Google Voice, soon in France!

Google Voice, the telecommunications service that allows people living in the United States to make and receive calls and text messages (free of charge locally or at a lower cost for international calls) will soon arrive in our walls. Meanwhile, here’s an overview of the use of this application and the benefits that come from it.

What is Google Voice?

Google Voice is a communication service that differs from others in many ways. First, it’s Google, secondly, it is (mostly) free, and thirdly, it calls several phones, and then there are many other features that are interesting and useful for everyone. Most, but not all. It doesn’t cost anything to sign up and start, but before you put all your eggs in Google’s basket, you want to know why to do it, and if it’s right for you. So let’s see what Google Voice can do for you.

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What can Google Voice Phone Service do for you?

You get free services

It does not cost to sign up for and use a Google Voice account. The phone number, text service and other functions, as we see below, are free of charge. You only pay for international calls, but calls to most phone numbers in the United States and Canada are free. You may have to pay certain numbers to call, starting at a rate of around $0.01 per minute (just 0.8 euro cent). Rates for these cities and international rates may vary, but you can know exactly what it will cost you to make a call with Google Voice.

A single number makes all your phones ring

When you register, you get a toll-free phone number. You can decide among your phones which one will ring, or which one will not ring, every time someone calls. By For example, when your daughter calls, you can make all your phones ring, but when your business partner or boss calls, you can decide that only the one in the office will ring. Too bad if you’re not here. It’s even possible to make sure that none of your phones rings.

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But before you can ring phones of your choice, you just have a number, which can be something quite interesting and useful in itself. You can choose the area code and other specific characteristics of the number that will be assigned to you. This number is not attached to a SIM card on a mobile phone or line, it remains yours, whether you change a mobile operator, change state or country, or change a phone.

Some people use their Google Voice toll-free number to protect the confidentiality of their actual number when it comes to giving a number to a group of people or an audience. Calls from the Google Voice number will then be transferred to your real number on the phone of your choice.

If you want to have a toll-free number, you can check these other services. There are also other services that give ring numbers for multiple phones.

You can transfer your number

This means you can use your existing number and transfer it to your new Google Voice account. This service is not free, but it is worth paying for those who do not want to warn all their contacts of a new number, or if their numbers are already displayed in public. It costs a one-time fee of $20 or about €18. Your existing number, which is currently managed by your operator, will be handed over to Google, and you will need to obtain a new number from your operator. There are a number of issues related to number portability, as you might want to know first if your number is mobile.

You can also change your Google number, for $10 or about €8.

Make free local calls

Most calls are free in the US and Canada, and you can call unlimited free to any phone, whether fixed or mobile, not just VoIP numbers. The exception is that there are certain numbers in Europe that you have to pay to call. Google does not seem to have a list of places in Europe that are not free, however, it provides the call rates tool related above if you want to check a number before making a call.

Make international calls less dear

You can make calls via your web interface or smartphone using Google Hangouts, but international calls are not free. But the rates are very reasonable for some common destinations. Some are even as low as two cents per minute. You pay by depositing a prepaid credit to your account.

Voice box

If you do not answer a call, the caller can leave a voice message that goes directly to your voicemail. You can retrieve it whenever you want. This allows you to choose whether you want to take a call or not, and gives you the freedom not to take calls, knowing that there is a way for the caller to leave a message.

There is another function that is convenient here — the call filtering function. When someone calls, you have the opportunity to respond to the call or send the caller on voicemail. While they’re done with voicemail, you can change your mind and respond.

Transcript of voicemail

This feature is considered a flagship of Google Voice, perhaps because it is so rare. It converts your voicemail (which is in voice) into text, so you can read the message in your voicemail. This helps you when you need to receive messages in silence, and also when you need to search for a message. Changing the voice to text has never been perfect, even after decades, nevertheless, it has improved. So the transcription of Google’s voice messages is not perfect; transcription of some messages may not serve much, but at least it remains funny and fun.

Share your box vocal

This is not media messaging, but simply sharing a voice message with another Google Voice user. Google offers a lot of settings and options for this, so the tool is very powerful.

Block unwanted

Block calls is a feature in most VoIP services. In your Google web interface, you can put the caller in a blocking state. Every time he calls, Google Voice will lie to them after the dramatic call — no established beep indicating that your account is no longer in service or has been logged out.

Send SMS from your computer

You can set up your Google Voice account so that SMS messages sent to you are sent to your Gmail inbox as an email message, in addition to being sent to your phone. You can then reply to these emails that will be converted back to SMS and sent to your correspondent. This service is free of charge.

Make conference calls

You can hold meetings with more than two attendees on Google Voice. You can also do this with the help of your smartphone.

Record your calls

Record any of your Google Voice calls by simply pressing the 4 key during the call. This saved file will be stored online and you can download it from your Google web interface. Recording calls is not always simple and sometimes requires additional hardware, software or settings, which makes using Google Voicemaker very interesting, whether to activate or store it.

How Google Voice facilitates the task either for activation or for storage is really exciting.

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