMS
> Personalize greeting - Vary greetings by caller
> Share voicemail - Forward or download voicemails
> More cool things you can do with Google Voice
> Conference calling - Join people into a single call
> Call record - Record calls and store them online
> Call switch - Switch phones during a call
> Mobile site - View your inbox from your mobile
> GOOG-411 - Check directory assistance
> Manage groups - Set preferences by group
> --
> Cheers
> Stephen
> Victoria
> Australia
> _______________________________________________
> Link mailing list
> Link at mailman.anu.edu.au
> http://mailman.anu.edu.au/mailman/listinfo/link

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