Over the weekend you may have heard that Google Voice finally received it’s first major update since March of 2012. Yes it’s been that long, which is the reason that Voice users are beyond overjoyed. You may be asking yourself though, what is Google Voice?
What is Google Voice?
Since 2009 Google Voice has served as served as a way for people to give out one phone number and then receive phone calls, voicemails, and text messages to any phone number of their choosing. That sounds pretty cool right? If that sounds a bit confusing, picture this scenario below.
Your child must fill out a form asking for an emergency contact number. A cell phone number would be the most obvious choice, but what if you happen to accidentally leave your phone at home or it becomes lost? If you had a Google Voice number, your child could use that as the emergency contact number. Your Google Voice number would then, automatically, be able to ring your cell phone, office phone, or home phone.
Benefits of Google Voice
I’ve been using Google Voice from the time it was released and it has become something a rely heavily on. It offers features that traditional phone numbers do not, such as:
- Having to only give out one phone number that will ring multiple phones
- Personalized greetings for groups within your contacts
- Listen to a voicemail while someone is leaving it in real time
- Set a do not disturb time, so calls will immediately go to voicemail for a set period of time
- Spam Filter (for text and calls)
- Choose for the receiver of the call to display your real number or your Google Voice number
- Receive e-mail alerts, as well as get text and voice messages sent to your e-mail
- Visual (transcribed) voicemails
- Text from your computer (calling used to be available, but it’s now done through Google Hangouts)
- Low rates for international calling
- Oh yeah, it’s free!
Get Your Google Voice Number
Obtaining a Google Voice number is free and easy. Head over to the Google Voice page, login to your Google Account and sign up. You should be able to chose the area code of your Voice number as well, then link it to several phone numbers of your choosing. Don’t forget to get the Google Voice app as well, available for Android and iOS.
Ideas for Your Voice Number
A Google Voice number can be used for many things. You could use it as a garbage number for those times you want to sign up for contests or loyalty cards. Voice is even able to receive the 4 digit text message codes. For someone else, it may be beneficial to be used as a business line without having to actually pay for a second line of service or purchase a second phone. It could also serve as a means to text friends and family while you’re at the office. The choice is all yours. Be creative!