If you are in the United States, you might be glad to know that Google has recently announced a number porting facility for Google Voice users. What this means is that you will now be able to access all features of Google Voice with you existing mobile phone number. That’s an easy way to let friends and family contact you on Google Voice without having to change from your existing contact number. In a recent blog post on their official Google Voice blog, the company has noted,
“Today, we’re excited to announce that Number Porting is available for all existing Google Voice users. This means you can make the mobile number you’ve always used your Google Voice number, so it can ring any phone you want—or even your computer.”
Google has also released an official video demo of how the process will work. Do note that you may have to pay an early termination fee to your carrier if you are still in a contract period. So this facility may not be entirely free technically. Check out the demo below.
Google appears to have rolled out a nifty little feature to their Gmail calling functionality that will let users record incoming voice calls with just a click of a button. This is pretty similar in functionality to the voice call recording feature that is available on Google Voice, only more convenient (Check out the chronology of all Gmail voice call news here.
Unlike Google Voice, where the user is required to press on a non-intuitive ‘4‘ to initiate a call recording, the feature on Gmail comes with a prominent record button above the dialpad that can be clicked on to start recording. Also, as it is on Google Voice, doing so will offer a notification to both parties that their call is now being recorded.
There are a couple of caveats at the moment though. Firstly, only incoming voice calls can be recorded. Secondly, this feature only works on those calls that are routed through Google Voice. That means, if the call is directly between two Gmail contacts, it may not work.
Do you see this functionality on your Gmail account yet?
It has been a long frustrating wait for iPhone users who had been waiting to set up Google Voice on their iPhones. And finally 16 months after Google submitted their application to the App Store, Apple has finally cleared the app and it is now available for download at the App Store. If you can’t wait to read through this entire article before getting hold of the download link, well, it is here.
Some bit of history – Apple initially stayed the approval of Google Voice citing its similarity to the native iPhone dialling system. Also, the company stated that they had not rejected the app but were instead putting it on hold. Not only that, Apple had also pulled several other third party applications that were built upon the Google Voice system. All this had forced Google to take the web app route to reach iPhone users. Things seemed to be easing a bit after Apple was subjected to government inquiries over these anti-competitive measures. Today’s approval is perhaps a result of the pressure from the government bodies.
Nevertheless, early reviews are now in and users have been raving about this new application. If you have downloaded it yourself, don’t forget to tell us your experience in the comments.
Earlier this month, Apple announced that they were easing their restrictions on third party applications. Cupertino soon followed it up by making the App Store review guidelines public thus bringing the much needed transparency to the App Store system.
Now following these moves, Google Voice apps – one of the segments that was banned last year following Apple’s growing enmity with Google – are making a comeback to the App Store. One of the first apps to be made available is GV Connect – a Google Voice based application that allows users to send text messages, make calls and voicemails. Another popular application, GV Mobile is learned to be stuck at the approval stage still, though indications are that the application should soon make its way to the App Store.
You can check out GV Connect on the App Store by clicking here.
Google introduced a nice little feature late last month. The new ‘Call Phone‘ service was integrated with the chat widget on Gmail and allowed users to directly place a call to family and friends over the browser. What is interesting is that the service offers free voice calls inside USA and Canada with pretty cheap call rates to users elsewhere. The service is still being rolled out in a phased manner to users inside USA.
However, many users have been complaining that they are frequently noticing an error that reads “Cannot Complete Call” that stalls the phone calling process. According to Google, this is a known bug that the company is working on.
There is a workaround if you are eager to get started in the meanwhile – by upgrading your Google Voice account to a full account. Doing so will help you circumvent the prevalent bug until that is resolved. To upgrade your Google Voice account,
- Click the ‘Call Phone‘ button from the Gmail chat list
- The Call Phone window will display your current balance. Clicking on this link and further select ‘History‘ or ‘Add Credit‘
- You will be taken to your Google Voice account. Here, click on ‘Upgrade your account‘ button
- Complete the steps required to upgrade.
You are done. You will no longer see the ‘Cannot complete call‘ bug.
Sometime back, there were reports that Google was working on integrating their Google Voice VoIP functionality with Gmail in order to bring a voice calling functionality to their email client. Now there are more indications to suggest that this could in fact be real.
A fresh report on CNET notes from sources that Google has been testing a new feature that will bring a phone calling option to the GTalk interface that is available on Gmail. According to screenshots produced on the report, the service being tested will allow Americans to make free phone calls to USA and Canada using the service while international rates shall be subsidized.
The functionality itself is not exactly new and is already available on Google Voice. However, this is the first time that Google has been attempting to integrate three of their popular platforms – Gmail, GTalk and Google Voice into a single platform.
Google Voice is still not available outside the United States. So it is pretty obvious that this service, even if it becomes available, will require users to tie their Gmail service to a Google Voice account before the feature can be made available.
Last November, Google acquired a VoIP solutions company called Gizmo5. The acquisition seen as the way forward for the telephony service offered on Google Voice.
Of late, there are speculations that Google may use the technology acquired from Gizmo5 to launch a desktop version of Google Voice enhanced with VoIP capabilities. Hitherto, the assumption has been that Google will tend to keep the service in the cloud – much in the same way as it has done with most of its other products. There are a few applications though – like Google Talk and Chrome that are desktop based, but these are few and far between.
The speculations arise from a recently leaked copy of a desktop client for Gizmo5 which has been integrated with several Google Voice features. However, the volume of development appears minimalistic which appears to suggest that this may actually be an old prototype that has only been recently leaked.
Despite this, it will be interesting to see if we indeed end up seeing a desktop based version of Google Voice that, with all the VoIP capabilities, opens up to the rest of the world as well.
This rumor does not have any sort of backing at the moment. But it does make for a logical extension of the current Google Voice service. According to reports on the GoogleSystem blog, the company is in the process of testing a new voice call feature on Gmail that is likely to make the current chat feature even more useful.
As you know, currently Google USA users have to either use a phone or the Google Voice website to make voice calls. The new Gmail voice call feature could just be too useful. Of course, it is not clear how Google would integrate the feature with a service that is being used the world over (since Voice is USA-only)
Nevertheless, this is how the feature supposedly look like. Take it with a pinch of salt.
[via Google System]
Google Voice is officially still banned for iPhone users. However, it has been available for free for jailbroken iPhone users. Now rumor is in that a new updated version of GV Mobile is in the works and is to be released soon. It is apparently such a joy to use coming as it is with a lot of enhanced features. Here is what you can expect from GV Mobile 2.0 for jailbroken iPhones
- Instant dialled call connectivity
- Access to iPhone contacts from inside the app
- Voicemail transcription viewer
- Multiple Google voice account support
This apart, more features like call forwarding, do not disturb settings, automatic syncing could also be released soon. Sad that non-jailbroken iPhone users still cannot use this pretty tool.
[via Boy Genius Report]