Thursday, February 3, 2011
Basics of Using Google Voice
Google Voice is great service that provides a phone number to choose as an aggregate for all phones that one person might have, like cell phones and house phones. It also can be managed easily in different ways.
Setting Up Google Voice
Signing up for Google Voice requires a free Google account.
Once signed into Google Voice for the first time it will prompt to enter in an area code or zip code of phone numbers desired. Then a click of the search button displays a list of numbers to choose from.
After the phone number desired is selected, Google Voice will ask to the user to create a 4-digit PIN for remote voice mail access.
Step 3 is adding the primary number to use with Google Voice. More phone numbers can be added later.
The final setup step Google Voice verifies the primary phone number entered and gives a code. When the "Call me now" button is pressed, Google Voice will call with the number the user has selected and asks for the code to be entered. After the call and verification, that's it, Google Voice is ready to use.
Using Google Voice
The Google Voice interface is simple and easy to use. The default location is the Inbox folder. The Inbox will show voice mails, missed calls, and text messages received. Here the voice mails can be listened to or read if they are transcribed. Responding back to the text messages are a lot easier than typing on a small phone keyboard or touchscreen.
Also from this screen is the option to place a call or text message. Just clicking on the call or text button, entering in the destination number, and calls and texts are easily placed.
There is also a Contacts container on the left side where all contacts can be setup and imported/exported to or from other devices.
The side bar on the left side lists different categories to view calls and texts. While the History will show all activity, the other categories sort by Voicemails, Texts, Recorded, Placed, Received, and Missed, so finding a certain text message or phone call is easier.
Anytime there is a number that is an unwanted call, its easy to block the caller. Just a click on the "more" underneath the number, and selecting "block this caller", then selecting "Block" is all it takes. This will not only block the caller, but also gives them a message that the phone number is no longer in service whenever they call again.
Now when some one calls the Google Voice number it will ring the phone number or phone numbers associated with the Google Voice number. These are the basics of getting Google Voice up and running, but there are many other options. There are options for different voicemail greetings depending on the contacts grouping. There are settings to setup Google Voice if there are calls in between say midnight and 4am, then Google Voice will go directly to voicemail instead of ringing your phone.
There is also now an option to have a longtime phone number ported to Google Voice. This is an option for those that don't want to give out a new number to everyone. There is $20 charge by Google to use this feature, as well as any charges from the phone service provider.
Google Voice is a very simple tool and what's best is that it is free to use and can be used to call anywhere in the U.S. for free and has very low international rates. The best option has to be screening calls to get rid of pesky telemarketers, or anyone else you might find pesky. Also, with an app for both Android and iPhone, Google Voice is easy to manage on the go.
Too see a list of all of the new features of Google Voice, or to simply learn more visit Google Voice website here.