Verizon’s voicemail service is outdone by Google Voice‘s features in several ways. First and foremost Google Voice has a voice-to-text transcribing feature that comes in very handy. It’s not perfect but can come in handy in a pinch to figure out what a voice message contains without having to call. This could come in handy in a situation where you can’t make a call but can check text messages or the Google Voice app. For the times you can call the recording quality is on par with the default carrier’s voicemail. Another benefit of Google Voice is the ability to create groups of numbers and select individual recordings that will play to members of a certain group. This could be having a different voice mail greeting for your fraternity buddies and your interviewers or maybe creating a general greeting for numbers you know and numbers not in your list yet.
For these extra features and more the setup is simple. Here’s how to do it:
1) Download the Google Voice app for your phone.
2) Go to Settings -> Call Settings and select the Voicemail service drop down box. Here you can select Google Voice and will be given a prompt. In the prompt there is a number for you to call that you may call by touching the link.
3) You’re done! You can go to Google Voice and adjust your settings there.
Using Google Voice as the voice mail service on your Motorola Droid is not difficult. You can get the hang of it by giving your voice mail a call. The *86 number is a shortcut to voice mail for me and I suppose it’s the standard Verizon shortcut so I tried that after I completed this and instead of receiving a prompt to enter my password I got my voice mail recording. I left a test message and soon I received a notification on my Google Voice app and also a text message. The text message feature can be turned off because with the Google Voice app it’s a bit redundant. The app allows you to hear the recording as well as see a transcript of the voice message.
On top of the phone app the Google Voice inbox online works much like e-mail and provides a convenient way to organize and listen to messages. You can place calls from the browser interface as well where Google Voice connects you to the number via your phone (sorry, no Skype-like features… yet!).
For the benefits that Google Voice offers I think it’s worth what little effort it takes to set the system up.
This summer I’ve been really frustrated with internet services when I tried to find a service for the apartment I was going to live in. The biggest issue is that broadband services in the US are TERRIBLE. On top of that the providers tend to offer their higher-tier services only on long-term contracts. Not that their higher-tier services are really that high to begin with.
However, FiOS was the light that descended from the heavens for me… until I realized it too was marred by the same defects… until now! I think Verizon has made the right move and am eagerly waiting to see where this goes. FiOS will be the first thing I get (assuming it’s in my area) when I go out into the real world, so Verizon – you can count me as one of your future customers for broadband service.
Until then, though, I have Duke University’s network to use and boy oh boy is it a joy!