The First Steps In Trying Out Google Voice

Google Voice is a new management service for phones conceptualized and created by the innovative minds behind Google. Testing was previously done by Google which did it through exclusive invitations of Google users worldwide. The service is simple, it helps an individual centralize the lines and phones that he uses and allow him to manage it all on one number. This customizable service makes the application enjoyable to use and fun to maintain according to your own tastes and methods of organization.

The primary attraction of this is that the service is absolutely free. Google Voice has the Skype-like instant messaging transcription with webmail that is Web-based. There is unlimited text messaging on Google Voice and for the various callers you have, you can make personal settings that identify each.

To help the curious and tech-loving people of the world get their foot into the door and try out Google voice for themselves, here are just some things that they can do to get started on being a part of the Google Voice service.

Account Activation

By going onto https://www.google.com/voice you can create your very own account, similar to how you would start up a new email account. There is a wizard and clear instructions on how to select your universal phone number for Google Voice. All that remains standard is your area code. Everything else on your number can be the combination of letters and numbers that you choose to help you remember it easier. As long as nobody else has it, then it can be yours!

Your primary forwarding phone should be put there and Google Voice will ask you to create a secure Personal Identification Number (PIN) that will help you connect to your Google Voice Account securely and whenever you need it. This basically means that anyone who uses Google Voice will be able to reach you at any of the number registered to your Google Voice account and linked to your Google voice user account.

Settings

Once you are signed into Google Voice, then you are ready to go and it will bring you directly to your Google Voice home page. Check out the upper-left side of the screen and you’ll find a section where you can text people and make phone calls. The main screen is where you will be able to view your text messages and your voice mails from family, friends and acquaintances.

The option of SETTINGS will allow you to decide which numbers you want to add to your account. This will also contain the VOICE MAIL and TXT options where you can customize your greeting on your voice mail. You can even have different ones per line. For instance, have a nice informal message for your home phone, and a more formal one for your work phone.

SETTINGS will also have CALLS options where you can control whether or not you will have call screening. If you use this option, a Google Voice service will inform you of the caller ID and you can either pick up or opt to send a text message instead. Or you can send them straight to your voice mail if you like, which you can listen to as they leave the message.

The EDIT section next to the phone numbers you have will allow you to tinker with their different parameters. The ADVANCED SETTINGS will help you personally customize every phone account of your Google Voice. So if you only want to be reached at your office phone at certain times of day, you can do this here. Or if you never want to be reached at all when you are home after work, then you can do this too. Organize your settings according to your schedule.

A nifty feature is the GROUPS tab which allows you to categorize all your contacts and figure out settings for each group. For instance, one group may all go to voice mail whenever they call, and Google Voice does this without hurting anybody’s feelings by allowing a few rings before redirecting. Other options exist that you can also play around with as you get more familiar with Google Voice.

Google Voice goes Mobile

If you have a mobile phone, or a smartphone, Google Voice is a perfect application to use on it. Google Voice was basically made more for the mobile phone user rather than the netbook or Pc user. With the new smartphones out today, like the Blackberry and the Android, this application fully installs and completely integrates with your mobile’s operating system for smooth and easy application. Installing this app means that whoever receives calls and messages from you will receive and see your Google Voice number, which appears as your primary number. This is a good thing because it enables them to reach you through other media like their netbook or PC.

Any Google Voice user in the future won’t be able to deny how using this application will save them a lot of money and time as well. Instead of being exclusively tied to your cellphone carrier, you can now go through Google Voice and organize, receive, call and do business more effectively and efficiently from there. Another great feature is that it will even transcribe message for you that you can access from anywhere – you don’t even have to listen to them at all!

With all the carriers and service providers today, you lose a lot of money using basic services like talking and testing. This can dramatically bring down your communications bills since Google Voice is basically an SMS utility. Similar to text, you can use Google voice to communicate using text, but you don’t have to spend a cent for it. For the time being however, images are not yet supported, but Google development looks forward to including that too in its future list of improved Google Voice features.

You may experience some limitations on Apple gadgets such as the iPhone since Apple has not standardized any of its gadgets to allow the use of Google Voice. But iPhone users can still use this particular service just the same by accessing it through the web-based application that can be drawn up through their iPhone browser. This way they can still view their messages and use at least some of the nifty functions that Google Voice has to offer. As usual, Google Talk works best with Windows applications as well as Web operating Systems (WebOS) and the OS’s that smartphones are currently utilizing in their units.

Bottom Line

As a new application, Google Voice still needs to be used, tested, and further improved. Unless everyone uses this as a service to standardize how everyone uses their smartphones and mobile phones, then Google Voice still has a ways to go before its full potential is realized. For the meantime, it really won’t hurt to log on to the Google Voice site, sign up, be the one who’ll first get the first of the coveted Google numbers, and simply try it out!

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