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Google Android Communications

Is Google Voice Doomed To Be 2nd-Class Messaging System? 172

Posted by timothy
from the works-for-me dept.
itwbennett writes "There's a lot to like about Google Voice, including 'voicemail transcriptions, the ability to send and receive unlimited text messages by phone or website, and recording incoming calls,' says Voice convert Kevin Purdy. But when it comes to app integration, Voice is falling short — even on Android phones: 'Most apps that do neat things with incoming texts, like read them out loud when you're driving, can't work with Voice. Tasker, a crazy, nerdy automation tool that can do things like turn your volume up when you get a text from your wife, can't work with Voice.... Online services that text you to verify or remind you are about 50/50.' Google employee Nikhyl Singhal wrote in a Google+ post that 'Hangouts is designed to be the future of Google Voice.' But what Voice users like Purdy are looking for is some sort of 'assurance that Google Voice can work just like any other text messaging system.'"
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Is Google Voice Doomed To Be 2nd-Class Messaging System?

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  • by mlts (1038732) * on Tuesday June 25, 2013 @11:40AM (#44101129)

    For Craigslist and other uses for a disposable number where I don't trust the other party, Google Voice is very handy. Just this use alone makes it worth having.

    • by garcia (6573)

      This.

      I use it on my LinkedIn profile so that recruiters don't learn my real number but can still get in touch with me easily.

    • by interkin3tic (1469267) on Tuesday June 25, 2013 @12:03PM (#44101433)
      And saves me from having to type back a message on my touchscreen when I'm at my computer, I can use the keyboard.

      "But app integration!!!" That's stupid. Unless the app somehow sprouts a physical keyboard from the phone, all other messaging systems are second class compared to google voice in my book.
      • Let me tell you what's wrong with the built in messaging system in Android.

        There should be a clear separation between the text entry / conversation viewing user interface, and the services that can send and receive text messages. Right now, if anyone wants to provide an alternative text message delivery service, they must replace the entire text entry user interface.

        Your replacement could store the sent and received messages in the phone's SMS database. But then, whenever you open an unread message you ha

    • by rsborg (111459)

      For Craigslist and other uses for a disposable number where I don't trust the other party, Google Voice is very handy. Just this use alone makes it worth having.

      Same here - I put my GV# on all my emails. I whitelist family/friends (and encourage them to use my direct number instead) but let everyone else hit voicemail with a message that says I'll call back soon.

      I also give out my GV number to all those places that "require" a phone number. People/companies that you have done business with can legitimately spam you, and GV shields you from this kind of spam.

      Furthermore, when I switched providers (from Verizon to TMobile), GV allowed me to have a semi-normal opera

    • by icebike (68054)

      For Craigslist and other uses for a disposable number where I don't trust the other party, Google Voice is very handy. Just this use alone makes it worth having.

      Worth having? Or Worth Paying for?

      Google doesn't make much if any profit on GV, and you might find it "spring cleaned" right out of existence if they don't find a way to do so.
      How much would you pay per month for this service?

      • by gnapster (1401889)

        How much would you pay per month for this service?

        See, I would pay for the service, but I don't think we'll ever be given that option. I expect that Google will add it to a spring cleaning list long before they try to charge for it. It doesn't matter how much I would be willing to pay; they'll never take my money.

  • by elh_inny (557966) on Tuesday June 25, 2013 @11:41AM (#44101135) Homepage Journal

    Which means it's still very much a niche product.
    Once it works in Europe, China and India then we can talk about it having any signficant market share.
    Even if every single person in the US switched to Google Voice I think it would still be less users than Skype has already...

    • Yeah, and Google has a habit of cutting of niche products on a whim......
      • by Trimaxion (2933647) on Tuesday June 25, 2013 @11:59AM (#44101383)

        Yup. If you like Google Voice, don't upgrade to Hangouts yet. I did so a while ago, and admittedly, Hangouts is pretty cool, but it comes with a surprise: it takes away your ability to make outbound GV calls in the GMail interface. Fortunately there was an option to downgrade to the old chat interface.

        Engadget says that the phone calling feature will be returned in Hangouts 'soon'... http://www.engadget.com/2013/05/20/hangouts-upgrade-disables-outbound-google-voice-calls-in-desktop/ [engadget.com]

        • by icebike (68054)

          I think its just as likely Google Voice will be "Spring Cleaned" out of existence.

          Google hasn't found a way to monetize it in any meaningful way.

