Podcasts

Vector 22: Don Melton on transcoding video

BlackBerry Apps

Google Voice app for BlackBerry to be shut down as of next week

Help, How-To & Tips

How to play video, music, and images from your BlackBerry 10 device on TV over DLNA

News & Rumors

BlackBerry 7 still going strong - New promo videos from RIM

BlackBerry Apps

A quick hands on with the newly updated LinkedIn app for BlackBerry smartphones

BlackBerry Apps

Get your shooting action on with Birds on a Wire for BlackBerry PlayBook

International News

BlackBerry success stories from Nigeria

Devices

BlackBerry Curve 9220 Unboxing Video

News & Rumors

How to use BlackBerry Protect on the web

News & Rumors

Extreme Video Chatting on the BlackBerry PlayBook!

News & Rumors

BlackBerry PlayBook 2.0 highlights featured in a new set of commercials from RIM [video]

News & Rumors

Use your BlackBerry Smartphone with BlackBerry Remote to control your PS3, Android tablet and more! [video]

CrackBerry Humor

Gordon Ramsey gives some advice to RIM's new CEO Thorsten Heins on CBC's "This Hour has 22 Minutes"

News & Rumors

Just how strong is Gorilla Glass 2?

CrackBerry Humor

A humorous look at addiction in a new video called BlackBerry - BlackOut (NSFW-L)

Special Coverage

BBM Ugly Sweater Fan Night [video]

PlayBook Games

Vector Stunt for the BlackBerry PlayBook

News & Rumors

A quick look at BlackBerry Management Center

Software Reviews

Review: Madden 12 for the BlackBerry PlayBook [video]

News & Rumors

The opening of the BlackBerry Lifestyle Store in Indonesia [video]

Get More Out of Your Mobile Number with Google Voice

By Adam Zeis on 14 Dec 2009 10:04 am EST
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...

For years I stuck with the mobile number I was issued way back in 1996 when I purchased my first cell phone. I never thought of switching carriers, and I was happy to know that everyone that needed to contact me could do so easily. About a year ago after my BlackBerry addiction started to overtake me full-time, I realized that having a CDMA carrier number that wasn't easily portable wasn't the best thing. I thought about it for a while, and as the idea of carting around multiple devices all day didn't appeal to me, I decided to finally give up my roots and give Google Voice a shot. I had registered with the service ages ago, but left the number untouched for months. Now was the time to make it mine and spread my new number to the few people that actually call me.

First off you have to have a Google Voice invite, but they seem to be readily available through friends these days, so finding on shouldn't be too hard. Once you get the "I've changed my number" emails out of the way, Google Voice can be your best friend and help you get more from your device (and life if you want to go that far). Over the weekend I stumbled across this article from Gizmodo that made me realize that Google Voice really is as good as it gets. Using a Google Voice number lets you swap between any number of devices, the only requirement being to have the Google Voice app installed on the device. Incoming calls will get forward to one or more devices, and using the app, outgoing calls will show your Google Voice number (as opposed to the acutal number of the device). Unlimited free SMS, the best voicemal around, text transcription for voicemail and an awesomely controllable web-based control panel to control it all. You can screen calls, block numbers and more.

Of course with all of this glory there are still a few downsides. Thus far, there is no MMS with Google Voice. This doesn't mean that any MMS sent to you will come in an email, it means that the sender will reveive an error telling them your number is invalid. Big problem. The SMS is far from perfect as well - mesages will show in the application (after a refresh) but when coming into the device, will appear to be from a random number not associated with any contacts. The plus side is that they are all neatly stored on your account, allowing you to archive, delete and even send an SMS from the web. The Google Voice app also has to dial an access number before completing your call, which at times doesn't always want to connect and can also be a big problem. The dialer on your device is still the default, so if you fail to dial a contact through the app the device number and not your Google Voice number will appear. You have to either dial directly from the application, or when in your contacts list choose the "Call with Google Voice" option. My wishlist for the holiday season is that Google gets with it and fixes up the app (the best they can given the OS limitations on the device) to make these issues go away. I can deal with having to dial contacts using a menu option, but I really need MMS (for my slow-adopting friends) and a better SMS implementation would be nice too. A side note (that should have been included from the start) is that the BlackBerry AutoText doesn't work withing the app for SMS, making you realize how much you rely on AutoText on your device.

