1. Are you ready for the Galaxy S20? Here is everything we know so far!

Explain what is so great about google voice and why I should use it

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by -Myk-, Dec 4, 2009.

  1. -Myk-

    Thread Starter

    Explain what is so great about google voice and why I should use it. I got my invite today and I am wondering just why I should use this service.

    1. Download the Forums for Android™ app!


  2. Jeremy556

    Jeremy556 Lurker

    Only real compelling reason for me so far is visual voicemail + (crappy) transcription for free. The lag time because the data is not pushed without SMS or or GMail notification is kind of a PITA though.

    The transcription is kinda usable when people are speaking good English clearly, but when you have multinational clients with less than perfect accents, it is all but useless.
  3. punkzanyj

    punkzanyj Android Expert

    First explain why you bothered getting an invite for a service you know nothing about and need to be convinced to use. I'm always fascinated by people who jump head first into things they know nothing about and then decide to ask questions. It seems rather backwards to me, I'm just curious to know what the thought process is.
  4. FrayAdjacent

    FrayAdjacent Android Enthusiast

    Google Voice is like a proxy, a firewall for your phones. You use it as your primary number, and based on who is calling you (and when, even), the call can be forwarded to any of your phone numbers.

    Mom calls you on Wednesday at 2pm ---> cell phone and work phone
    Annoying coworker calls on Saturday at 10am --> work phone
    Psycho ex calls you anytime --> straight to voicemail
    Need to call some business or person, and you don't want them to have your cell number, but all you have with you is your cell? --> call them from Google Voice and it calls your cell then calls them and connects you.
  5. Nicks88

    Nicks88 Android Enthusiast

    Why don't you use it and find out for yourself? If you don't like it, then you don't have to continue using it. If you are still wondering, I'm sure there are plenty of people here that would take that invite off your hands.
  6. DjSmooth

    DjSmooth Well-Known Member

    ok, lets just say you wanted to get your voice mails from work without calling into work to get them, google voice can do that. Lets say you wanted to have all of your numbers (House, work, etc.) consolidated into one number, google voice can do that. Lets say that you needed another number to give to certain contacts instead of your actual cell number, google voice can do that, and when you don't want to talk with those folks again google voice can do that.

    Considering its a free service outside of Youmail it would be a benefit at some point.
  7. -Myk-

    Thread Starter

    How about you explain why you chose to be such a tool.

    I have read up on the service, I was looking to get views on it from others. I wouldnt expect you to understand that though.
  8. Telexen

    Telexen Well-Known Member

    We do expect you to search though. You're not important enough to warrant us spending time convincing you to try a free service. Trust me on that.
  9. Fadelight

    Fadelight Android Expert

    +1 on that one.

    Everyone wants the entire community to drop whatever they are doing and "Convince" someone to try using a service that doesn't cost any money anyway. Even after all of the discussions about it, all of the videos on it, and... oh wait... the fact that it is free... They still want everyone to drop everything and try talking them into it?

    And to comment on voice transcription... there are like what... 10 towns total in the US where people can use it? I live in Maine, and it can't handle maine, mass, and NH accents. Nor can it handle spanish, chinese, japanese... it can't handle the use of big words. It can't handle southern accents. It can't handle canadian and new foundland accents. No french accents. No British accents.

    Unless you speak like a robot, the only thing the voice transcription is good for is a good laugh for the day.
  10. radikal

    radikal Android Expert

    its an innocent question, some of you are just weird, you all came in and answered the question. did you come into this thread seething with anger and wanting to answer in rage? what drew you in here? i really wanted to know what its about too. But not in the mood to dl it.
  11. JM33

    JM33 Well-Known Member

    Ok, I signed up for an invite without really knowing much about it either. Why? I was reading somewhere online that you could basically get calls for free after google had recently bought out a "Skype-like" service. (Not actually free, but not use anytime minutes from your plan). It seemed that invites were a bit difficult to get and I figured I should sign up asap and I could figure out what its all about later. Maybe OP was on the same page as me.

    I got my invite today and was hoping to get some information that is not very clear on google's site. I saw this thread and there is some useful info here, when read with a flame filter. Thanks to those who help!

