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I have a Google Voice account (and a Grand Central account before that!), but I don't use it much. I think I should use it more, because in theory, Google Voice seems to do everything. Is anyone using it exclusively for their phone number? I sense that since smart phones came along and got smarter, that the need or niche for Google Voice diminished. Tell what Google Voice is good for, and what you use it for?

asked Jun 25 '13 at 17:45

Kevin%20Kelly's gravatar image

Kevin Kelly

I've been using GV since the Grandcentral days. Extremely useful for me because I can call my relatives in Canada, as well as make calls on my laptop for free in the US. I also use it to make overseas calls, rates are decent, some providers you can get certain countries for more or less. My cellphone voicemail has been replaced with Google Voice as my provider: I get "visual voicemail" for all my calls, GV translates the voicemail and lets me read it when I don't have my phone with me. Call screening is great, I can give out my GV number freely and not worry about being harassed or spammed.

1 year, 7 months ago
cubensis's gravatar image cubensis

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I give out my g-voice number for everything- work, home, office. The web tool is what makes g-voice awesome. I spend time every couple of days on the site going over the most recent calls, texts, and voice mails in the call log, making notes and tags about each contact. This gives me a complete and searchable list of contacts I have had about certain projects, with certain people, etc. I also use this time to update my Google contact lists into groups and assign calling rules to different groups and to individual numbers. Some people I set up to always go straight to voice mail, some people get screened (call comes in and I can listen in to the caller as they leave a voice mail with the option of breaking in and taking the call if the call turns out to be important), and some calls will go straight through. Calls from numbers i don't know get greeted and asked their name and then I get the option of taking, screening, or sending their call to voice mail. I also set up custom greetings for different groups- some people get a professional, info-rich v-mail greeting, some people get a quick, "leave a message", and my wife and kids get an "I love you". I also use the call recording feature (star 4) when I really need to remember exactly what was said. I flag certain numbers as spam and they won't even ring my phone or clutter up my v-mail inbox. But my favorite feature is the that I can completely block certain numbers so that they get a tri-tone and "this number is not in service" message. The tri-tones are actually picked up by predictive dialers and are auto removed from automated calling lists. Since telemarketers share and sell scrubbed lists among each other, this has reduced the number of telemarketing calls I have received. My only regret is that I didn't get a number that spelled something clever or had a bunch of repeated numbers to make it easy for people to remember. That feature was added after I got my number and it really is a pain to change. On a side note, a couple of years ago, I turned an old Motorola Droid into a WiFi-only phone with its own g-voice number using a combination of g-voice and two other apps. (I don't recall the names of the apps.) No cell fees, no data plan, just free calls and texts via WiFi (outgoing and incoming). Gave it to my 7 year old and she left it out in the rain, though. Oh well.


answered Jun 25 '13 at 20:04

jrickner's gravatar image


  • You get texts in your browser, even if your phone is in your bag. And you can see if someone is calling you.
  • You can reply to texts very efficiently via the desktop/laptop web interface. Plus, it kind of looks like you're working rather than texting.
  • Transcriptions are often hilarious. You get the gist of the message, and often a laugh too.
  • Nice ability to archive texts for the long haul. And I like being able to download mp3s of voicemails. but... -- Can't receive picture messages. -- Can't text overseas numbers.

answered Jun 25 '13 at 21:49

csucg's gravatar image


edited Jun 25 '13 at 21:49

I really loved Voice until Google removed the ability to call out from Gmail when they updated the Hangout feature. I don't always get good reception in my house, so using Google Voice to dial out was super useful. I still find Google Voice has plenty of positives, but my absolute favorite feature is now MIA. Having Google kill dial-out and Reader so close together has me really bummed out.


answered Jun 26 '13 at 01:07

Joshua's gravatar image


I found you can get the dial-out functionality back by killing Hangouts.

