Google Voice has been available on Android for several weeks and I’ve enjoyed using the service. The visual voicemail works well enough and is a cool feature to show your friends. My biggest complaint with the app thus far was the toggle method for turning Google Voice on and off.
In the first release, users were given 3 options. Use Google Voice for all calls, no calls, or only international calls. The option was buried in the settings menu and annoying to change. I typically use my Google Voice number for work purposes and my T-Mobile number for my normal everyday calls.
I suggested adding a widget that would display the Google Voice setting and was informed that a shortcut is available. If you long press anywhere on your home screen, you can add a new shortcut and pick the Google Voice icon. The shortcut allows you to rotate through the call options, but it provides no info on what the current setting is. If you change you call settings frequently, it becomes confusing.
A recent updated attempted to simplify the process. The upgrade added a fourth calling option, “Ask to use Google Voice for each call”. When selected, you can choose to use your Google Voice number on a call by call basis. The feature works as advertised, but I still think improvements could be made.
The ideal solution for me would be a setting that allowed you to use Google Voice on a per contact basis. This would allow me to create groups in my contacts and assign which number I used when calling those contacts. For example, you could make a “business” group and always use your Google Voice when dialing those contacts.
Messaging is another area that still needs a lot of work. When composing SMS notes, there is no auto punctuation or spell correct. I’m not sure why this was left out and I expect it to be fixed in a future update. MMS is still not supported as well.
Google Voice remains invite only as they continue to improve the service. If you would like to get an account, please visit the official site and request an invitation.
Still don’t know what Google Voice is? Watch the video.