          • by AngryNick (891056)

            I think its just as likely Google Voice will be "Spring Cleaned" out of existence.

            Let's say that happens...this isn't as easy as turning off Google Wave. Where do the numbers go? Will future generations call it Port-ageddon? Will there be FCC intervention, socialist cape included? Will puppies be scarified too?

            This is not a future I want to see.

            • by icebike (68054)

              The numbers now go to a bank of computers. There are no physical lines anywhere. Its all done via the internet.

              When any number has no routing, you get a recording that says something like
              "this number has been changed or disconnected".

              Google could (but wouldn't) turn it off overnight.
              Even when Google spring cleans something (google reader) totally out of existence, they give you the chance
              to download your existing data, and a date certain when it will disappear.

          • Google hasn't found a way to monetize it in any meaningful way.

            I wouldn't be so sure of that. Inbound and outbound calls, frequency and to whom are a great way to gather data about your relationships with people. They connect this with your profile and use that data to add to their database-of-creepiness so that they can effectively target ads much better at you. If you ONLY use GVoice then no, it's not something they can monetize, but if you use a web browser to read your messages, or log into GMail... whatever.... that data becomes "you".

            And this is from someone who'

    • A niche the size of the US is not really that small of a niche. I realize we tend to be very america-centric, and I apologize for that, but come on, we're not talking about something that only works on the rock of Gibraltar.
    • by gr8dude (832945)

      It works in Europe, but only for texting (you cannot make calls).

      The program won't install itself using via the market, so you have to install the APK manually.

      I've been using it for several years now.

    • by AvitarX (172628)

      Also, without MMS, it doens't really allow me to use it as my main number.

      • by JazzLad (935151)
        MMS simply delivers via email. NBD in my book.
    • by gl4ss (559668)

      Which means it's still very much a niche product.
      Once it works in Europe, China and India then we can talk about it having any signficant market share.
      Even if every single person in the US switched to Google Voice I think it would still be less users than Skype has already...

      and if google weren't idiots they would integrate the Voice to android so the messages from it would appear as normal messages.. it's not that hard.

  • by jaymz666 (34050) on Tuesday June 25, 2013 @11:42AM (#44101169)

    Instead of me having to use real SMS for company pages, an email to Google Voice messaging would be a very handy replacement. Instead of being tied to a single device I could get alerts on all my google voice outlets and not worry about SMS overages

    • Overages?
      In my country SMS have become free, but that took a new cell phone operator to come to the market. Before that they would gorge themselves with a cost of about 10 to 15 euro cents per SMS sent, though you could get unlimited SMS as part of a contract or option, or had a set of about 100 or 1000 SMS you can send before you have to pay per message.

    • by gl4ss (559668)

      you want to send sms's by email? here you go https://www.google.com/search?q=sms+gateway+service&oq=sms+gateway+service&aqs=chrome.0.57j0l3j62l2.3074j0&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8 [google.com]

      you can also send them via http and whatever imaginable protocol you can think of. it's not free of course.

      • by jaymz666 (34050)

        No, I want to receive emails to google voice. Like you can for verizon, att, sprint etc. email to SMS gateways

  • ...until they featured "improved" integration with my cell carrier. I used it for voicemail and transcription only. Now, if I try to replace my carrier voicemail with Google Voice, it also replaces my cell phone number with my GVoice number, all my texts come from GVoice, etc. I can't seem to simply redirect voicemail to it any more. Good service, but it needs better integration and more granular control.

    • by crow (16139)

      I use it exactly the way you described, and it works fine with Verizon. You need to sign up for Google Voice Lite. I have had trouble with the voice app occasionally not getting a notification that new voicemail is available, and I don't usually get a transcription of the message right away, but it's still vastly better than the default Verizon voicemail.

    • On T-mobile. No problems using it just for VM here.

      • by P-niiice (1703362)
        Same on Sprint. No problems using it with voicemail only at all.
        • by Scutter (18425)

          On Sprint here. When I renewed my contract and went to set up my new phone, GVoice took over completely. I can't find any way to use it for voicemail only, but when I originally set it up it was before Sprint's "full integration" with Google Voice. I'd be thrilled if you can tell me how to use it for voicemail only.

