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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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Love GV. Send VM by email. Easy text to many people. Record calls. Send recording by email. Change VM daily using preset recording. VM integrated with tmobile. Ring multiple phone number. International calls easy and inexpensive.


answered Jun 29 '13 at 17:49

nathanchitty's gravatar image


I've been using GV plus an ObiHai (OB110) for about 2 years now for a home phone. It has been reliable and functions to provide voip thru a normal telephone with no cost other than upfront equipment. If Google wants to charge for it, I'll likely continue to pay because it's been a good service. The best feature is transcription of voicemail and forwarding to email. It's not very reliable for transcription, but does ok and includes a audio in the email. I forward messages to automatically to my email and my wifes email so a message goes immediately to both our smartphones. This has been great for school related autodial messages and drs appt reminders. No more waiting to listen to a computer.

It's important to remind people that there is no 911 service through this approach. That would have to be dealt with through another service to the OB110 box. There are several solutions I've read about; old mobile phone, land line, voip service with e911, but haven't pursued.

It did take a bit to get setup by transferring my home number temporarily to a T-mobile number and then on to Google Voice. This is obviously not the way Google was intending the service, since they are promoting the "one number to rule them all" approach. I did use GV for my cell number for a while and I did not think it added any benefit for that purpose.


answered Jun 28 '13 at 18:25

jgillian's gravatar image


I'm a Grand Central veteran too using GV as long as it has existed. For me, there are 2 killer features:

1. Free long distance calls

Yes, I still have a land line. I cancelled my "dial 1" long distance years ago thanks to GV. This has saved me hundreds of dollars. To make a call, I simply autodial my GV # and append a pause, then 2# (to indicated I want to initiate a call). Then, I either dial a number or use my phone auto-dialer. You need to press "#" to kick the call off so I put that in any stored numbers I have. I sometimes initiate calls from my browser and tell GV to ring my home. Somewhat easier since I can use GV Contacts to fetch the number.

I also use this at work to make long distance calls; easier than inputing (and remembering) my 9 digit "calling code" to initiate a call.

2. Free texting.

I have a "dumb" mobile phone and pay 25 cents per text. Since I am in a WiFi zone about 95% of the time, I only give out my GV number as my mobile number -- then I get incoming texts as email or popping up on the GV browser page or Goolge IOS app. While I could respond by email, I find it easier to type in the browser or APP.


answered Jun 26 '13 at 22:14

james_weissman's gravatar image


I have a "Friends and Family" plan with my GV number assigned to my cell phone, and it forwards calls too (with the say your name filtering for "restricted" numbers). So it is free minutes, but I get cell-voice and not VoIP.

It is also a backup number, so if I lose my cell phone, I can move things so I can still use my tablet or other device to answer calls. Android contacts are usually in your google account.

If I've misplaced my phone, I can call it using GV and listen for where the ring is coming from.

Groove IP (from the Amazon App Store) lets me use it like Skype.

If I want to "livestream" some broadcast to my cell, I just call it and leave the computer on.

SMS is spotty but is sometimes useful.

If you have an old number (been in the family for years), you can port it so you won't miss long lost friends and relatives just trying it.

You can sometimes get a vanity number, 123-4567 is taken for all areacodes, but others are available.


answered Jun 26 '13 at 18:38

tz1's gravatar image


I love Google Voice and use it for my primary number for everything. I started using it as my work number, because I liked the fact that I could set it to ring many different phones at once, so I'd get calls no matter where I was. But I quickly adopted it as my primary personal number too, because it was just so useful.

Things I love:

  • One number for everything. No more worrying about porting or losing numbers, or having to inform anyone of a change.

  • Managing contacts and phone numbers via Gmail. Easy and intuitive.

  • Being able to record different greetings for different contacts, and different contact groups. All my "work" calls get an official voicemail, and my friends each have their own individualized voicemail that I can change when I want.

  • Texting through Chrome and the Chrome Voice extension is awesome.

  • Archiving text messages and voicemails, and having that history searchable by Google's powerful search engine means never getting rid of a message ever. I like having a record of things from years past.

  • Making calls right from my desktop without ever having to pick up a phone. Also one-click calling from my Contacts list.

  • Free videochatting with multiple parties (upcoming feature when Hangouts merges with Voice).

Things I don't love:

  • No MMS, as of yet. But this is supposedly changing as Hangouts merges with Voice in the near future. Google knows how badly we all want this.

Full disclosure: I'm a huge Google proponent, and because I'm Google everything (Gmail, Android phone, etc.), it seemed natural to adopt Google Voice. This might not be the case for everyone.


answered Jun 26 '13 at 17:21

logan47474's gravatar image


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

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

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


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


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


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Asked: Jun 25 '13 at 17:45

Seen: 6,214 times

Last updated: Jul 01 '13 at 22:58

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