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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 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


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 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
  • 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've had a Google Voice number since they were available and use it as my main number. I think it is a great service and I will be sorry when Google kills it like Reader. Being able to route calls to any number that you have access to is so handy. When my phone battery died unexpectedly (I had 4G turned on where there was no 4G signal) I routed calls to an iPad via Talkatone.

A couple of considerations:

  MMS is not currently supported, not a big deal for me but a deal breaker for some.
  Some services will not recognize GV as a text number. I tried to set up 2 factor 
     authentication on a website, but the confirmation text to the GV number never
     came through. I had to send it to the phone's number.

answered Jun 25 '13 at 20:09

clearcut's gravatar image


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


Yes. For me, the most useful features are:

1) Sending and receiving text messages from Chrome. I text with my employees in the field all day long, and GV is invaluable for that.

2) Voicemail transcription. It's only 80-90% accurate, but that's enough to tell if a message is urgent.

3) Call screening. People I know and work with ring through, the rest have to identify themselves.

4) Carrier independence. I can drop my cell phone provider tomorrow and point GV to a new number or numbers at any point. No porting necessary.

5) 2 numbers at once. I moved to a new area but kept my old GV number. No need to worry if people haven't gotten my new number.


answered Jun 25 '13 at 19:55

aweiss's gravatar image


Beware! I love GV, but you cannot get MMS! This also means that if someone sends a group SMS from an iPhone, YOU WILL NOT RECEIVE IT because Apple changes group SMS to MMS. You don't even get an error message, nor does the sender.

Other than that, it has been everything I've ever needed. Even better with my Android phone making calls out with GV.

Other added bonus, we were able to port our home phone to GV via T-mobile (can't port directly to GV), also using an OBi110 adapter.


answered Jun 25 '13 at 19:52

Jimmer's gravatar image


edited Jun 25 '13 at 19:56

I've also had a Google Voice/Grand Central number since 2006 and can't say enough good things about it.

The most compelling thing about it is the simplest: Someone calls you and you always get the call. I work remotely about 90% of the time, but the other 10%, when I'm in an office with a phone, I can just add the desk phone to my Google Voice account and poof suddenly I get all my calls at the desk.

The ability to call out via Google Voice and then swap over to another phone if you need to leave is also a big deal. Mid-call, I can push * and swap the call over to another of my Google Voice phones without dropping the call. This is great if you're on a phone meeting or on hold.


answered Jun 25 '13 at 19:47

euvy's gravatar image


I also have been using it since the old GrandCentral days and my power-use is having incoming calls ring in multiple places simultaneously: my cell, skype-in, work, and during certain hours, POTS landline. With one number, I can be reached pretty much anyplace I regularly frequent without using up precious minutes on my cheapo Virgin Mobile $35 plan (300 mins, "unlt'd" 4G data) . I also love the voice mail transcription and ability to send SMS within gmail.

A caveat with adopting it a new: how long will Google continue to support it as a free product - or said bluntly, when will they kill it? I imagine it is more resource intensive than Reader and with fewer opportunities to socialize and monetize. Frankly, I am looking for paid alternatives as a backup...


answered Jun 25 '13 at 19:21

retrorazor's gravatar image


edited Jun 25 '13 at 19:23

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Asked: Jun 25 '13 at 17:45

Seen: 6,209 times

Last updated: Jul 01 '13 at 22:58

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