Should You Sign Up for Google Voice? Xconomy Readers Share Their Beta Experiences

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“One feature I have yet to use is the outgoing calling feature. Since I don’t understand what the benefits are for me to take these extra steps to make any outgoing call, I haven’t tried it.”

“I haven’t tried the outgoing call feature. Seems like too much trouble, and in fact I forgot about it.”

“My friends/family are having difficulty switching from my old number to my new number.”

“None that I can think of.”

Would you recommend Google Voice to your friends or family? Why or why not?

“For the ones who would benefit from a single number.”

“Absolutely, it has saved me money and hassle having a new phone and contract just for business.”

“Absolutely with the caveat that the person who is going to use needs to be a bit of a techie (not super technical, but my wife who is not technical would get lost in the concept), lots of configuration options which I enjoyed learning and setting up. This has been by far one of the coolest applications I have seen. How many time have you had a phone die and you lost all of your numbers. With Google Voice, this is a thing of the past. And if you lose your phone, you can set up a temporary number and use your computer. Ultracool concept!”

“My wife is a therapist and will be starting a private practice this winter. I think Google Voice will be a good option for her. It should allow her to contact clients through her cell phone without giving out her personal cell phone number and allow her to keep accurate records.”

“Would I recommend it? Yes, actually I would, I think it will fill a definite need for some people. There is generally a high level of confidence about Google products.”

“Absolutely.”

“The call screening, ringing multiple phones, voicemail, and voicemail transcription are great features. I would recommend this to others. I do believe that there is a degree of technical knowledge that is needed to use and get used to the service so those not used to trying new technology may get discouraged or not understand the benefits.”

“Yes and no, I would not recommend it if the person using it is not technical and I feel that they would be intimidated by the ability to route calls. I would only recommend it to power users and/or people who can use routing for phone calls.”

“Yes. Having a Google Voice number allows portability and privacy. I think that they would especially like the built in call screen.”

What features would you like to see added?

“E-mail to voice—read me urgent e-mails would be great.”

“The ability to have the caller ID concatenate both the Google Voice number and the caller’s number in the caller ID field [for incoming calls]. This would allow me to know which number they are calling along with their number. At this point, it is a binary decision.”

“What I want from Google Voice:
*I’d like a way move my home line to the GV number so i could make calls out on it easier.
*I’d really like to see it work better with my cell phone as well. I’d like to be able to use its voice mail and transcription service to replace my cell phone’s voice mail.
* I have an Android phone, it seems really obvious to me that there should be some better integration.”

“The things that it does, it does right, except outbound handset dialing.”

“1. Number portability. This is not only incredibly useful, but absolutely needed to give consumers confidence and ease the transition. I would also REALLY like Google Apps support. At the moment my domain is hosted on Google Apps, and I use that account for everything. I hate having two different Google accounts and the separate problems associated with it.”

“As far as additional features I would like to see, the only thing that comes to mind is better integration with my cell phones. I switch between a G1 and a Windows Mobile. I just recently came across http://docs.evancharlton.com/docs/GV, but I haven’t tried it. There doesn’t appear to be any solution for Windows Mobile.”

“I would like to see a desktop client for OS X / Linux / Windows so I can make and receive calls via the desktop. This would be AMAZING and I would pay $20-$30 for this software.”

“A: Display name with caller ID. There are asterisk plugins that can do this and I assume that google could do the same thing. Single number multiple extensions (e.g. let me replace my office pbx with Google Voice).”

“I would love to be able to route phone calls to my desktop from Google Voice and that would be one of the best things it could offer me.”

[Update 7/10/09: Lifehacker has a good piece today on “how to east your transition to Google Voice.”]

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Wade Roush is a contributing editor at Xconomy. Follow @wroush

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