Overall I feel that if you choose to adopt a Google Voice number to stick with you from here on out you will never look back. It can change the way you use your phone in ways you never new possible. It streamlines your communication, and makes things overall easier and more organized. In the coming weeks we'll take a look at the app and run through a complete setup and usage for BlackBerry devices, but for now I'll say if you haven't checked out Google Voice in the past you should definitely give it a go. Drop a comment and let us know your thoughts. Are you a happy Google Voice user? What would you like to see fixed up to make it even better? Have you not adopted the Google way for reasons of your own? Let us know!

[Gizmodo]

68 comments

TXBlade

Been using Google Voice for a few months now, love the fact I can call home from the US to the UK for $0.02 / min on my Blackberry..Just wish we could text international but very impressed with the call quality over Cellular as well as wireless.

tucker_dahlin

I love GV but the app for my storm is pretty POS...

chesterkai

I love Google Voice. I would love an app that actually works for my Storm2 even more...grrrrr....

rockigirl

I'm a big fan of GV. It makes checking work and personal VM much easier. I also no longer mind giving out my number because I just give out my GV number.

inspector6

Not available in Canada. Now that sucks. I've help, in the smallest way, to build google to what it is today!!!

khobbs

I agree with inspector6. I've been following the Google Voice idea for a while and hoping to get myself a number. I've got the invitation even sitting in my inbox. The only issue is, it doesn't work my with 250 Canadian number. I can't wait until they make it available here. The video is so inspiring! Thanks for another great delivery, Adam.

Babugee

is this an invitation to give out?

or do you mean you were invited?

Plazmic Flame

I live in Ontario and I got my invite way back in July, got it pretty fast after signing up. Sucks that I can't use it though...very upsetting. I hope they expand soon.

buecker

It has lots of potential but the app is pretty much useless to me. Plus, if people are "in" your network you don't want them using the GV number as it won't be a 'free' call.

My primary use for the number is that I have it ring my cell and Skype so when I am at home I can use Skype to answer certain calls instead of my AT&T "lets drop the call everytime."

waterfrontmgmt

you are missing the biggest advantage of gv...and it is the opposite of what you said...it can save you minutes big time.

lipa123

Pls Explain, how can I use GV & still be seen as on the Network
Where can I save minutes ?

dekanfrus

I love GV, but I wish I could make it always call from my GV number instead of my carrier issued one like you can on the Android OS. I rarely go into my contact list to call someone, I generally just start typing their name. Also, Sensobi doesn't support it =\

zinadork

I wish that they made it easier to dial people and the app on the storm is pretty weak. It should have better integration with your contacts. I also wish that I could mask the number as a verizon number so that all incoming and outgoing would be within the network. I don't want to pay for the friends and family plan only to not use the minutes. Also, youmail, which I previously had, would instantly alert me of new messages and was included in my alert profiles.

andy957

Doesn't work yet in Canada. :(

MJay609

You guys need to try "youmail" ... It's real cool & neat !! Iþs the best for me ! www.youmail.com

coffee-turtle

Isn't this just for voicemail?
Even so...it rocks.

addicted2tech

I was on youmail for a couple of years. Switched to google voicemail (not google voice) so I'm still using my same mobile number with google voicemail.

It rocks. Way better than youmail.

redwanhuq

Google Voice becomes useless as soon as you realize it doesn't use mobile to mobile minutes since it dials an access number that is not on your network. Thus, I would be using up my minutes big time. Great technology, limited use.

bmtbandit

Yeah but with VZW if you add the GV access number to your my 10, then all outgoing calls are in Network.

waterfrontmgmt

whoops...you missed the point of gv...it can save you tons of minutes if you have my fave or f&f

skriley

Its a lot easier to just port your number when you change carriers.