          • I always clicked "NO" to those Sprint/Google integration prompts. As in-- do not choose either option, and close this dialog box. That means I still have two distinct phone numbers, one associated only with the telco, and one associated with Google that will redirect to your cell phone (or not redirect, if you choose). The way it should be. Integration with the telco kind of defeats the purpose of Google voice, IMO. If you only have a Google voice number then it's already too late, you are fully integr
  • I don't know why GV is not better integrated into my phone. My choices in GV settings are to use GV for ALL calls, NO calls, or PROMPT when calling. If you use PROMPT when calling, you are then asked, on a per call basis, if you wish to make the call with GV or not. But there's no "Remember this choice for this contact" checkbox, and to me it's an incredibly lame oversight. It is for this reason alone that I have GV set to NO calls, and only use GV for received voicemails. I used to use the GV Chro

  • by slaker (53818) on Tuesday June 25, 2013 @11:47AM (#44101219)

    Google Voice does a number of things far better than any other system that more than make up for whatever deficiencies the author believes it might have.

    I will preface this by saying that I am a Sprint cellular customer, so Google Voice can be fully integrated into my telephone service.

    1. My cell number is integrated in to Google Voice. This means that I can answer calls from anyplace I happen to be logged in to the desktop version of Gmail or have the Google Voice app installed. This means that I do not need to have my phone tied to my actual person 24 hours a day. I can answer a call while I'm reading on a tablet in my bathtub or while my phone is charging in another room.

    2. Google Voice transcribes voicemails so that they are delivered as E-mails, so that I don't have to listen to them. This is worth actual money to me. I hate voice mail with a passion.

    3. I dislike SMS messages because, again, I don't like having to have my telephone permanently anchored to my body. Google Voice allows me to filter and deliver SMS messages as if they were E-mails and to respond to them as such. SMS messages never hit my phone. I've never opened the SMS app on it. I just respond to e-mails. Again, this is a tremendously valuable service.

    If I'm missing something from not having texts delivered to my phone, I don't know and I don't care what that is, because as far as I'm concerned, Google Voice is doing every single thing I want it to already.

    • by pspahn (1175617)

      I use GV as my phone number. I haven't paid for cell service in years. One thing I'm going to go ahead and call you out on is the voicemail transcription. Here is an actual transcription that I received last night.

      Hey person, what's up man. It's Meyer. I wanna talk to you about. The way I have been able to. Sir if I don't have your address. I did her phone number so if you could. Gimme a call back as soon as you get a chance if you got the number here pretty soon.

      As you can see, leaves quite a bit to be desired. I can't say it's even improved much in the last couple of years, because it hasn't. Most of the time, the voicemail transcribes as "Unable to transcribe this message".

      While it is definitely a great tool that I use everyday, the voicemail transcrip

      • by swillden (191260)
        It may depend on the accents and speech patterns of those who call you, but I find that GV transcriptions generally do a reasonable job of giving me the gist of the message. I'd say I have to actually listen to the message maybe 30% of the time, and even then it's usually just to clarify the details.
      • by P-niiice (1703362)
        I agree, it needs work, but I can generally understand what someone is talking about in the transciption. It's also good for a laugh.
        • by Sporkinum (655143)

          Yep, this the only thing I use Google Voice for. I usually get the gist of the message.
          But not with this one.." Hey Jess is out a lease it down in in the mammals on the whole lot aquatic early so I'm putting the 8 grandchildren that synchronization park. So, just curious. Thanks. "

      • I use GV as my phone number. I haven't paid for cell service in years.

        I'm not sure I follow how these are related. Are you giving up the convenience of a mobile to only buy minutes through GV on a computer/laptop on wifi?

        • by pspahn (1175617)

          You don't need to purchase minutes for domestic calls, only international. I pay absolutely nothing aside from the $5 I spent on the third-party android app that lets me make calls from an Android PMP.

          What I do pay for is a 4G mobile hotpot through Clear. I use that as my main internet connection at home and around town. It's cheaper than a cell phone plan, I have unlimited data, and it performs reasonably well for voice calls through GV.

          Despite this, however, I am considering getting a cheap pre-paid dum

          • I see, so you're basically using the 4G hotspot as your phone service (via wifi). I would assume it has some limitations on coverage? Plus the fact that you have to carry two devices. Do you get decent throughput via the hotspot? I'd love to have some competition for the local cable ISP but for the speeds I desire (10-20MBps) at a reasonable cost, they are really the only option currently. I see a lot of the pros, including primarily cost, of such a solution. What are some cons?
      • The voicemail transcripts often suck. There is one thing they are pretty good at picking up though--phone numbers. 95% of the time, I can listen to a voicemail where somebody gives me a callback number, pull the phone from my ear, and click on the number to dial it.

