So I’ve been playing with Google Voice recently. I think it’s interesting and somewhat useful, but there’s still room for growth and improvement.
Some of my likes:
- No longer have to tell people to call me at this number in the morning and another number at night (because I don’t get cell phone service in my room).
- I can use it with Gizmo5 so I can talk to people from my computer if I want. Kind of cool, but it doesn’t work to well with my laptop since the mic isn’t as good.
- If you use this with the call feature from Google Voice, you basically can call people for free without using your minutes. I’m not sure how I feel morally about this…
- My room phone only allows me to call locally for free, so I got a local number from Google Voice which allows me to call anyone from my room phone.
- Or I can just use the call feature on the Google Voice page.
I really like the voice mail feature. It’s a lot nicer than my current providers. My dislikes:
The SMS feature is okay, but without an awesome phone, it’s like me e-mailing peoples phones (have to launch my web browser to use it)
- It’s okay if I’m in an area with Internet and no service. This is more of a phone problem then a GV problem though…
- Call Screening. I’m iffy on this one. The feature is great for me, but people who have called me so far don’t really like it. I don’t want to disable it, but yeah…
- When you call your Google Number to configure stuff or listen to voice mail, it’s not as intuitive as it could be.
- Google is known for keeping things basic, which is good, but I think there could be some cooler things added, I mean it’s Google, right?
- I really wish there was an advanced setup for the “ring schedule.” I have classes on Mon, Tue, Wed, Thurs, but not really on Fridays. But I can only pick times for “weekdays” or “weekends.” Overall, it’s useful. It’s not something epically awesome or insane, but I’ll use it. The international call rates are cheap compared to what I’ve found so far (not that I do a lot of international calling).
It’d be awesome if they integrated it with Google Chat (and released an awesome Google Chat client for Mac and Linux). I’m guessing they don’t want to step too much into Skype’s territory though.
Anyways, after I use it some more, I’ll post some more updates.