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Why I'm ditching Google Voice as my "public" number

Discussion in 'Google' started by UncleMike, Feb 8, 2014.

  1. UncleMike

    UncleMike Android Expert
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    Almost 20 months ago I ported my number from Verizon to Google Voice, bought a Galaxy Nexus, and activated it on Straight Talk (I've since switched to AT&T Go Phone). I told no one, and used my Google Voice number as my only number. Immediately I noticed the latency on voice calls, resulting in lots of me talking over the other party, or vice versa. During the 20 or so months of use, I've seen absolutely no improvement in this area. As a result, this morning I put in a port request to transfer my Google Voice number to AT&T.

    There have been other issues too, like:
    1. The crappy UI and pathetic attempt at threading GV conversations
    2. The inability to use Google Voice for quick responses when ignoring an incoming call (the API and permissions have existed in Android since 4.3)
    3. Lack of MMS support
    4. Incompatibility with some services (i.e. banks) that send texts to mobile numbers

    The concept of Google Voice is great - one number, forever and always. It made it very easy for me recently when I was testing out the Nexus 5 and Moto X - I could use either phone and no one knew I was changing phones on a (sometimes) daily basis.

    For those who primarily use data and texting, and make/receive few voice calls, it may not be a deal breaker, but for me the frustration of the voice latency far outweighs the benefits, even if all the other issues I listed are fixed.

    But... once my port is complete, I'll probably get another GV number for use as voicemail, and for exchanges for possible Craigslist buyers, or others don't want to give my real number to. In that case, the benefit of anonymity outweighs the downside of the latency.
     

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  2. jhawkkw

    jhawkkw Chinchillin'
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    I would agree that all 4 points you make are gripes of mine too. The MMS is getting a little better with workarounds when coming from Sprint or T-Mobile numbers, but it's no where near great. The threading option can be fixed by using voice+ by cyanogenmod roms, or hopefully when XVoice+ Xposed framework module works out the kinks. However a better fix should come when Google finally mergeds voice into hangounts. Let me just say that I cannot wait for that update to hit.
     
  3. UncleMike

    UncleMike Android Expert
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    Somehow I forgot to mention the 2nd most annoying issue - delayed ringing on my mobile device. Sometimes my phone will ring once or twice and them go to voicemail - not even giving me a chance to answer the phone. When I'm sitting at my desk, Hangouts will display the incoming call and start ringing, and my phone doesn't ring until the 4th or 5th Hangouts ring.
     
  4. Crashdamage

    Crashdamage Android Expert
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    My wife and have both had a GV numbers for years, but never ported our cellphone numbers to GV. This way, each of us effectively has 2 numbers per phone. We use the GV numbers as 'public' numbers for business, etc. Only friends and family know our 'real' cellphone numbers.

    Anyway, after several years and thousands of GV calls (we use phones for business a lot) neither of us has had any such latency problem, or any other problems for that matter. I can only describe the service we have gotten with GV as excellent.
     
  5. UncleMike

    UncleMike Android Expert
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    My switch to Google Voice coincided with a switch from Verizon to AT&T (through Straight Talk at first, then Go Phone), so maybe my latency issue is not with Google Voice at all. Now I'm thinking I should have tried non-GV calls to compare, but I guess my frustration clouded my judgment. I'll be furious (with myself) if the latency persists, but I've seen plenty of reports of latency on Google Voice, so I'm not too worried.

    Perhaps it's a regional issue.
     
  6. sfbloodbrother

    sfbloodbrother Android Expert
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    I agree that Google Voice is a great idea, but it just isn't making an impact very fast these days. The official app from Google on Android in my opinion really lacks in many features and quality. It's always creating new conversations, and it's only available on certain devices with my contacts. (i.e. When I'm on my iPod, my Google contacts are not there.)

    Since I joined Boost Mobile, I have been using the number that they gave me as my primary number, as I may be with them for a while so long they improve their coverage, maybe give out international coverage some day.
     
  7. Clementine_3

    Clementine_3 Android Expert
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    My sister and I use our GV numbers as our 'public' numbers, have been since some time in 2010, and have had very few issues. My son uses his too, but I don't know how much, he has never mentioned any trouble. I use my phone a lot for voice calls and honestly notice no difference between GV and 'regular' calls.

    I will agree with all of this though:

    We tried to use GV instead of carrier texting and found it just too lacking. I had to add a texting package to my plan, GV just was/is not robust enough for full-on SMS/MMS/short-code etc.

    All in all though I have no complaints or trouble with it, it's been working great for me and my family.
     
  8. codesplice

    codesplice Elite Recognized Moderator
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    All valid complaints, UncleMike. I still think Google Voice is a great service (and I've been using it as my primary number since 2009), but it definitely not without issues. I haven't personally encountered any latency problems (or, at least, none that weren't related to my various VoIP hacks), but I have heard a lot of complaints about that.

    My currently-biggest complaint is that Hangouts has taken over as the primary SMS handler on Android, but it doesn't cleanly support Voice - and the Voice app, as you mentioned, was pretty good for when it first became A Thing but really hasn't received much love since then. I'm looking forward to the day when Voice is properly integrated with Hangouts (to include VoIP calling), and just quietly Making Do until that happens.
     

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