        No more having to listen to it multiple times or having something ready to write down a number. Just look at the transcript and its there.

    • I am also a Sprint customer with Google Voice integration. For the most part things work smoothly, but I have some complaints.

      One major problem is that there are no options for altering the behavior of a permanent secondary line. I cannot delete or suspend it, and cannot change the number (it is possible to change the number for a single primary, but this option is unavailable for a permanent secondary). If there is a way to selectively forward all calls from the secondary number to voicemail, I can't fi

    • I'm also a Sprint customer who uses Google Voice. Regarding your three points:

      1. This is why I use GV. Useful.

      2. GV's transcription has such amazingly low accuracy that it's good for comedy, but not for understanding about 50% of messages. Late 1990s Dragon Naturally Speaking was far more accurate. Even Siri makes maybe a tenth as many mistakes. When I compare to the recorded voicemail I hear clear, normal American accents speaking clearly where my messages show up as things like "Easter...go between

    • 3. I dislike SMS messages because, again, I don't like having to have my telephone permanently anchored to my body. Google Voice allows me to filter and deliver SMS messages as if they were E-mails and to respond to them as such. SMS messages never hit my phone.

      Google Voice sucks at SMS, and MMS is simply dropped. For you, that apparently seems to be considered a feature. For most people, though, it's not. I don't know if you've noticed, but SMS/MMS is how most people seem to communicate nowadays.

      • by slaker (53818)

        I really don't care what other people do. A technology that's tied to a single piece of hardware for no reason other than inconvenience is in no way useful to me. It amazes me that so many people who own phones that are fully capable of using SMTP to deliver a message would instead bother to deal with all the limitations of texting in the first place.

    • by bitt3n (941736) on Tuesday June 25, 2013 @01:17PM (#44102411)
      my favorite part of google voice is leaving a message for someone who uses it, and they read the transcript as "human-sized mango octopus glovebox get scammed by the hamburglar one sousaphone excoriated in the afterlife," and then they listen to the message to find out what I actually said, and they find out that's actually what I said.
  • by Rich0 (548339) on Tuesday June 25, 2013 @11:54AM (#44101311) Homepage

    Hangout is great, I get it. If they REALLY implemented Voice in Hangout I'd be fine if it were just as simple to utilize.

    However, what I don't want is when my Aunt Tilly wants to call me that I say "wait, I don't have a phone number any more - just go to the local library where they have broadband, ask them to install the Google Talk plugin or whatever, and start a hangout with me." Oh, and I'd like it to still ring my home phone, which is just a phone (not a smartphone, not a cell phone - a handset, two pairs of wires, and about $1 in circuitry).

    I love Google Voice because it is a bridge that allows me to interface modern technologies like the web/mobile/etc with basic telephony (SMS, PSTN/etc) which are used by everybody who isn't under the age of 25.

    • ....
      You can integrate google voice with a bunch of SIP hardware devices like obihai 100/110. Getting it to integrate with google voice is a breeze. Getting 911 on it is a bit trickier, but without 911 it's a free to use phone number that can be access with your gmail account. Best thing is that once the device is up and running you plug your home phone into it.

      • by Ichijo (607641)

        I love my Obihai OBi110 adapter. But after hearing the excellent call quality on Skype, I really wish wideband audio (a.k.a. HD Voice a.k.a. G.722) were available on Obihai+GV. Wideband audio is the future, and Google should try to keep up with it.

      • by Rich0 (548339)

        From what I've seen integrating Google Voice with SIP is anything but straightforward, but maybe things have changed.

        In any case, my concern isn't whether it can be done today, but whether it can be done long-term if they move to Hangouts.

  • The ONLY reason I use Google Voice is that it allows me to easily send and receive SMS messages via a web interface. Who the hell wants to type out messages on a cell phone when you can do it on a full keyboard, without messing with your phone.

    If I could do that with my real T-Mobile number, via some T-Mobile web interface, I'd use that instead. Why the hell isn't that an easy thing to do? SMS via website?

  • I use a Google Voice number exclusively, and I'd be thrilled to have any kind of usable first-party iOS app. There are about 500 apps that will let me check my voicemail and initiate a callback-call from a cellphone or landline, but as far as I know, Talkatone is the only one that does actual in-app VoIP, and I'd club a seal for a crisp, clean Google version... or at least some more options.
  • I use Gvoice for my personal calls and messages on my work phone. This is a good system because I can keep my number when I change jobs, but still use my work phone which I have to carry anyway.

