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Google Voice Now Works WIth Existing Mobile Numbers

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the me-talk-garbly-one-day dept.

Communications 164

IP-192.com was one of several readers to note that Google Voice users can now utilize their existing mobile phone number for collecting voice messages instead of applying for a Google Voice number. From the post at the Google Voice blog: "Up until now, if you wanted to use Google Voice, you needed to choose a new number. Taking calls through your Google number allows us to offer features like call recording, call screening and getting text messages via email." Not all features (like conference calling) are available to those bringing their own number, but voice messages by email is my favorite feature.

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Welcome to your local FEMA Camp! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29885697)

Will these numbers be tattoed onto our arms like IBM did to the Jews in Nazi Germany?

Google will follow in IBM's footsteps.. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29885773)

By enabling quick communications with google voice between Jew, erm, American ovens so that we can incinerate as many American who disagree with the 'government' as efficiently as possible.

voicemail forwording? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29885731)

google is late [youmail.com]

Still US-only? (2, Insightful)

alexo (9335) | more than 4 years ago | (#29885761)

Wake me up when Google voice is available outside the US.

Yup. (4, Funny)

denzacar (181829) | more than 4 years ago | (#29885835)

From TFA:

Setup Issues: Phone carrier not listed in setup

As of now we only officially support the following carriers listed on our site (Alltel, AT&T, Cricket Wireless, MetroPCS, Sprint, T-Mobile, US Cellular, and Verizon).
We are working on extending the support to more carriers soon.

Internet, just like UFO and Elvis sightings - only available in America.

Re:Yup. (4, Insightful)

LMacG (118321) | more than 4 years ago | (#29885955)

Nobody should ever release anything that doesn't instantly work worldwide! Especially when it's free!!

Re:Yup. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29886119)

I know you think you're being facetious, but what you say is true.

Releasing something like this in only one country lets competitors see if it is popular or not, and not risk taking a plunge on a product they might not make money on.

It leaves them with 95% of the available market to conquer first hand, so it's actually a really stupid thing to do.

Re:Yup. (1)

NiteShaed (315799) | more than 4 years ago | (#29886325)

And that's why Google is penniless and in danger of vanishing at any second. My god, their stock is down to $549/share today and....wait, what?

Seriously, there's a little more to it than just watching Goog from a distance and copying them when you have a chance. Could some unknown startup in Estonia come out of nowhere and take Google's spot? I guess anything's possible, but I'm not about to hold my breath waiting. Even if they do, Google can still make a buck or two off the American market, where they'll have a pretty good head-start. It's not exactly a corporate fate-worse-than-death.

Re:Yup. (1)

alexo (9335) | more than 4 years ago | (#29887319)

Nobody should ever release anything that doesn't instantly work worldwide! Especially when it's free!!

You seem to have missed the point entirely.
My post was not a criticism of Google. I am happy for you and the other US residents that can use Google Voice (for free, as you have mentioned) but it is a bit hard for me to get excited about the technology when I personally cannot use it. So if you have any information about when it will be available in, say, Canada, I will thank you for it (once you wake me up :-). Otherwise, your reply was surprisingly unhelpful.

Re:Yup. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29886317)

Umm, no, only in the US, I live in country in America, Costa Rica, and we dont have it yet.

Re:Yup. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29887027)

Get the fuck over it. Would you call yourself an American? No.

Re:Yup. (-1, Flamebait)

Curtman (556920) | more than 4 years ago | (#29887119)

God no... Not even in the post-GWB years. But we still resent you for besmirching the name.

Re:Yup. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29887135)

Shut up you pedantic faggot. You know what they mean. Do me a favor and go self destruct like your shithole country.

How it works (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29885777)

So, Google can now be set to be the termination point for your voicemails for your mobile, that is, you configure your mobile phone to call their voicemail gateway instead of your providers. Spiffy, though visual voicemail on the iPhone is a tad better interface, at least until there is another google voice app for the iPhone...

Re:How it works (1)

spuke4000 (587845) | more than 4 years ago | (#29885861)

I gotta say that Google Voice is way better than the iPhone's visual vmail. They're really different things: google transcribes your voice mail and SMS or emails them to you (among lots of other things). Visual vmail just shows you who called you without having to dial in.

