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Google Voice app disappointing


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  1. agusus

    agusus New Member This Topic's Starter

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    Am I the only one who doesn't see what all the fuss is about Google Voice? Seems like it's been way overhyped. The theoretical ideal is fantastic, but I think many of the people raving over that have not actually tried it end-to-end.

    I was surprised with how poorly the Google Voice Android app is integrated with Android. Now that I got a Droid Eris I figured I'd finally switch over to my GV number since the experience should be top-notch on Android. Not so.

    Are there any Google engineers working on GV for Android that are reading this and can give us more info on whether you plan to release some much needed bug fixes soon and better feature integration? The GV blog has not really mentioned the GV for Android app since July 2009.

    FYI I am using GV on my Eris, but in Voicemail only mode. Here's a list of reasons I could not use GV for Android with my GV phone number as my primary and sole phone number:

    - Bug: GV for Android crashes upon bootup start sequence on Droid Eris.
    - Bug: GV for Android does not associate with your contacts unless you enter their phone numbers with +1 at the beginning. I can go through and do this on my 100+ contacts but GV should handle this scenario automatically.
    - Perf Bug: GV for Android loads generic contact picture first and then loads actual contact picture. Has noticeable lag.
    - Bug: GV for Android does not integrate with Messages app. SMS received to your GV number gets mirrored to Messages app with the Google 406 #'s. GV should auto-associate it with the corresponding contact info and contact photo.
    - Bug: GV app does not integrate with Contacts (People app). Received text messages do not get shown on the Messages tab of the corresponding contact.
    - Bug: requires a data connection to send or receive phone calls or SMS. For sending, GV should route over the cellular network by calling the GV access number when data connectivity is not available.
    - Feature: GV for Android should have real-time / push notification of new text messages. I heard the team is working on this. Can you give us any details on implementation and impact on battery usage? I don't care about this feature much if they fix Messages integration.

    --------
    Then there are a few issues related to GV in general (not specific to the GV for Android app) that need to be resolved before I could use GV as a primary number:

    - Call quality and reliability issues. GV forums show people have been having problems with calls and reliability. Not worth sacrificing your basic phone functionality in order to get visual voicemail + backup.

    - Lose number portability privilege. This is a policy decision Google has made, and I doubt it will ever change. It's just something to keep in mind - with an MO (mobile operator) you have the right, granted by the FCC, to port your number. With a GV number you have no such right/privilege and if you ever become dissatisfied with GV you have no way to leave and still keep your existing number which all your friends and business associates have in their contact lists.

    - Adds an intermediary, additional failure point which can impact reliability. With an MO phone number your call routing is MO -> MO. With GV it is MO -> GV -> MO. I'd love to see some information from GV on how reliable/redundant their routing is, and an SLA (service level agreement) to a certain uptime.


    Anyway, sorry for the dissertation, but I haven't seen all of these topics brought up yet and I think it's valuable feedback to the GV team to know what areas could use improvement.
     

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  2. Isthmus

    Isthmus Well-Known Member

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    Well my biggest issue with Google Voice is that I can't use it. i have the program on my droid, but no matter how many times i ask for one, I can't get google to send me an invite to set up an account. As a result, the program just sits unused on my phone. It's too bad really, I would have loved to try it.
     
  3. bdbull

    bdbull Active Member

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    I would really like to see push notifications. My wife finally got fed up enough with it that she switched back to the default VZW voicemail because she was not getting messages in a timely manner.

    I know I've experienced several instances where I did not get a message until the next day.

    But I'm still using it because I find the text to speech quite humorous.
     
  4. iPhone2Droid

    iPhone2Droid Well-Known Member

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    On Moto/Verizon Droid:
    * No crashes
    * As contact name is tapped into field, it pulls associated numbers, allowing quick/easy one tap selection
    * No lag pulling contact pic
    * Concur: no integration with native messaging app is a pain in the skleeboop
    * No comment: no messaging tab on Droid
    * Partially concur: sometimes, you need the ability to push the call thru the carrier's network. Freebie fix = GV Dialer
    * Concur: lack of realtime GV notifications is a bummer. But, it is what it is, so my emails keep me promptly informed.

    * Concur: Call quality sometimes lives in the land of donkey dust
    * Re number portability. This doesn't concern me, since I can always direct it to whichever number(s)/phone(s) I designate.

    While your points are certainly well taken, I find GV to be extremely valuable despite its current flaws. Especially makes my business life easier, per website-based ability to add notes per call as needed, track for billing, dictate which phones ring when, etc. The whole personalized greetings thing, by contact and/or group, is also manna. I came into this knowing it was "beta". Once I found the cure for the most critical flaws- inability to make data calls sometimes; prompt notifications - I concluded it's a keeper.
     
  5. El Blacksheep

    El Blacksheep Well-Known Member

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    How about the fact that it's absolutely free and replaces VZW's $3/mo visual voicemail?
    How about the fact that it gives you a 2nd phone # you can use for any purpose?
    How about all the call screening / forwarding / blocking options it provides?

    Just replacing VVM alone saves you $72 over the course of a 2 year contract. What exactly are you complaining about?
     
  6. Jay3

    Jay3 Well-Known Member

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    I use Google Voice, but Youmail is awesome to, and free. Youmail does do immediate push. Seems kind of simple -- the missed call event triggers the Youmail app to check for voicemail and download it.

