7 reasons why I switched to Google Voice

by Jeff Hilimire on February 14, 2011

For a long, long time I’ve been wanting to port my current cell phone number over to Google Voice.  However, this weekend I just decided to accept the number Google has given me and change over to that number altogether.  Don’t know what Google Voice is?

So why did I change over?

1. I’ve recently spent time with the Galaxy Tab in an effort to dive in to the Android OS because, quite frankly I didn’t know squat about it (as I’m a proud card carrying member of the apple fan boy club).  Switching to Google Voice will allow me to use any phone and keep the same number.  I’m now looking to try some of the new Windows 7 phones so I can get my head around that OS.  The portability of the number was my biggest driver in making this change.

2. You can create rules to point people or groups to different phones.  If my mom calls me I can have it ring my home phone.  If someone from Engauge calls, I can have it ring my office phone.  If I’m traveling oversees, I can have it ring the new craptastic phone I picked up.  Being able to control which phones ring is really cool.

3. Voicemail translated to text.  I don’t know about you, but I hate voicemail.  At work I routinely let my voicemail fill up (it fills at 100 voicemails) just so people can’t leave me voicemails any more.  Hate it.  With Google Voice, it will take your voicemails, transcribe them into text and send you an email and/or a sms message.

4. Customized voicemail messages for people.  Love that.

5. You can embed people’s voicemails into a blog.  I didn’t even know I wanted to do that, but turns out I did :)  As an example, I asked my good friend Danny Davis to leave me a voicemail about his startup, Proving Ground.  Have a listen.

6. I can check voicemail and send texts…and call people, from my computer.  LOVE that.

7. You can send text messages over wifi.  If you have AT&T and live, well, almost anywhere, you’ll know that’s a nice feature to have.

One drawback I’ve noticed so far is that I don’t think I can send MMS through Google Voice, at least on the iPhone.  That kinda stinks.  But for two days now I’ve been very happy with the switch.

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  • Anonymous

    I have been using Google Voice for awhile because I too HATE voice mail and for the longest time never checked it. Now that it comes to me via email, I can get the gist of the message and make a decision without having to listen to the voicemail. But the voice to text translation can be quite humorous. I have found that, according to Google, most people tell me they love me at the end of their message. Added bonus of a boosted self-esteem.

  • Sandisolow

    I’m going to agree with Sherry that the transcriptions of voice mail messages can be humorous. The best feature is sending SMS from a computer.

  • http://www.brainwads.net/drewhawkins Drew Hawkins

    I use Google Voice as a sort of public/biz number. I don’t want to completely port my number to Google and I also don’t want to go through the “I’ve changed my phone number again” thing with all of my friends. When I give my number out at a networking event or a freelance opportunity, I give out my Voice number. I like being able to screen calls easier and the ability to customize voice messages to certain people.

    Voice came in handy during the snowstorm a couple of weeks ago. Since losing power was a real threat, I kept my phone battery charged while I had electricity and just used Voice to make calls in the meantime. I didn’t want to lose power AND have a dead phone.

  • http://www.jeffhilimire.com Jeff Hilimire

    Re: changing my number with all my friends to the Google Voice, that was what stopped me from making the change until now. But then I figured, probably less than 50 people actually call my cell number and if they have to update my contact info for the first time in 10 years, I thought they’d live through that. And it turns out they did.

    Now the only problem is that I can’t send MMS messages through Google Voice, nor can I receive them. That’s my only regret at this point in time.

  • http://www.vladgorenshteyn.com Vlad Gorenshteyn

    Google Voice is super-useful. I’ve recommended it to a startup and they’re using it exclusively.Yes, I get funny transcriptions as well especially when the caller says my name. But what’s more humorous is non-English transcriptions.Here’s a sample message my colleague left me exclusively in Russian requesting a callback: “Hey Leticia, most of the lines, please. Hey, hey many movie given quoted the Mr listen.”

  • http://www.vladgorenshteyn.com Vlad Gorenshteyn

    As a Google Voice user, here’s a cool app you may find useful: @talkatone http://goo.gl/6Y0Q0. A colleague of mine uses it to make/receive phone calls on his iPhone especially when traveling internationally using the GV network via Wifi. Similarly, if you have T-Mobile handset you can already do this natively using the UMA feature…also via Wifi. List of compatible smartphones: http://goo.gl/3wf9K

  • http://www.jeffhilimire.com Jeff Hilimire

    Thanks Vlad, I’ve tried talkatone but it wasn’t what I was hoping.  This is the one reason I wish I had an android phone so Google Voice was built in.

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  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_EIIO7SKUN37F3VLHVJQKVMBYDE Customer

    One of the main reasons for me is to avoid $30/mo unlimited texting – texting is GV is free! It’s $720 for a 2-year contract! Another one is the forwarding calls – it’s easy to switch from one phone to another. I use GV for my business where I can setup my cell or another phone to forward customer’s calls. GV is great!

  • LocalSearchHQ

    This is amazing stuff! I have never used Google Voice. It looks great.

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