Google launched an enhancement to the Android and Blackberry Google Voice App yesterday that speeds up the call connections using “Direct Access Numbers”. Prior to this update the Google Voice app had to make a request to the Google Voice server everytime a call was placed to send the number you wanted to dial.
Now with “direct access numbers”, Google assigns a unique phone number to every person you call bypassing the data network to access the server so calls will be placed much faster.
The service is noticeably faster making a great service even better! You can download the updated Android app from the Android Market now, for Blackberry users you can download the app by visiting http://m.google.com/voice from your mobile device browser. For more great mobile apps, see our “Must have mobile apps” list here. (Google Voice Review Below)
After more than a year as an “invitation only” beta, Google Voice is now available to anyone with a U.S. phone number.
My advice? Don’t walk, run and sign up for your free Google Voice account at www.google.com/voice
Google Voice, what is it? Google voice is a multifaceted telecommunications service that provides a host of services that are not normally available with your home or mobile telephone service.
Google Voice allows you to set up groups and define rules with different call behaviors depending on the caller and time of call. If you have multiple phones, you can choose to have Google Voice ring one or all of your numbers, including the landline — again determined by the criteria you specify.
Another nice feature is the ability to access your Google Voice account through a straightforward web interface. You can view your call history, voicemails, texts as well as review your placed, received and missed calls.
Google Voice allows you to integrate with your phone’s native address book or with Google contacts. It allows you to send and receive free text messages as well as place low-priced international calls directly from your phone. You can check out the Google Voice international calling rates here:
The Google Voice visual voicemail capability is unmatched in the mobile space. You can choose to preview your voicemails as sms text messages or read them as email.
The voicemail transcriptions aren’t always perfect. In fact, some have been almost comical. The majority of the time, it gives you a general idea of what the message is about; an integrated widget lets you listen to the actual message if it’s unclear or requires immediate attention.
Here is a typical example of a transcription. What Google Voice thought the caller said:
“Hey George, it’s free. Thank you. >Business name Deleted< whenever you get a chance, maybe about 1 o’clock, or so today. I’ve got 3 >product name removed< that are not showing up and I need to get shop for tonight, so if you could stop by and say hi to >Name Deleted< for me. That would be good. Thank you. Bye bye.”
The bold text were not correctly transcribed instead of it’s free. Thank you it was actually the name of the caller, instead of shop it was shot.
Overall not too bad — an excellent way to quickly sort through messages. Best of all, the messages don’t need to be handled sequentially. You can process or skip messages altogether totally at your own direction.
To see if there is a version available for your platform of choice, check your phones app store. Google Voice has been tested with Android, Blackberry, iPhone, Palm WebOS, and the Nokia S60.
Even if there is not a dedicated Google Voice app for your phone, or your phone is not on the tested list, you can still use Google Voice as long as you have a web kit compliant mobile browser by directing your mobile browser to m.google.com/voice. Google Voice was selected as one of the apps on my “Must have mobile apps list.”
Do yourself a favor and check out this excellent free service. You owe it to yourself to try it out, I highly recommend it!
Please share with your social network by clicking on one of the buttons below: