What is Google Voice?
Google voice is yet another beautiful, useful and enticing recent web app from Google that allows its users to make international calls using nothing but Wi-Fi data.
With the app, you are assigned a new number that does not know mobile carrier, state or regional boundaries. You can move as much as you want to change numbers many times over but your Google Voice number will still be reachable. You can use the Google Voice app on your desktop and phone provided you are within the United States or are able to use alternative methods to access the privilege.
What do I require to install Google Voice?
To use this service you need to set up a Google Voice account before you can install Google Voice on your Desktop. You can do this by visiting the Google Voice web page and selecting the option to try out the app. For you to be able to try the Google Voice app, you need a Google Account to begin with. Do not worry if you do not already have one for you can create a new Google account there and then and use it to proceed.
Now you will need to choose your own number. Yes, it can be anything you like, provided of course that it does not already belong to someone else! You should choose the most memorable number that your friends will not forget or even feel the need to save so they can dial you anytime with ease. You can use your initials or zip code to make it more interesting.
Next, you will require a four-digit personal identification number that will usually grant you access to your account. While confirming the PIN, be careful not to copy paste as this will leave no room for you to be corrected in case you make an error typing your intended PIN. As usual, you will agree to the terms without even reading them and off you be to the next stage!
In the final stage, you will be required to provide your forwarding phone number and verify it by asking Google Voice to call you and you enter the verification code provided. From that moment onwards when the Google Voice Number you provided is called, your forwarding number(s) will ring.
If you are planning to make or receive important calls from your desktop more often; then it would be in order to purchase a high-quality microphone and headphones for clear communication and being discreet. Some of this hardware might require installing the driver to make sure they are correctly set up in your Desktop environment and both the hardware and software are flawless. Alternatively, you can get one of those that come with in-built driver and install immediately when plugged in to reduce the number of moving parts here.
Installing the GVNotifier Desktop Client
Now that you have a Google Voice account activated and your desktop all setup, it is time to install the desktop client so that you will be able to receive notifications of texts, voicemail and calls as well as create a call log. This GVNotifier is only supported for window platform only but there is no need to worry if you are a Apple Diehard. You can always get the VoiceMac from the store and it will work just as effectively.
If you love using Chrome, you can use the Google Voice Chrome extension that works more or less the same way as the notifiers but is embedded into the browser and thus may only work when the services of the Google Chrome browser are running in the background.
How to set up and use Google Voice on your mobile
While on your Android smartphone or iPhone you can still enjoy making calls and texting you friends for free using the Google Voice for iOS and Android apps that you can download in the respective app stores or by the links above.
Once you have downloaded the app on your Android and it is successfully installed, then it is time to choose when to use the app to make calls in the app’s setting. You can choose to make all call from the app, only international calls, not use it at all or have your phone ask every time.
If you are using iOS based device then the calls you make have to through another number before being redirected to the number called. However the caller identity shown will still be the same. You can also opt to have Google Voice dial the number for you after you receive their call. Due to the clicking confirmation action this is called the click2call option.
Cool stuff to do with your Google Voice App
Here are some cool features to enjoy with Google Voice on your mobile and desktop.
- Listen to voicemail
You can listen in to your voicemail as they are recorded using the ListenIn service. This is entirely awesome and gives the impression of an old telephone where one could listen to voicemail messages on speaker as they came in. Bring it all back with this great feature to enjoy that throwback moment with Google Voice.
- Transcribe voicemail
You can have all your voice mail transcribed into texts avoiding all that annoying robot commentary that drives you crazy at times.
- Record calls
You can record conversations you have with friends and family and other people if it is not illegal to do so in your state. These clips cans help you to have references in case you forget instructions and such.
- Use Customized greetings and settings
With this app, you have your own personal telephone operator, and you can select what groups of contacts will be able to reach you and the greetings they will hear when the do so. Also, you get to decide where to receive their calls which are important as you may not want to receive work related calls from home, rather only from the office phone.