    I'm honestly surprised how bad the user experience is when using the Voice app for iPhone 4. I seriously wonder if I got some kind of counterfeit app (if that would even be possible), the usability is THAT bad.

    Gvoice text messages pop up on the lock screen instantly, but then when I go to view them, I have to open th
    • by swb (14022)

      I want an iOS GoogleVoice to work like Line2, using VoIP for calling and with cellular callback as a last resort.

      I'd use the hell out of it if it worked that way.

    • I have these exact problems with it and use it the same. I only give out my real number to personal circles and then hey! I got a text/vm, go to the app to check it and it's not there, refresh slowly, finally can listen to what was actually said. Really bad app but the service is very helpful in keeping work and personal separate. Plus with selective ringtone for the GV number, I know if it's work calling or not.
    • by _Ludwig (86077)

      For voice, there is NO proper call history. NO CALL HISTORY!!?? There is a "dialer" and a "quick dial" but no way to call someone back based on history.

      What? I’m looking at my call history right now and I can call or text back any number on it. Back out all the way to the main menu, it's the third entry, after Inbox and Starred. Below that you can filter just Voicemails, Texts, Placed, Received, or Missed.

  • SMS? cool and expensive last decade. now most new cell phone plans offer unlimited SMS. same with prepaid.
    most new cell phone plans offer unlimited minutes in the USA to any phone as well. no point in using google voice to save your day time minutes

    i dumped my land line phone a long time ago because my cell phone is unlimited minutes. unlimited SMS means i have lots of subscriptions like NYC Subway text alerts coming into my phone.

    i've had google voice for years and rarely use anymore

  • I am an avid consumer of most google products. But Google Voice is just too unreliable to merit serious consideration. My texts randomly show up 12, 16, 18 hours later with no rhyme or reason. Sometimes it's when I restart my phone, switch between wifi and the network, sometimes it's just because. Plus the failure to support MMS except in limited circumstances.
  • Google killed off Google Reader because it "only" had about a million users. (Although based on the number of new Feedly users it's likely that the number was a lot higher than that.) Google Voice has about 3.5 million users, and while it has a lot of great features it also has a lot of limitations and quirks that have been there a while and there's no sign of Google addressing them. Now Google says that Hangouts is the future, but I suspect the transition is going to be akin to pulling the rug out from
    • by rsborg (111459)

      This.

      I can't imagine Google Reader costs more than Google Voice or even anywhere near as much. Yet, they cut reader while keeping voice.
      Cost isn't the reason Reader doesn't exist. Lack of engagement on G+ is why. The stupid part of the Reader debacle is that there isn't a Reader replacement in G+.

      I won't be surprised, now that Google profits from phone companies' gouging their users (just like Apple, Blackberry and other handset manufacturers do), that they eventually drop voice as well, or just say it's

  • Google employee Nikhyl Singhal wrote in a Google+ post that 'Hangouts is designed to be the future of Google Voice.'

    I wish Google weren't insistant on melding their existing services with their social platform, or dropping them altogether to concentrate on Google+ alternatives. I'm not particularly interested in Google+ and definitely won't be coerced to use it in order to use some of Google's otherwise very good services.

    Facebook won the social game before Google ever entered it and there's not a chance in hell Google will overturn them now. Concentrate on your core services and keep your users happy, or you will lose t

  • Google doesn't want seamless integration with existing/external normative systems. Gmail uses a bizarre facsimile of IMAP. Google Talk killed Jabber support a few weeks ago. Voice is not really a phone service, stop thinking of it as one.

    Sorry Google, just because you're putting chain link and razor wire around your garden (instead of masonry) doesn't make it any better. Hangouts will be the graveyard for all these services that users don't want bolted together, but are walled off from everything else.

  • "Most apps that do neat things with incoming texts, like read them out loud when you're driving, can't work with Voice. "

    Duh, just listen to the audio file message, really easy to do.

