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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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  • 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

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


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Asked: Jun 25 '13 at 17:45

Seen: 6,188 times

Last updated: Jul 01 '13 at 22:58

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