Re:How it works (2, Interesting)

Hijacked Public (999535) | more than 4 years ago | (#29885985)

I have had Google Voice for about a year, and an visual voice mail for two, and I don't know that I'd say one is necessarily 'better' than the other because, as you point out, they are two different things. Like asking if a hamburger is better than a fishing pole.

I use visual voice mail most all the time, and only read GV's voice-to-text when I'm somewhere I don't have a cell signal. But it is nice to have both.

Re:How it works (4, Funny)

ryanvm (247662) | more than 4 years ago | (#29886007)

Actually, hamburgers are significantly better than fishing poles.

Re:How it works (2, Funny)

Luyseyal (3154) | more than 4 years ago | (#29886087)

Give a man a hamburger and he will eat for a day. Give him a fishing pole and he will sell it for $5 on craigslist to buy a hamburger.

-l

Re:How it works (1)

Golddess (1361003) | more than 4 years ago | (#29886097)

Unless you like fish and not cow. You can also get more than one meal out of a fishing pole.

Re:How it works (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29886115)

And significantly more mercury!

Re:How it works (3, Funny)

nine-times (778537) | more than 4 years ago | (#29886185)

You can also get more than one meal out of a fishing pole.

I guess so, if it's a big fishing pole. But it won't taste as good as a hamburger.

Re:How it works (1)

locallyunscene (1000523) | more than 4 years ago | (#29886397)

They both reduce the fish population.

Re:How it works (1)

jdgeorge (18767) | more than 4 years ago | (#29887139)

Hamburgers don't reduce fish populations; people do. Same story for fishing poles, nets, and seaborne garbage as hamburgers.

Credit to the National Rifle Association for making this point. Extra credit to Burger King for making this point so delicious.

Re:How it works (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29887299)

"Guns don't kill people. Apes with guns kill people!" -Heston

Re:How it works (2, Funny)

Life2Short (593815) | more than 4 years ago | (#29887353)

Let's see you entertain a kitten with a hamburger...

Re:How it works (1)

Mr2001 (90979) | more than 4 years ago | (#29886635)

The Google Voice app for Android does everything visual voicemail does, AFAIK. You can see all your messages, with transcripts and audio recordings, without dialing in.

Re:How it works (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#29886369)

Visual vmail just shows you who called you without having to dial in.

Hell, my $100 phone will do that. I look at the list of missed calls, that's who left a voice mail.

Re:How it works (1)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 4 years ago | (#29886549)

This message as translated by Google Voice:

I shot a gay that oogled Morice. Is may better than iTone visual female? Bear real lee different tings. Google transcribes you're choice tail and sms or ails him to shoe (a mung lo savanna swings). Usual gmail trusts ows ewe who call dew without having to smile him.

Yeah, but after a while you can decipher it.

Re:How it works (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 4 years ago | (#29886715)

I've never had one that was that bad. Maybe you just need fewer retarded friends.

Re:How it works (1)

jo42 (227475) | more than 4 years ago | (#29886707)

google transcribes your voice mail

AKA "wire taps".

Transcripts are like MadLibs (1)

sjbe (173966) | more than 4 years ago | (#29887089)

google transcribes your voice mail

AKA "wire taps".

Clearly you haven't actually read any of the transcriptions...

For those who don't use the service, the results are a bit like playing Mad Libs [wikipedia.org] . Often useful but I have yet to see a transcription without some key words wrongly transcribed. It's especially bad at names. I'm also reminded of the handwriting "recognition" on early Apple Newtons. Granted, it's free so I'm hardly going to complain but the technology has a way to go.

Re:How it works (1)

Darth Sdlavrot (1614139) | more than 4 years ago | (#29886233)

Halfway there. Now I need to set gvoice to be the termination point for my landline voicemails and I'll be all set.

I want (-1, Offtopic)

_PimpDaddy7_ (415866) | more than 4 years ago | (#29885799)

617-867-5309

I'm serious too, HOW DO I GET THIS number?

Thanks

Re:I want (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | more than 4 years ago | (#29886359)

Call Jenny. She'll know.

People always forget about Hawaii (3, Informative)

butabozuhi (1036396) | more than 4 years ago | (#29885819)

Available in the US? Still waiting for a number in a Hawaii area code...

Re:People always forget about Hawaii (5, Funny)

ShiningSomething (1097589) | more than 4 years ago | (#29885905)

We all know Hawaii is in Kenya.