1 year, 7 months ago
Joshua's gravatar image Joshua

Absolutely. I ported my home land-line phone number to a mobile phone years ago, and ditched land-lines altogether. My employer now pays for my mobile phone service so I was able to port my old home phone number from the mobile to Google Voice for a one time $20 fee, and it can forward calls to that number to my work mobile. Hopefully Google will keep this service around -- It's well worth it to me to keep a number I've had for 15+ years.


answered Jun 26 '13 at 05:43

EF27701's gravatar image


I would use my GV number as my primary number if it could receive picture messages. One day...

Until then, I still get good use out of it for the following reasons:

  • Voicemail transcription
  • Being able to text with my wife from my computer when I'm at work. (Instead of looking like a slacker fiddling with my phone all day.)
  • Dialing from my browser
  • Privacy - There are a few people who only get my GV number so I can cut them off and never have to hear from them again, if I decide to. I also use my GV number for any website that asks for it, for the same reason.
  • Spam filtering
  • Being able to set a ring schedule (not as big a factor, since it's not my primary number)

answered Jun 26 '13 at 06:08

edsobo's gravatar image


I don't use it as my primary, and I don't even use it all that much. But I value it as a supplemental phone for when I have a long teleconference that I want to take at home and don't want to eat up my limited cellular voice minutes. I've also used it on vacation overseas, calling home for free over hotel WiFi. And finally, I've used it for outgoing overseas calls, since the per-minute rates are lower than it would be to add international calling and per-minute calls to my cell. I put $10 worth of credit into my account a few years ago and still have more than $8 there after a few calls from US to NZ.


answered Jun 26 '13 at 09:35

tinyhands's gravatar image


I've used it since the GrandCentral days and LOVE it!

How else, other than Google Voice, can you give out one phone number that, when dialed, causes multiple cells phones, plus a land-line, to ring simultaneously?

Other features I love:

  • Transfer calls from cell to land-line or another cell by pressing *
  • Voice Mails transcribed and emailed to me
  • Ability to have certain incoming phone numbers go directly to voice mail
  • Ability to record calls by pressing 4 and later download an MP3 of the recording

answered Jun 26 '13 at 10:25

kennethrow's gravatar image


Very useful for me, but yeah since there are apps now like Viber, things got much easier for ppl. Still, not having to worry about contracts, about number changing, about missing a call, if my phone is dead or even lost I still get email notifications on tablet about missed calls and voicemails and in Gmail on desktop I can even call or answer the phone calls just as usual, all phone calls, messages, contacts stay right where they are, so in the end the phone (and number that comes with it) is just that, a simple phone or carrier, nothing is tied to it, it is a FREEDOM that I see lot of people don't have, if they lose their phone? they are like half lost..


answered Jun 26 '13 at 10:31

vaheg's gravatar image


One thing I haven't seen mentioned that I love about mine is the call transfers. I had a landline at my desk, and I prefer not to use cell phones because of the poor call quality. Transferring voice calls is easy, you just hit "#" (or maybe "*", can't remember, don't have a landline any more). All your other lines ring and you just pick up the other line and hang up your cell. Same process when you leave your desk.

Also if you have an Android the call integration is pretty good. You can set it to automatically route all outbound calls via your voice number, or have it prompt you on each call.

Also, FWIW, Google desks don't have landlines. If you need a "work" phone number, you're directed to the Voice signup page. I don't know what their future plans are, but tools used internally tend to have a higher bar for sunsetting.


answered Jun 26 '13 at 11:48

Shaftway's gravatar image


edited Jun 26 '13 at 11:51

I'm the secretary for a local Democratic Club and I've used Google Voice to provide our organization with a contact number for just over two years. Our club officers work through a "virtual office" based on Gmail, GGroups and GDocs. We communicate with our members by Email, but now they can call to RSVP for events and make general inquiries.

I configured GVoice to redirect calls to my AT&T iPhone. The calling number tells me that it's club-related, so I can answer appropriately. When I can't pick up, the caller gets a nice "You have reached the Democratic Club..." greeting, and I get a text AND an email notification. It's no-cost and was easy to set up.


answered Jun 26 '13 at 16:09

If%20Then%20Else's gravatar image

If Then Else

edited Jun 26 '13 at 16:12

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Asked: Jun 25 '13 at 17:45

Seen: 6,215 times

Last updated: Jul 01 '13 at 22:58

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