I had been lusting after a Google Voice account for a while and finally got it a few months ago. To my disappointment, there was no way to port my existing phone number to the service, so I had to get a new number.
At first, I was slow to give out my Google Voice number to people, but over time it’s becoming my default phone number.
Of the features of Google Voice, voice transcription is still a bit problematic as the speech recognition doesn’t work as well as it should. I love it that it can ring all my phones and that I can switch from my cellphone to landline during a call to save cell minutes. Also, I can have different call forwarding rules and voicemail greetings for different people (using groups) in my list of contacts. One pitfall there is that a phone number should only be in one group otherwise you can’t be sure which rules will be applied to it.
There used to be a couple of Google Voice apps for the iPhone and I had bought GV Mobile but when Apple rejected Google’s official Voice app, they also removed all the other previously approved apps from the App Store. (Yes, Apple is more evil than Microsoft!) So now I have to rely on the Google Voice mobile website on my iPhone.
I have also moved my cellphone voicemail to Google Voice. Yes, I like the visual voicemail on the iPhone, but Google Voice gives me a centralized voicemail (with SMS and email notification and voice transcription) and there is more potential there.
On my AT&T landline phone, I have also subscribed to Call Forwarding Busy Line and Call Forwarding Don’t Answer with Ring Control with my Google Voice number as the forwarding number. Thus, if my landline is busy or I don’t pick it up, the call is automatically forwarded either to my other phones or to my Google Voice voicemail.
Since I receive a lot of telemarketing and other junk calls on my home phone, I have set up Google Voice call screening so callers who are not in my contact list are asked to say their name the first time they call me. This has cut down on a lot of junk business calls I was receiving because my home phone number used to belong to a business a few years ago.
I also signed up with Gizmo5 (which has now been acquired by Google) and linked my Google Voice and Gizmo. So now I can receive my Google Voice calls on my computer with GizmoCall open in a Firefox PermaTab.
Finally, dear readers, through the magic of Google Voice call widgets, you can contact me by phone now on my contact page.