To anyone who thinks they don’t need Google Voice because they only have one phone — you may want to think again because there are actually a bunch of other great features. Before we begin, I guess I should admit that I am becoming borderline obsessed with Google Voice. I have been a user since the Grand Central days, but I also seem to spend more time than anyone should following Google Voice trends on Twitter — just to see what others are thinking about the service.
That said, I have no affiliation with Google in any way, but I have noticed that often those people with only one phone complain that Google Voice will not benefit them. Well, let me tell you, Google Voice’s ability to ring multiple phones is cool and very nice for someone, like myself, who switches regularly between a G1 and an iPhone. However, that is just one small feature when you consider what else Google Voice can do.
Anyway, without further adieu, here are a few reasons why Google Voice will benefit you when you only have one phone and one phone number.
- Call screening: You can have unknown callers record their name (which is then announced to you) so you will know who is calling before you have to actually talk to them. This is good when you are not familiar with the number that is displayed on the caller ID or when someone is blocking their caller ID.
- Listen in to calls: This will allow you to “preview” the call before you actually commit to taking the call — similar to listening to a now-old-fashion answering machine.
- Block calls: This can be good for a variety of reasons, but if you choose to block a call, the next time that person calls they will be given a disconnect message. For me this recently worked wonderfully, when someone just decided at random to call and leave nasty messages. I think they were angry (and a little drunk) that they had the wrong number.
- You can make free calls to any US number from the web interface, the mobile web interface, from any phone (by calling your Google number and the pressing 2) and even using one of the many Google Voice apps for Android, the iPhone, or a BlackBerry.
- The ability to send, receive, and store SMS messages — all for free.
- You can have your voicemail transcribed and sent to you in either an email or SMS message. Works great for when you are expecting an important call, but are in a situation where you cannot really talk.
- The ability to easily manage everything using a simple web interface that is available from any Internet connected computer that you happen to be in front of at the moment.
Of course, these are just a few reasons that I like best. There are a lot of other great features such as the ability to easily record a call and later download an MP3 of the recording, the ability to switch phones during a call, and even have a conference call with just the press of a button. Finally, you can also get free outgoing minutes very easily with T-Mobile or Verizon Wireless, but more on that in a future post.
And as if these reasons were not enough, I encourage you to head on over and check out the full Google Voice feature list.