July 18, 2009 | by Robert Nelson
Unfortunately, Google Voice is not yet available to the masses. As of now it is still by invitation (directly from Google) only, not to mention it is also limited to those in the US.
That said, aside from being a popular topic, it is a service that I have become pretty attached to myself mainly due to the fact that I have a home Vonage number along with two cell phones that I regularly use. For me, Google Voice helps me avoid having to remember which cell phone number I need to forward on any given day. Of course, just like you will see from the Washington Post story, the app, while very nice is not 100% perfect.
Given the fact that I have been using Google Voice regularly for a long time (I was an original Grand Central user), I have been pretty interested in reading what others are saying about the recently released Google Voice app for Android.
One of the latest hands-on posts that have turned up comes courtesy of The Washington Post, who seem to have liked the app overall. A few key points that they mentioned were;
“The official app dials out via Google Voice both more quickly and transparently than the third-party Google Voice Android app “GV” without an intermediate audible call.”
“The voicemail features work as expected: Audio plays back either via the handset or its external speaker.”
“Like many communication applications on Android, Google Voice receives notifications for voicemail and SMS automatically, even when the app is not active.”
Unfortunately, while mostly good, the app does have a drawback, which for some may not be so nice. Users will be able to use their Google Voice number as their primary number — that is unless they rely on, or cannot live without MMS messaging. Yes, Google Voice currently lacks support for MMS.
Otherwise, the main point that the Washington Post seems to have against the app is that it “doesn’t integrate SMS into the default Android SMS application.”
If you are a Google Voice user that has been using this app, or the previously available third-party GV app I would love to hear your thoughts and opinions on using Google Voice as your primary number. For me, I like the voicemail notifications that come transcribed via SMS or email. And another nice feature, albeit one that I will rarely if ever use is the ability to record a call in mid-conversation. Of course, like I mentioned earlier, the main reason I use Google Voice is so I will never have to remember which cell phone needs to be forwarded on any given day.