Jul 30 AT 10:12 AM Taylor Wimberly 11 Comments

Google Voice gets minor Android update

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.

The new call by call basis option. Different call options that are available. The shortcut allows you to toggle call settings. Google Voice is starting to improve, but still needs work.

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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  • http://www.nexsoftware.net nEx.Software

    I use my Google Voice number for people I don’t want to have my real number. Whether those people are work related or people I expect to spam me or sell my name/number to telemarketers. By the way, I am thinking that we should all add our GV numbers to the do not call registry before we start getting a bunch of telemarketing calls.

    Other than that, I haven’t yet used it.

  • http://profiles.google.com/michaelhaydel Michael

    I like the idea of choosing to use GV on a per contact basis.

    My biggest beef with the app so far is simply the dual notifications I get with each text message.

    If someone sends me a text to my GV number, please don’t put it in, and notify me with, the native Messaging app kthx.

    • PurplePenguin04

      To stop the double notifications
      1. Log into your Google Voice account with a computer (not your phone)
      2. Click on the settings link in the top right corner.
      3. Click on the “phones” tab between the ‘general’ and ‘groups’ tabs
      4. Click on the “edit” button below your cell phone number
      5. Uncheck the box next to “Receive SMS on this phone (mobile phones only)”
      6. Click the “Save” button at the bottom of the page

      Don’t forget to save

      • http://profiles.google.com/michaelhaydel Michael

        Hmm, I guess I never thought about *not* using the GV app for SMS. If I don’t use the GV app to text, do all of my texts show up in my Google Voice inbox and everything when I log in on the web?

        I guess they will, as long as I’m using that 406 number to text each person, huh?

  • PurplePenguin04

    My wife still can’t use this app, her Google Voice account was set up with an e-mail that’s separate from the one used on her Android phone.

    What would be great is if Google was to release the APIs so other developers could make use of the service and create better applications.

  • shaun

    pretty much resigned myself to not using this until all the retarded bugs are worked out. I got my cool number though, so I’m good.

  • mr man

    Gv application is way better in my opinion

  • http://www.googlemoneytree.me/ mr man

    Gv application is way better in my opinion
    BTW I love your blog!

  • graymoment

    I signed up for my Google. Voice account through a Google Apps account (hosted email, not an @gmail.com email address), which also happens to be the account tied to my phone. My Market account is tied to a different @gmail account. For whatever reason the official Google Voice app will not work because it will only work with a Google Voice number that is associated with your Market billing account, not your phone’s account (the two can be different). Why? GV doesn’t do this?

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  • IT Architect

    Yeah… Google does it again. Great Application but NO Support for their google app customers.

    Google app customers (the ones actually paying google for their services) have to create a gmail acccount as well. So… so stupid.