I want... (-1, Offtopic)

_PimpDaddy7_ (415866) | more than 4 years ago | (#29885821)

617-867-5309

I'm serious too, HOW DO I GET THIS number?

Thanks,
Jenny

Re:I want... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29885863)

Serious enough to double post it. Now that is serious.

Oh wow! (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29885827)

Now google allows you to do what the government has been doing for you for the past 5 years! Now your government mobile history is inextricably tied to your online activity!

Been using it... (0, Offtopic)

Muckluck (759718) | more than 4 years ago | (#29885841)

and I am not thrilled with it. I picked a number that is frequently misdialed (admittedly - my mistake) and they want $10 to change numbers. I am using the do not disturb feature to send most calls to VM. The translation software is about 80% correct on guessing what my messages actually say. The other 20% are often more fun to read due to the humor of the translation. They have a way to go before this will be a reliable "ready for prime time" service.

Re:Been using it... (5, Funny)

Muckluck (759718) | more than 4 years ago | (#29885939)

One of my voice mail transcripts:
"Hey it's Blake, Hey just called. He will not be in tomorrow. He is sick and he said he tried to get a hold of Robin Hood, so I'll be in all of you so bye. "
Should read
"Hey it's Jake, Sandy just called. She will not be in tomorrow. She is sick and she said she tried to get a hold of John. Please give me a call when you get this. Bye."
Actually, now that I think about it - Robin Hood could have helped us...

Re:Been using it... (1)

QuantumRiff (120817) | more than 4 years ago | (#29886487)

I wish they would let me edit the transcript. It would be much faster for me to correct the transcript, instead of going back and listening to the VM later if I need the information again. Not to mention, it could really be some great feedback to tune their algorithms...

Re:Been using it... (1)

ProfessionalCookie (673314) | more than 4 years ago | (#29887125)

Sound like you should send feedback. They could also use the corrected transcript to tune their voice recognition.

Re:Been using it... (1)

tonycheese (921278) | more than 4 years ago | (#29887343)

Yeah that's a brilliant idea, use the feedback. In the meantime, you can add notes under it, I suppose.

Re:Been using it... (1)

LandDolphin (1202876) | more than 4 years ago | (#29886513)

Sounds like Google was attempting to give you a more interesting life. In your google life, you had Robin Hood and Sally in you.

Re:Been using it... (2, Interesting)

ndege (12658) | more than 4 years ago | (#29886527)

The strange thing I noticed is that when the transcripts first became available, they were dead on accurate most of the time. Over the past 6-8 months or so, they seem to have gone down in quality.

I wonder if Google is making use of new algorithms for the speech processing that might be less CPU intensive, but provides much of the information.

Anyone out there that might know if a change was made internally?

Re:Been using it... (1)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 4 years ago | (#29886621)

I think the original algorithm they used was "pay people to listen to your voice mails and have them write it down"

Re:Been using it... (1)

ndege (12658) | more than 4 years ago | (#29886999)

Ahhh... wow.

I feel sorry for the poor people having to transcribe messages from pushy sales people making cold calls to my gmail number. What a strange view of America they get.

Egg Freckles? (1)

cloudscout (104011) | more than 4 years ago | (#29886865)

Google Voice voicemail transcription is the new Newton.

Eat Up Martha.

Re:Been using it... (4, Informative)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 4 years ago | (#29886219)

$10 to change numbers? By any standard I've ever seen, that's a steal.

Seriously, look into doing the same with a local telephone service sometime. Some years back, the local telco issued me a home phone number that had previously been owned by a company that went Chapter 7. After a little under 2 weeks of constant phone calls at all hours of day and night (who makes collection calls at 3AM? Seriously?), I called the telco and asked. By the time I stopped talking to the rep and said "no, thanks" we were up somewhere north of $175 in fees, surcharges, and "because we're the goddamned phone company and we'll tack this little sucker on too and you'll bend over and like it, biyotch" charges. For a phone number that THEY had chosen and was in my possession for less than 2 weeks.