    Right now, if have a missed call I just check Google Voice with a quick swipe of the finger. A missed call notification is almost as good as a notification (and you can set the phone to give audible notification of missed call).
     
  7. jfe

    jfe Well-Known Member

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    I love google voice, one phone number and rings in 4 different locations, it's awesome

    I haven't had issues with the voicemail taking long to arrive, and the transcript is very accurate. Except when I could hear my cat in the background meowing, and GV transcript's typed it as "hello"

    Funny as hell
     
  8. hounddoglgs

    hounddoglgs Member

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    I have to agree with the op. I've had numerous instances where google voice fails to connect the first time, and my company has a toll free conference number that it just refuses to connect to at all. Add to that the mess it makes of sms, and the fact that it negates your free mobile to mobile minutes. I'm done with google voice for now.
     
  9. Isthmus

    Isthmus Well-Known Member

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    OK here is a question for all you GV users:

    HOW THE HECK DID YOU SET UP AN ACCOUNT!?!?!?!?

    I have the app, but can't get the darn thing activated no matter how many e-mails I send google. I'm I missing something? :confused:

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.
     
  10. hounddoglgs

    hounddoglgs Member

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    @Isthmus- GV accounts are pretty hard to come by. They seem to be a lot tighter with them than google wave accounts. I do have a few invites, PM an email address to me and I'll send you one.

    EDIT: Ok folks, only had 2 invites left and they are gone now.
     
  11. wmm

    wmm Well-Known Member

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    Your experience is different from mine. I've never gotten a transcript in which more than 60% of the words were correct, and the location of the errors generally renders the entire message incomprehensible. I figure they included the transcription feature just for amusement value; it's sort of like an English-to-English version of Babelfish. :p
     
  12. Isthmus

    Isthmus Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the offer. Much appreciated. PM sent. :)
     
  13. virtus

    virtus Well-Known Member

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    I only use GV to manage voicemails and it works great. Transcription so far is 70 - 100% accurate depending on the caller.

    I keep my droid in a dock while I am traveling and it would be nice if it could mute all other audio while playing a voicemail back (similar to how the Nav voice works). Currently, I have to manually mute Pandora or whatever is playing before I play the voice mail message.

    Even better would be for it to playback over bluetooth
     
  14. arglebargle

    arglebargle Member

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    Those 'free' conference calls are free because of the local carriers high termination charges.

    Google voice would have to pay the local phone company a well above average price to complete the call. The local phone company gives a kickback to the 'conference call' company to route their calls there.

    The conference call company pays to have a couple of servers hosting the conferences. They keep the rest.

    Traffic pumping - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    GV is a free service, so they dont have the money to pay the extra cost of those calls.

    I dont blame GV for not allowing those calls, its a scam enabled by crappy telcom laws.
     
  15. hounddoglgs

    hounddoglgs Member

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    @arglebargle- I really doubt that is the issue.

    1. We have a toll free conference number because my company pays for the service.
    2. I'm not in a rural area, and I seriously doubt the service provider is either- this isn't some phone sex line.
    3. GV was intermittently working with this number, and may again, but whatever the issue is seems to be getting worse.
     
  16. acjohnson55

    acjohnson55 Active Member

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    I would love to try GV myself. Please PM if you have an invite! Thanks
     
  17. hounddoglgs

    hounddoglgs Member

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    Sorry folks, only had 2 invites and they are gone now.
     
  18. itype2slo

    itype2slo Well-Known Member

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    Too bad you can't surrender your invite to someone that is dying to have it. I do agree that it has its fair share of issues, but it does offer features that NO other does. Plus, it saves me time and money.
     
  19. arglebargle

    arglebargle Member

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    Ah yea, my company at one point was using one of those Free Conference Call services. I thought thats what you were referring to.

    Ok then, that sucks.
     
  20. dbzeris

    dbzeris Active Member

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    The problem I am having with Google Voice is the GV number that I was issued is not recognized as a working number by land line companies or wireless companies. Callers receiver the error "This number can not be completed as dialed." Even worse is that when my phone kicks over to GV for voice mail it gives you this message. It is apparently a pretty widespread issue. As a result, I can not use the voice mail feature, the main selling point, or any other for that fact. There are several threads dedicated to the problem in the GV Forums and Help section. However, I don't really understand why Google can not get this resolved more quickly. Having worked in the telecomm industry, both wireless and landline, I know numbers are issued to companies in blocks, generally 10k line ranges. It seems like Google would know what blocks they have, regardless of if the number is issued, and work with the other companies to recognize these numbers.

    By the way, I used Google Voice with my number for a month before "upgrading" to Google Voice with a Google Voice Number. Prior to the upgrade I enjoyed the app on my phone and the service. After upgrading I experienced the above issues.
     
  21. mi_canuck

    mi_canuck Well-Known Member

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    you have to be invited... but if you sign up, you'll eventually get it... takes a few weeks... patience...
     
  22. Jay3

    Jay3 Well-Known Member

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    And you can get one right now on ebay for cheap. Be signed up within thirty minutes.
     
  23. mi_canuck

    mi_canuck Well-Known Member

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    i LOVE Google Voice... great replacement for the Visual Voice mail.... and it allows you to check VM from a computer if you have no signal or traveling abroad... the transcribing is a nice bonus... doesn't always work well... but usually gives you the gist of the message when you're say in a meeting or a loud place where you can't listen to your VM, but can read it at least...

    and I make calls to Canada, so GV is awesome for that, as between US and Canada, it's 0
     

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