Confession: We are all about Google around here. We have just about implemented the entire Google Apps for Business suite into our day-to-day. With so many Google services available, you might have trouble keeping track of or understanding them all. Google Voice is just one of these services that you really won’t begin to appreciate until you use it. This can be integrated as an app in just about any smartphone, however you may get a little extra mileage with an Android device. If you’re researching ways to streamline your phone bill, it’s time to consider Google Voice.
When signing up for Google Voice, you get to pick an actual phone number. You can choose a number based on your location or let Google suggest a phone number for these services. When you log on to Google Voice within your browser, you can make free calls to people over WiFi as long as they’re in the United States. Google has low fees for international calling, too. You’re not required to add any money to your account to make free calls, and Google maintains a simple tracking system of how much you’re spending when making international calls.
Double check, but it’s highly likely that you’re cellular provider is compatible, and you can replace your carrier’s voicemail with Google’s. This includes an option to transcribe voicemails for easier reading. This is visual voicemail without the extra fees. These voicemails can also be forwarded via email if you need to share it with a friend or colleague. To use this, you must sign up with your existing phone number rather than creating a new one, although this can be tied in with your current Google Voice account. You can actually set this up so that if someone calls your Google Voice number, it can be forwarded to your mobile device. Google tracks calls made and received as well as marking calls as spam. When you log in to your Voice account online, you can delete calls, texts and voicemails. The Google Voice website also includes support for texting, which is useful if your phone is unavailable. Plus, like every Google service, this one works well with your existing contacts and account.
As previously mentioned, installing Google Voice on your smartphone lets you choose to forward calls to and from your Google number, so you can use Google’s services as a way to have a second number to separate your personal and business communications. However, this only forwards calls to or from your phone, so you’ll need a third-party app to enjoy calls without using your minutes. Once you do this, you may be able to decrease your monthly bill by relying on Google Voice more than your carrier for service.
After adding the Google Voice app to your Android phone, you can launch it to send free texts. An option exists that lets you make, or forward, all calls from your Google Voice number. You can also make all calls with the app or decide whether you want to use Google Voice every time.
GrooVe IP is one of the more popular apps that allows you to make calls from your phone using Google Voice. After authorizing the app, launch it to view the dialer. You can select contacts to make calls. The free, or Lite, version is ad supported, but you can upgrade for $4.99 to remove the ads.
Another app that lets you make free VoIP calls on your phone in conjunction with Google Voice is Spare Phone. The app costs half of GrooVe IP and has a similar appearance. Calls to the USA and Canada are free, but you might notice that this app drains your battery more quickly than you’d like.
Other apps that will let you make calls from your phone using your Google Voice number include Talkatone, which is free, Tablet Voice for $4.99 and SynerGV for $2.29. Each works similarly to the others on this list, although, performance and compatibility with your Android phone might vary. Whichever app you choose, Google Voice is a viable alternative to using your minutes and texts to communicate on your Android phone.