JIVE8900

If you sync your bb contacts with google you will see them in your GV call log. Also, predictive text(OS 5.0) works wIth the SMS

coffee-turtle

"The Google Voice app also has to dial an access number before completing your call, which at times doesn't always want to connect and can also be a big problem. The dialer on your device is still the default, so if you fail to dial a contact through the app the device number and not your Google Voice number will appear. You have to either dial directly from the application, or when in your contacts list choose the "Call with Google Voice" option."

The third-party app GV-Dialer ($10) did solve these issues with their application. Discontinued now since Apple didn't play nicely and Google's app is free.

lobbyintx

I recently downloaded the gv app. I didn't have it before and would simply call my gv# to make calls out through it. Gv is great. Autotext would be nice. Its a free service but I would gladly pay for it. Hope google doesn't read that.

Babugee

since it seems that all of you have google voice..

is it possible for someone to invite me so I can see what it is all about?

thanks :)

Babugee

i cant click your name to bring up your profile.. hold on

Babugee

And now its saying my PMs aren't being sent even though I sent them. I don't know what is going on.

captain_dl#AC

I have GV but never use it. It seems that I use my cell phone for everything anyway and never get calls anywhere else. My job does unified messaging, so if I do get a voicemail at work, I get it in email on my Blackberry and can listen to it there.

syb0rg

My wife and i have the T-Mobile Even More Plus plan with unlimited minuets... i have my number & she has her number. Then we use the Google voice number as our "home number".. .. .. It's 100% free and doesn't burn any of our "unlimited minuets"....

physique

I have it in my VZW shared numbers. So when people call my GV num or i dial out using the GV app, is this considered free air time?

eklisiewicz

and I agree with the reviewer who said that the in-app SMS was lousy, but the web interface is great and I still use it to send myself stuff for OTA download.

Now that I have changed plans and have unlimited SMS, I don't use GV as much. I also no longer have My Faves, so I cannot add the GV number as a MyFave.

But I can see this being real handy if I want to call someone and mask my real number.

I also sometimes use the GV number on forms that require a phone number and I don;t want to give out my real number.

I liked the GV Dialer app and was thrown under the bus by Google when they suspended development on it. The GV app for BlackBerry is just not as good as the Dialer app, and you cannot outdial to GV from the call log, which I find ridiculous.

So lots of improvements can be made. Still, it is a kick ass service. Like some others here, I use YouMail for voicemail rather than GV.

bigjman

I love google voice. I use it for business related calls, kid's school, doctors. Works good.

ftonyp

When I'm in a meeting and I get a call, I feel comfortable letting it go to VM because I know it will soon come to me as a speech to text transcript. It's far from perfect yet, but it always conveys the general gist of the message, so I know if I need to step out of the meeting to call the person back. I can also forward their message back to them with an email reply without leaving the meeting. Many of the other features are also great, but I'll limit this comment to vm.

Xopher

I've been using it since it was Grand Central and have really liked the service. I love that I can switch phones using it, so I can move from home to cell while still in the same call. Voicemail transcription is a nice added feature (funny sometimes to see what it transcribes) and having it download to my phone automatically is a great feature.

shalea#IM

This is pretty cool. i have a GV account & use gen'l vm. But I didn't know that it did all of this. WOW!!!

shalea#IM

This is pretty cool. i have a GV account & use gen'l vm. But I didn't know that it did all of this. WOW!!!

dreppucci007

For me, Google Voice rocks! I have a small side business and have set up my GV number specifically for that. So now I can do everything on my one BlackBerry and have personal and business matters separated by phone numbers, voicemail boxes, SMS boxes, etc.

Fredstar

Would it be possible you could send me an invite?
Capsquad@gmail.com

bosshimself

I am seiously looking for a GV invite. Please PM me or email me at hhrmidwest@gmail.com... thanks a million.

Fredstar

Yea i was wondering wat it was, but dam that video was perfect... is that free?

hossra

I'd like to be able to forward and text to international numbers. I would pay for that.

olivr2

I love but haven't been able to embrace b/c when it forwards to my work phone it hijacks my voice mail somehow. Also, it rings for ever, I wish I could customize how long b/f it goes to VM

candy84

If ANYONE has an invite please pm me or PIN me 21591491. It would be so appreciated!!!