  • by eriks (31863) on Tuesday June 25, 2013 @12:36PM (#44101943) Homepage

    I use GV as my "primary" cellphone #. Granted, I don't actually use my "phone" as a phone very often. I pay next to nothing for cell service, since my phone is connected to wifi most of the time. Sipdroid + GV, while probably only about 95% reliable works well enough for me -- I have had issues with texts not getting forwarded properly, though I solved that by having all texts sent to gmail. It's slightly inconvenient to have two "cell" numbers, though most people i know can deal with that. The voicemail transcription is pretty neat, works well enough, and is often hilarious. I'd pay a reasonable yearly fee for GV. It's my impression that GV mostly exists because google is interested in optimizing its voice recognition system. I sometimes "donate" accurate translations of my voicemails.

    I'd pay a reasonable fee for GV, especially if there was an app that properly integrated it with the android dialer (sipdroid is really a hack).

    • by chrisl456 (699707)
      I use Groove IP [google.com]. It does integrate with the native dialer if you get the paid version ($5). I use it as my only phone number. Works great as long as I have a (stable!) wifi connection.
      • by Ichijo (607641)

        Skype works much better for me than either GrooveIP or Talkatone. I hope Google Voice's audio quality improves enough to match.

      • by eriks (31863)

        Yes, I tried GrooveIP too, but for whatever reason it didn't like my internet connection, or perhaps my (fairly old) phone, and had a significant delay (up to 0.5 sec) -- so essentially gave me a half-duplex connection, whereas for whatever reason sipdroid has only a small latency (usually 0.1 sec or less)... sipdroid does "integrate" into the android dialer, but not very well, but hey, it's cost-free!

  • I'm convinced Google Voice is the next Google product on the chopping block. It hasn't been upgraded in years, it's still kind of wonky. I love it, and use it as replacement for iPhone's Visual Voicemail. Plus it's awesome when traveling out of the country. And the ability to filter callers etc. is just basic stuff that should be available to any mobile customer. They have slightly updated the web interface by integrating it into Hangouts with the new GMail--but they also removed the ability to make ca
  • Google's support for Voice has been abysmal. Almost zero improvement in 2-3 years. I still can't get SMS to work a lot of the times. SMS verification for other services, never work. Can't use GVoice's VOIP service with an iPhone, so not much of a Skype replacement. I know the VOIP service works with a desktop browser but they refuse to implement it on the mobile app. Sometimes, you just can't get to a real computer and only have a tablet or smartphone on you. And when you can make a VOIP call, the qu

  • Google Voice is just the old Grand Central service. Google has done very little to it since they bought the company.

    • It's horribly inefficient of network bandwidth. You have to read several megabytes of data to find out that you have no new messages.
    • The phone numbers used are purchased from some third-tier phone reseller that doesn't have good access to the US phone number database. So some carriers don't recognize Google Voice numbers as accepting SMS.
    • The interface to the service uses both XML and
    • Yeah, Google Voice is really a poorly designed service with a lot of problems. I tried using it as my main number for a while; but without even some basic functionality like MMS (which even the crappiest feature phones have supported for years) it's just too crippled.

      That omission still floors me. Google bought GrandCentral in 2007 - how can it still not include MMS?

  • I've just learnt today on this slashdot page that Google Voice was restricted to the US and if I had ever wanted to use it I would have been unable to do so. I didn't even know what it did anyway (be some sort of Skype, connecting to real old phone networks), I supposed it was some sort of Voice mail of voice chat for Google Talk.
    Seeing that Google Talk is deprecated, that's two Google services I will never have to worry about anyway.

    I don't have a gmail btw, still using the same Yahoo webmail account since

  • by bitt3n (941736)

    volume up when you get a text from your wife

    up?

  • by JustNiz (692889) on Tuesday June 25, 2013 @01:12PM (#44102349)

    I do use Google Voice on my Samsung S3 however it has its faults. Here's a list of downs and ups:

    1) With GV, The outgoing call log becomes useless as Instead of showing the number you actually dialled, it lists the automatically assigned arbitrary proxy numbers Google Voice uses. These numbers are all over the US (even when placing local calls) so you can't even figure out which state you were calling, let alone which number.

    2) I'm a Brit living in the US and am particualarly bugged by this one: Even though you can make and receive calls internationally, GV won't let you text internationally, so that means you have to use your service's texting so now the text recipient gets to see your real phone number (which negates the main benefit of GV). It also means the Voice app can't be your primary/only text message reader, as it is designed to be.

    3) making calls via GV is occasionally spotty: Sometimes you cant get a connection via GV even when you can natively. Also sometimes calls dont connect properly (e.g. one side can hear but not speak to the other)

    4) If you answer an incoming call too quickly, (i.e. within 1 or 2 rings ) you get this stupid intermediate voice telling you to type 1 on the keypad to confirm you're not an automated answering machine or something. Its the most retarded and frustratingly annoying thing I've ever had to deal with, especially as the Android phone app doesn't bring up a keypad when you answer a call, so now you have to jump through 2 more button presses.

