I’ve been experimenting with the Google Voice service for a while now. They have added a great new feature, but I probably need to stop and explain the basics of Google Voice first. It is a free service that gives you advanced control of a new phone number. You can setup rules for calls received on the new number. It allows you to customize greetings for different people, to route calls to different phones, and to have all voicemails transcribed by google and emailed to you. Here is how Google describes it
- Google Voice gives you one number for all your phones — a phone number that is tied to you, not to a device or a location. Use Google Voice to simplify the way you use phones, make using voicemail as easy as email, customize your callers’ experience, and more.
- Google Voice isn’t a phone service, but it lets you manage all of your phones. Google Voice works with mobile phones, desk phones, work phones, and VoIP lines. There’s nothing to download, upload, or install, and you don’t have to make or take calls using a computer.
- Google Voice will let you define which phones ring, based on who’s calling, and even let you ListenInTM on voicemail before answering the call. We use smart technology to route your calls. So, if you’re already on a Google Voice call, we’ll recognize it and use call waiting to reach you on the phone you’re on.
This is a great way for smaller churches to handle phone calls. You can get a single google voice number for the church and then have it routed to different people at different times. You can have customized greetings and you even receive emails and text messages when you get a message. It is still in beta, so you will need to request an invite from Google. You should be able to sign up within a few days. The best way to understand it is to watch this short video on youtube.
But here is the big news. Now you can use Google Voice with your existing phone number
Google announced on their blog that they have opened up the customized greetings and voicemail services to anybody using your existing cell numbers. I was surprised to see that they supported US Cellular who I have cell service with, so I quickly switched my voicemail service from the cell company to google. After using it a few weeks, I really like it. It does a decent job of transcribing my voicemails into emails, and I have haven’t lost any functionality. I can still call and check messages from anywhere. But now I can also listen to my messages on my computer, and I can setup customized greetings for different people. This is a great way to handle calls that you are expecting but you may not be able to get to. Check out the video below for more info.
RT @faithengineer: New blog post: Using Google Voice http://bit.ly/1n0gFz //Works great!!! Been using it for a few weeks & I love it!
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