Berrydale

What's the difference between Google Voice and Toktumi? If they are a similar type of service, is one better than the other, and how/why?

I'm considering a new small business venture that would keep me on the go a lot, so a cell phone with a means of a second number, voice mail, email, SMS,ect. all with one device would be perfect.

GarryTheWolf

First, I was very happy, to have such convenient service as Google Voice!
And then I've find out that - THE MAIN PROBLEM that I have with Google Voice in my BB Tour, is that it stops working suddenly, and very often - by unknown reason. It usually happens when I restart my BB, or after I came up from subway. And it's not just application, but the whole Google Voice service :( - nobody can't reach me on my GV number, they just hear my voice mail massage. At the same time my Verizon's number always works (if I'm not underground).
I've even noticed, that if the network is not on 1XEV, or it falls from 1EV to 1X frequently - there's big possibility that my Google Voice number will be dead. Even worse, my personal voice greeting shots down, and the person who's calling me hears "The Google Voice Number you're trying to reach is unavailable" - but not my greeting :( :( :(
Summarizing all these "dropped call" problems, I can just tell that Google Voice UNRELIABLE. And it's sad :( ..... I just received my new business cards, and the one of the numbers there is GV number :(
Guys, maybe some one knows why it happens ???

brannagh

If anyone has an extra invite,I would love one. bdcinboise@gmail.com.

TIA

docmphd

Love GV! The best tip is to switch your carrier voicemail to GV. Love it!

jordann84

would someone do me a kind favor and send me an invite to google voice jordann84@hotmail.com

thanks and happy holidays
john

JeffB2002

Too bad it is by invite only.....would love to have been able to set-up an account now. We'll see how long the wait is.

parana6

Can someone send me an invite please....

jonchos

The GV app will not load the history on my tour.
It worked fine since they first launched it but in the past few weeks it has not.
Any ideas? or anyone with the same issue?

Xman1001

Started using the GV # and liked the second line on my cell. Then had to rest my storm to default and now the GV app states, "Device is not supported". Would like to get the app back on my storm.

Ricardo86xx

wow after reading everything on here im hooked and want to try this out...if anyone can send me an invite... ric.pantoja@gmail.com thanks...

ryankrunk

If anyone would be willing to send me an invite, I am intrigued by this and want to give it a whirl... ryankrunk@yahoo.com, thanks!

70roadrunner

Just wish they had an app. Works Great!

Heifzilla

I love that you can set groups so each group gets a different message or one group can announce who is calling, another doesn't have to, etc..

One thing I don't care for is that when I dial through the GV app I do not see the number of the person I am calling, instead I see the number that my phone needs to dial to use the GV service. I can't seem to find a fix for this. I know it seems odd, but I like to see the number of the person I am calling :)

muayyad

Count me in if you have a spare one
mmalameer@gmail.com

pathmaker

Can someone send me an invite? Been tryin to get one for a while now. Gmacsurfin@yahoo.com
Thanks
Rich

josedjimenez

you can actually fix the problem of not knowing whos texting you by downloading google sync and syncing your address book to goole or save your contacts online

bhoward928

If anyone has an invite, i would really like to start using GV. my email is bhoward928@gmail.com. Thanks

scottawen

I really want to find the GV Dialer program and see that it is no longer available for download. Can anyone help me find it somewhere? scott@wenwso.com

chylee

any kind soul willing to send me an invite? thanks!!
nexuscy@yahoo.com

itorrent

Willing to do anything!

Alexis 36-24-36.

Likes: Long walks on the beach. Candle lit dinners. Eyes that smile.

Dislikes: Not getting an invite...

pinnacleframing@gmail.com

arcin220

Anybody have an invite at out there? I really need a separate line.

hyyun1

hyo.c.yun@gmail.com

Can Someone Please Send me an Invite for Google Voice

thank you