Google Voice is the cloud-computing giant’s foray into phone, text-messaging, and voicemail management. Still in closed beta, Google Voice is a terrific service to complement Gmail for total communication management.
However, the best part of Voice is the phone number all Voice subscribers get. Users can pick a phone number in almost any area code, and can choose from the available numbers. Voice can make you look like a local without investing in another phone line.
Signing up and forwarding calls
After signing up for Voice and getting a phone number, that number can be forwarded to ring on any cell phone or land line. The call can forward anywhere in the US, so your Texas number can forward to your Pennsylvania cell phone at the same time that it rings on your California office phone.
However, there is also an expansive array of customizable settings for call forwarding. For example, you can create groups based on your Google Contacts and specify which phone should ring when certain groups call. Further, you can set time profiles for when the calls will automatically go to voicemail. Google Voice is packed with other useful features too, including visual voicemail, a large voicemail inbox and the ability to download voice mails as audio files.
Use Google Voice with your mobile phone
Recently, Google Voice released a mobile application for Android and Blackberry devices. The application allows users to dial on their cell phones and have the call appear to come from their Google Voice number.
The mobile application is a terrific complement for Google Voice. Although I have had a Google Voice number for quite some time, it often seemed useless. Even though people could call me on my Google Voice phone number, whenever I called them it would show up with my cell phone number, thus defeating the purpose.
Now my Blackberry allows me to dial using the Google Voice phone number and not reveal my personal cell phone number to the people I am calling. Google Voice can also be used to send and receive text messages. With the mobile program, that has become significantly easier and more useful.