You can use Google Voice with any phone, but if you have a smartphone you gain some extra features and ease of use. Specifically we will look at the Google Voice app for Android and BlackBerry as well as two ways to use Google Voice on your iPhone.
This guide is part of a week-long series we’re calling Google Voice University, which will take you from a beginning Google Voice user all the way up to a Pro in a series of short guides.
The Google Voice apps and mobile website offer you on-the-go access to most of your Google Voice features including the ability to make calls from your Google Voice number easily, send text messages for free, receive voicemail transcriptions and help you make cheap international calls.
Google Voice for Android:
Google Voice for Android is arguably the most robust Google Voice app experience available with direct integration into your contacts for easy calling. The app has a built-in text message function so you don’t need to forward your texts, just respond to them from within Google Voice and you can read voicemail transcripts or listen without dialing in to a voicemail server.
The Google Voice app for Android now comes with a handy widget that allows you to start a call, send a text message or turn Google Voice on and off from your homescreen.
By default you can set Google Voice to On, Off, or International calls only, but you can find apps like Voice Plus that allow you to create calling rules based on groups so that you only use Google Voice with specific groups. Visit m.google.com/voice from your Android phone to download the app.
Google Voice for BlackBerry:
Google has also created a Google Voice App for the BlackBerry which provides some integration to the operating system and like the Android app makes it easier to call your contacts with Google Voice without the need to dial your Google Voice number and then dial your contact’s number. You also have access to text messaging and voicemail transcription.
Google Voice for iPhone – Mobile Web and GV Connect:
The Google Voice experience on the iPhone still lacks an official Google Voice app, though one is supposedly on the way, but users can use the m.google.com/voice mobile website to access many of the same features. You can also initiate a call through the mobile Google Voice webpage.
For users who want a more robust Google Voice experience on the iPhone there’s GV Connect. GV Connect is a $2.99 app that works with your Google Voice account to place calls, send text messages, receive voicemail transcriptions and manage your Google Voice account.
GV Connect is iOS4 compatible which means it can run in the background while you do other things on your iPhone.
Google Voice for Other smartphones:
Just as the iPhone can use the mobile Google Voice website, so can other web enabled smartphones such as those running PalmOS, Windows Mobile, Nokia S60 and others with a web browser. It looks like when Windows Phone 7 launches it will also have a dedicated Google Voice app.
This is part of Google Voice University, a week-long look at how to use Google Voice. Next up we will look at how to use Google Voice with any cell phone, how to make calls online, how to record phone calls and more â€” by the end of the course you’ll graduate with a masters in using Google Voice.