    Now if anyone wants to give some extra help I have a related question. What is the advantage/disadvantage to using my existing # vs. Getting a google #? From what I can tell from their site, you get all the features of the existing# with the google #, BUT I'm not sure. Is there a catch that I missed? The invite says to choose wisely because you cannot switch later. So even though the service is free and I would like to try it out, a little advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks in advance,
  12. soulesschild

    soulesschild Well-Known Member

    You should get a google number because then you can give that number out to people. See FrayAdjacent's post. It pretty much sums it up. If you need further clarification feel free to ask.
  13. kennyidaho

    kennyidaho Android Enthusiast

    I think for a lot of people explaining google voice is getting OLD OLD OLD. There has to be thousands of explanations all over the net. Personally (and yes I am an asshole) I think if you can't figure out what Google Voice is, the difference between the two account types, how to use the service, how to integrate it in your life by a few simple google searches then I seriously question your capability to even understand it. It adds a whole new level of complexity (it's not really that complex though - see above) you may not be able to fully grasp. I also think before anybody can walk out the store with a phone they need to pass the "Mount storage card, create folders, drag and drop test".....but I digress.

    I also understand some people are just not inclined to understand such things, so please don't take any offense to what I just posted above. I honestly don't take any offense to your silly sunglasses, and funny pants.

    Okay so here we go.

    Congrats you have made it this far. The using your own number option allows you to receive the benefits of Google Voice's VOICEMAIL SERVICE - such as transcribed voicemails, email notifications, downloading copies of voicemails, and custom voicemail greetings and maybe some other things but thats the gist of it.

    How does it work? After signing up Google will provide you with a special number which you tell your carrier to FORWARD calls to that you DO NOT ANSWER. How you forward calls is dependent upon your carrier (Note to Verizion users - yes there is other carriers and wouldn't you know other 'Droid' phones too!)

    You will no longer get the Voicemail notification that you are used to, you will get a text, email or both (that decision is up to you and can be altered).


    When you get a Google Voice number you get a number provided by Google which you can then hand out to people (like bill collectors). Someone calls or texts this "new" number it is then FORWARDED to your current number (actually it can be forwarded to many different number - like you house, office, or mobile - bottom line it does not replace your current number or service it's just a forwarding service.)

    You can do cool stuff like block certain numbers, send certain callers to voice mail, listen in as people leave voicemails, get copies of texts and voicemail transcriptions emailed to you. You can also do everything that the "use existing number" can do. Why you would get the "use existing number" option and miss out on the extra stuff you can do with your google voice numbers is beyond me.

    I put my google number on ads, business cards, automobile. I have copies of clients voicemails, I could block certain clients if they became troublesome, I can have custom geetings for my best clients....etc etc etc. I also give this number to my place of employment - so I can send all their calls straight to voicemail.

    I forward my carrier provided number to Google Voice so that I can have custom greetings for family, transcribed emails and basically one central location for voicemails.
  14. gwlaw99

    gwlaw99 Android Expert

    If you don't like the question, ignore the post. Don't be an ass.
  15. JM33

    JM33 Well-Known Member

    ---- Why you would get the "use existing number" option and miss out on the extra stuff you can do with your google voice numbers is beyond me. -----

    Thanks, that was refreshingly helpful. I assume the existing number deal is only advantageous to google, cutting down on their resources.

    As for the rest of your post no offense taken. Mostly because I assume it was directed more at OP than me, as I did not ask for an explanation of the service. Also because it made me chuckle a bit. But thanks for the time you took to write that up.

    Ok off to sign up now!
  16. jamesdean

    jamesdean Android Enthusiast

    The benefits of GV are endless. The most important benefit I have is that between our family plan of 4 phones we average about 10,000 minutes of talk time per month and rarely use over 200 of our plan limit of 1000.

    Not to mention the complete call management benefits GV offers, or the ability to make unlimited domestic calls from any telephone or the ability to use GV with other free SIP providers and completely eliminate the need for a paid local POTS service from your telephone company. You can also download sipdroid and make unlimited calls through the data side of your plan or WIFI.

    Oh, did I mention the total cost is free?
  17. jeffdlb

    jeffdlb Android Enthusiast

    There is potentially a huge advantage to using your existing number--not sure if this would work. If you are switching cellular carriers in order to get a new phone, can you get a new number instead of porting over the old one, and then use the old one as your Google Voice number? Then you don't have to give out the new GV number to anybody who already knows your cell #, and you have a pristine cell # to start fresh with. However, perhaps GV can't assign numbers in the same area code as your existing cell #.
  18. Clementine_3