    Its not like its really stopping automated systems wither as they could easily fake that out by either not answering immediately or just also sending a '1' button press when they do.

    5) The notification bar in android tells you when you get an incoming message, but even with voice installed, touching the notification opens the crappy native reader, not the voice one.

    6) BY FAR THE WORST THING is that there is NO WAY to speak to or get any support from Google for any of its services including GV even the charged ones. They have a forum, but Google NEVER respond to anyone on there. A solution to most of my points, especially 4) has been requested many times on the forums by thousands of people, but Google apparently dont even read their own forum.

    Now the good points:

    3) International calling via GV is WAY cheaper per minute than T-Mobile even with their extra $5/month add-on for cheaper international service.

    4) I really like being able to (usually) hide my actual phone number and just give out my GV one. This means I can easily change my actual phone number at any time. Just because of their crappy implementation, its not 100% foolproof though, as detailed above, sometimes giving out your actual number is still unavoidable.

    • by rsborg (111459)

      Now the good points:

      3) International calling via GV is WAY cheaper per minute than T-Mobile even with their extra $5/month add-on for cheaper international service.

      Just a note - we pay TMobile $10/mo for unlimited long distance to countries like france and india (wife's line) - and unlimited SMS to cellphones in those countries. No worries, no overage. Does this not appear on your plan?

      Regarding GV, it's just a nice little perk for me (kind of like my cheapo efax service - I have a fax at office and home, but being able to scan/pdf/fax digitally is worth $4/mo - GV is free and even more useful than the efax - but both are boosters to productivity they don't replace

      • by JustNiz (692889)

        >> we pay TMobile $10/mo for unlimited long distance

        umm nope that service is not unlimited it just allows you to use your minutes against international calls made from the US. I guess if you also pay for an an unlimited local plan that may be it.

        Wow.. you're still using fax? scan and email dude.
        Do you have a VHS at home an an 8 track in your car? :-)

        • by rsborg (111459)

          >> we pay TMobile $10/mo for unlimited long distance

          umm nope that service is not unlimited it just allows you to use your minutes against international calls made from the US. I guess if you also pay for an an unlimited local plan that may be it.

          Yep. It's the new "Simple Choice" family plan - 5 lines unlimited call/text/data (well, 500MB LTE then 2G speeds) for $120 (of which $10 is the boosted international plan call/text).

          Wow.. you're still using fax? scan and email dude.
          Do you have a VHS at home an an 8 track in your car? :-)

          Now that was uncalled for :)

          Some people just don't like getting emails with pdf attachments. Also some other folks dont like sending emails (highly overlapping set actually). The efax service like $3.5/mo+per-page cost - totally worth it for those email-disapproving holdouts you don't have a choice to avoid.

    • by Tokolosh (1256448)

      Another GV on S3 (AT&T) user. Comments:
      1) Agreed - very annoying.
      2) Not a problem for me.
      3) Emphasis on "occasionally."
      4) I've never had this.
      5) I managed to turn this off in the native app. Can't remember how I did it, or I would post instructions.
      6) Yep, support does not exist. Not much of a problem for me.
      3) International cheapness is great.
      4) Does not happen much.

      Overall, I like the service. I have an Obhai at home, so calling me rings all phones. In addition, I set up my mother, who li

  • You get what you pay for.

  • Is Google Voice Doomed To Be 2nd-Class Messaging System?

    At this point, I pretty much have to assume it already is.

    I've added the Google Voice plug-in to a couple of browsers over the years, but this weekend when playing around with my new Nexus tablet, I couldn't find anything written by Google which provided this. Well, I did find it, but I was told it wasn't available in my country.

    And I wasn't about to entrust my login credentials to any of the applications which offer to give me this functionality.

    So,

    • by JazzLad (935151)

      And I wasn't about to entrust my login credentials to any of the applications which offer to give me this functionality.

      Use 2-stage authentication with application-specific passwords. I don't mind giving them qwsd-gtsd-bvxd-kgxv for a password (quick - try it on mine :P) as I know from past experience that Google monitors how they use the password & notifies me if something seems fishey to them (as they did once).

I bet the human brain is a kludge. -- Marvin Minsky

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