Google Voice – An Overview in Video

Google Voice

Google Voice is Google’s take on what VoIP should look like in a web-based environment. Just like Google Hangout powers Gmail video chat / conferencing  (Hangout was  originally introduced as part of Google+) , so does Google voice as a service extend GoogleTalk and Gmail Chat with the ability to make calls to landlines and cellphones.

Google Voice can (currently only in the USA) act as the one number for life for you. It allows you to associate any number of mobile phones and landlines with your Google Voice number and you can decide which phones rang when, which greeting is played when certain callers try to reach you etc.

Google Voice is a great example of an integrated service (actually not part of the core set of Google Apps Tools) that extends your cloud communications systems in an unobtrusive, yet powerful way.



Explore some of the most popular features of Google Voice by watching these videos:





Voicemail transcription

When callers leave you a voicemail, you receive an email with the transcription of the message. While this is not 100% accurate, Google’s automatic voicemail transcription usually allows you to get the gist.



One number

As indicated above, when you get a Google Voice number, this will be the number that you can give out to customers, clients etc. This number does not have to change – EVER. Google Voice allows you to associate your landline, cellphone and others with your Google Voice number. Even if you change your cellphone – all it takes is to associate that new cellphone number with your Google Voice number, and your customers are able to reach you once again.



Personalized greetings

Google Voice recognises caller IDs and can play a different greeting depending on the caller ID. There’s also an “unknown” caller ID function, so that people who cannot be pre-identified, continue to default greeting, while friends and family can receive a more personal greeting than business partners and associates.



International calling

Google Voice allows you to call international locations for a fee. All it takes is for you to purchase calling credit (ala Skype) and you are ready to call landlines and mobile phones throughout the world


SMS to email

Just like receiving voicemail (including subscriptions) in your inbox, Google Voice accepts SMSs sent to you. These SMSs are also forwarded to your inbox, from which you can respond. Alternatively you can manage your voicemails, SMSs etc via Google Voice’s web interface.



Share voicemails



Block callers

Just like it is possible to select a personalised greeting for each caller, so is it possible to select which callers should not be able to get a hold of you (blocking). Blocked callers do not get through, neither to voicemail nor to a forwarded line you associated with the number. Blocking callers requires that the caller uses callerID.



Screen callers

You have the ability to make Google Voice ask the callers to identify themselves (which can be played back to you), enabling you to screen callers and determine if it is a conducive time to deal with them.



Mobile app

Via Google Voice’s mobile app, it is possible to manage your voicemail, sms and call forwarding etc without the need for a computer.



Conference calls

Conference call are possible, and can even be joined from mobile devices (under certain circumstances).


Number Porting

While you can purchase a new number when signing up for Google Voice, it is (in certain circumstances) possible to port your existing landline or cellphone number to Google Voice. In that case you get the benefit of your contacts continuing to reach you under the current details they have for you. In addition you get the benefit of being able to manage the flow of calls to these numbers, their forwarding or voicemail settings.