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Top message:  Voice mail notifications by andy2373   May 6, 2013, 1:05 PM

Replying to:  Re: Voice mail notifications by gloopey1   May 7, 2013, 4:37 PM

Re: The awesomeness of Google Voice!!!

by CellStudent    May 15, 2013, 2:25 PM   edited May 15, 2013, 2:33 PM

gloopey1 said:
Why do you dislike Verizon's voicemail?

With Google Voice:

1> I get vociemails (and text messages) delivered over WiFi (or the 3G data network, when outside WiFi), so even when I'm in the basement of the University, I never miss a message, even when I miss a call.

Can't do that with a Carrier System!

2> I get speech-to-text transcriptions of voicemails delivered in text form every time a voicemail comes through. The transcriptions aren't perfect, but they're good enough to let me know by looking at the screen whether the message is a telemarketer or a colleague at work that I don't have stored in my contact list yet, before I even consider dialing into the voicemail system to hear the recording.

Can't do that with a Carrier System!

3>All my text messaging and voicemail capabilities are accessible from a desktop or laptop PC. In fact, I send over 75% of my SMS messages from a computer, using a real keyboard, because I'm so frequently at work or school. I just keep a browser window open on Google Voice all day long, and the task bar button flashes when a new message appears.

Can't do that with a Carrier System.

4>My entire text messaging and voicemail history (combined) is both searchable and archived. I can do a search for my aunt's name and immediately recover a voicemail (or text message) from two years ago where she sent me her street address!

Can't do that with a Carrier System!

5>I have a phone on my desk at work. I have Google Voice tied to my cell and my desk phone. When someone calls my Google Voice number, both phones ring, and If I happen to be sitting at my desk, I will take the call on the landline. Audio quality is better than the cell, and it doesn't use minutes (I'm not on an unlimited voice plan, so that matters).

Can't do that with a Carrier System!

6>Also, when at my desk, I can trigger outbound calls using my desk phone that show my Google Voice number on the receiving party's caller ID. I never have to give out my work number, because giving out my Google Voice number allows me to send and receive calls using both pieces of hardware and it's completely transparent to the other side. No one will ever have to guess whether it's better to call my office number or my cell phone. They just call Google Voice, and it works.

Can't do that with a Carrier System!

7> I got to pick my own phone number. Google Voice makes it easy to search the pool of available numbers and take the one you want. I'm not going to give out my awesome custom number, but it would have been easy to find a number that translates to (909)724-4JIM or something like that. I have a number that no one will ever forget, because I worked my name into my cell number!

Can't do that on a Carrier System!

Really, I have only one complaint about Google Voice compared to the Carrier Systems: The text messaging service is SMS only. Google voice does not support picture or video messages or any other MMS-based features like group texting. It's 1999-grade level text message service. It doesn't even kick back an error message to the sender telling them that no part of your MMS message was delivered; if there was an image tied to the text message, the whole thing is lost- not just the image.

This limitation also blocks the vast majority of SMS short-code services. With only a couple exceptions, I cannot send/receive messages with 5-digit codes including ads on TV, my local radio station or premium services (free or paid).

I've learned to live with those minor inconveniences. As a result, I don't even have a text messaging plan on my cell phone, saving me about $30/month (on 5 lines). Over the past three years, that's about $1,100 that Google Voice has saved me!

Yeah, cell phone carrier supplied voicemail systems are terrible.

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