    Clementine_3 Extreme Android User
    VIP Member

    Just as new parent's should not be allowed to (even conceive) leave the hospital with their new baby until they pass the "how to be the perfect parent test". Just as that same newborn cannot go out the door and into public until it passes the "how to be an upstanding citizen and social graces test".
    Seriously now, no one can try anything new or get something they have not had time to understand fully beforehand? Wow. I bet you knew how to ride your bike before you got it though, and never fell off 'cause you read the manual.
    I don't use GV, I haven't requested a GV number, I have read about it and don't see a use for it for me. So, I have nothing to contribute to this thread (like others) but am really disappointed at the "help" that has been offered. Not everyone was born knowing how to use every feature of Google or Android and those that were could offer some guidance or just leave it alone. I just don't understand where the hostility comes from. It's a forum thing, maybe I shouldn't use forums as I clearly did not pass the "how to be a jerk while hiding behind your keyboard test".
  19. dmaul3300

    dmaul3300 Member

    From what I have read, it is my unstanding that if you sign up for a google voice number and give this number to your family and friends and they call you on the google voice number, you can have the google voice number forwarded to another phone number such as a cell phone/home phone etc.(you have to set it up in google voice). By doing this, you will not be using your cell phone minutes from your provider.

    Does Verizon charge you for call forwarding? If so, how much? Lets say someone calls my google voice number and i have it forwarded to my cell phone and talk to the person who called me for 30 minutes. Does that 30 minutes come off my plan. I read where sprint got free call forwarding. I think verizon has free call forwarding on the 900 minute plan but not the 450 minute plan.

    is there a google voice app available for the android? I am getting a droid next thursday when my contract with sprint expires.
  20. craighwk

    craighwk Android Enthusiast

    Yes there is a google voice application that integrates itself quite well into the Android phone. You can tell to to make all out going calls with your GV number, your cell#, or have it ask you on a per-call basis.

    Any voice done through google voice still counts towards your minute plan. Not technically forwarding though. It's just like a normal call as far as I can tell.

    Other features of GV which I like:

    Love how all my phones (work, home, cell) ring when I get a call. If you pick up a call on your cell and you wonder back into your house, you can hit a key on your cell phone to have it ring all your phones again, and "transfer" the call to your home phone. Quite nice.

    You can also press a button on your keypad to start recording a phone conversation. When it's done, it sends the recording to your VM.

    All SMS's can be done on a webpage. Love having the ability to do this. You can also listen to your VM on the website.

    You can tell GV to block unknown numbers, which is something I've been wanting to do for a long time. You can also set up call screening, so when someone calls you who isn't in your contact list, it'll ask the party to say their name and when you receive the call, it'll play the persons name and ask you if you want to accept it or send it to voicemail.

    Love this service.
  21. jamesdean

    jamesdean Android Enthusiast

    If you have F&F on your Verizon plan, setup GV to show your GV number as the incoming caller id, add your GV number to the F&F and place and receive your calls through GV you will NOT use any plan minutes. If you use the Android App Google Voice you will also need to add the access number GV uses when placing calls. This access has been reported to change randomly so you will need to keep an eye on that and update F&F when it changes.
  22. rawness

    rawness Android Enthusiast


    Probably the most immediate, universal use for the service is free visual voicemail. I'm sure you can see the benefit of being able to have voicemails transcribed.

    Another great feature is described excently below:

    Since you you have an invite, you might as well sign up for it, and I'd HIGHLY recommend choosing a GV number.
  23. craighwk

    craighwk Android Enthusiast

    That's cool. :) I don't know anything about the F&F, so thanks for clearing that up.
  24. rawness

    rawness Android Enthusiast

    Generally, GV CAN assign numbers in any area code (provided, of course, there are numbers available), however, they CAN'T take your old number and make it a GV number.
  25. DocEsp

    DocEsp Newbie

    There are a couple of things I like about having a google number. The first is the Voice Transcripts, while this may not be perfect yet it will give you a general idea of what the VM is about. If you still cant understand the VM you can always check it through your phone or email.

    Next reason is the SMS through GV, I've cut out my text message plan and just have everyone send txt messages to my new number....completely free. It does not push messages like emails through gmail but I get them pretty quickly. Some people claim it takes a couple of minutes but this has not been the case for me, I tested it and found it to be reliable and quick enough before I decided to drop my txt message plan.

    While you can still use your regular number to call your friends and family, it has been useful when giving out to businesses and random people who you don't want to call you back bugging you. I just set their numbers to go directly to VM and not even ring on my droid.

    Hope this helps

Motorola Droid Forum

The Motorola Droid release date was November 2009. Features and Specs include a 3.7" inch screen, 5MP camera, 256GB RAM, processor, and 1400mAh battery.

November 2009
Release Date

Share This Page