Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Google Voice....better than last time

Back in July when I got my invite, I wrote a piece about Google Voice and how it didn't work well with anyone who wanted to keep their old number. At that point, basically, there were no features you could use if you didn't switch your number completely.

I pity anyone who switched their number because sometime in October, Google Voice made it possible to use some of the features with your existing number. I've been using it since then, but have not had a chance to blog about it.

Basically, the key is the voicemail thing, more specifically, voicemail transcription. Once you set up Google Voice with your existing number, calls are routed, without your knowledge, through Google Voice to your phone. If I chose not to pick up, and the caller leaves a voicemail, a few wonderful things happen:

1. I get a text message saying who my missed call was from
2. Between 30 seconds and a minute later, I get 2-4 texts with a transcription, 70% accuracy, of what was left in the message
3. At about the same time, I get an email with the transcription, as well as an embedded audio file, so I can listen to the message right there.

This is just what I needed, because most of the time my phone is on, I'm just in a place (like class) where I can't pick up, even to listen to a message. The transcriptions are fairly good, and the message gets across. The voicemails, all of them, are saved so I can go back in time. Instead of pressing a button to delete, you press a button, like on Gmail, to "mark as read."

This is a great, great thing. Thank you Google for making it so I didn't have to full-out switch my number.

...but this is just until I get an iPhone in June.

7 comments:

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And you so tried?

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