Google Voice

16 11 2009

While I’m still not sold on Google Wave, it was worth it to have it because I was able to trade it for an invite for Google Voice.  I haven’t even fully explored it yet but, so far, I am adoring Google Voice.

Basically, Google Voice is a product that is still invitation only from Google.  You can get a new “Google” phone number or use Google Voice with your existing phone number.  I chose to use my existing number rather than add a new phone number to my life.

The benefits of Google Voice, as explained by Google, are:

  • Google voicemail: voicemail like email
  • Voicemail transcription: read what your voicemail says
  • Custom greetings: vary voicemail greetings by caller
  • International calling: low cost calls to the world
  • Notifications: read voicemail messages via email or SMS
  • Share voicemails: forward, embed, or download voicemails

Additionally, the benefits that I’ve enjoyed are that you can:

  • Listen to your voicemail online
  • Pause your voicemail as you listen online
  • Receive the transcripts of your voicemail by email or text message

The transcripts can be a little iffy.  It depends on the background noise in the message and how clearly the person is speaking.  When I’ve had trouble with the transcript, I’ve listened to the playback online and it’s been just fine.  The one annoying part of Google Voice is that I don’t know when I have a new voicemail if I’m away from my computer. Since it goes to a different voicemail number, I only get a notification if I’ve missed a call, rather than if I have a new voicemail.

I am very excited to have voicemail access through Google Voice while I’m out of the country.  I’m leaving for London and Paris tomorrow and would normally not check my voicemail because of the expense (I don’t have an iPhone, which is a post for another time).  I do, however, have an iPod Touch which has wi-fi access.  During my trip, I’ll now have access to listen to my voicemails through Google Voice whenever I have wi-fi access.  Google Voice also supports multiple phone lines so we’re going to set up Google Voice to transcribe my husband’s voicemail also.

While there are merits to unplugging and being incommunicado, I prefer to have access to voicemail and then choose whether or not I want to access it.

I’ll post about library uses for Google Voice when I get back . . .




One response

17 11 2009

I am really thrilled with Google Wave so far. I see a few bugs but I’m sure they’ll get worked out. I hate checking my voicemail, getting it automatically transcribed would be pretty sweet.

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