I picked a number not in my area back when Google Voice was GrandCentral and in beta, because no numbers were available here in the Hinterlands. I gladly paid $10 when a number became available with my correct area code, and if I could port my old Vonage number over I'd happily fork over another $10 and thank them. Given that I can use my free Gizmo line with an old Linksys PAP I have hanging around as my primary phone line now, I figure Google is saving me about $20 a month from my old 500-minute Vonage line, and loading me up with awesome features Vonage never dreamed of to boot. If I have to send then $10 every now and again, I'm still seriously ahead.

And, yeah, I've run into the "Voice Misrecognition Follies" with Google voice. Fortunately, none of the calls have been urgent, and I can tell that "Hi, versus Doctor Smith and your appointment is tomato at flower dirty" is good enough to save me the time of retrieving and listening to the audio, and make me laugh at the same time. And I can always listen to the original if they've completely messed it up. I've also had "Visual Voicemail" from Vonage and several other transcription services I've tried, and "guess what? It ain't that pretty at all." None of them do it any better. The whole technology is not ready for prime time, but it's good enough for me every time so far, and at least Google does it for free. Vonage charges a quarter per message.

I suppose if I was a pharmacist taking prescriptions, I wouldn't want to have it translate "Vicodin" when the doctor said "Viagara" or something, but for the kinds of calls I'm likely to get, the text has always allowed me to get the gist of what was being said (and I can always click a button on my Blackberry or on a website to listen to the original audio, but I've never had to).

Re:Been using it... (1)

vishbar (862440) | more than 4 years ago | (#29886861)

Who would have thought that 867-5039 would be a bad idea?

Re:Been using it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29887301)

That's the wrong number its 867-5309

Visual Voicemail (1)

Bodero (136806) | more than 4 years ago | (#29885919)

I would have been all over this but for the fact that my Blackberry Tour now has Visual Voicemail much like many Blackberries these days as well as the iPhone.

Does anyone with an iPhone or visual voicemail-enabled phone see value in this? I like the transcription feature but it's not a game changer.

Re:Visual Voicemail (1)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 4 years ago | (#29886031)

How about the ability to redirect your phone number to a different phone (or multiple phones)?

Re:Visual Voicemail (1)

Drathos (1092) | more than 4 years ago | (#29886645)

That feature isn't available when using your own number, only when using a number assigned to you from Google.

Re:Visual Voicemail (1)

Hijacked Public (999535) | more than 4 years ago | (#29886065)

Well, it is free, so it doesn't need much in the way of value to justify getting it.

I use it when I am somewhere I can't get a cell signal on my iphone, or where I get the 'visual voicemail is not available' message. Wading through ATT's prompt based voice mail menu system is not something I have the patience for any longer. So I read the GV messages via wifi or the like.

Re:Visual Voicemail (3, Interesting)

SpinyNorman (33776) | more than 4 years ago | (#29886131)

It's not just visual voicemail (with automatic transciptions - read your voicemail if you want/need to be quiet) - that's just one feature.

The main feature of Google Voice, IMO, is that your Google Voice number is really YOUR number, not the number of a particular location/device. Via the web you can program what phone(s) - zero or more - ring when someone calls your GV number and you can pick up the call on any device. If you like all your calls can go direct to voicemail and you'll then pick them up either by phone or on the web.

The use of this is that you don't need to notify anyone if you go on vactation, change job, lose your cell phone, or whatever - they always call you at your GV number, and you choose where to pick the call up (maybe just at an internet cafe via the visual voicemail).

Re:Visual Voicemail (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29886551)

While nice, Google Voice has some issues.

One is the latency. Whenever I'm talking to someone over GV there is a noticeable VOIP-like delay and if you're using GV over VOIP then it's doubly bad and often bordering on unusable.

Other issue is Google knowing every call you make or receive. Google is essentially just like any other advertiser. Do you like to give those kind of people all your details? Google must be a gold mine for anyone interested in knowing everything about you and everyone you know.

Re:Visual Voicemail (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29887331)

I find Google Voice to be a great service to me. It was a good thing also that when I signed up, I also switched carriers. I was going to give people a new number and it might as well be the Google Voice number. Only about 3 people actually know my real cell phone number and I like to keep it that way. Being able to block phone calls and text messages, being able to jump on the laptop and text people from your number, as well as being able to call from your number on any phone in the country. The latter comes in handy when I am in a bad reception area or I need to a pay phone to call someone. Google voice provides a level of transparency I have definitely gotten use to. If I worried about what I was going to say in terms of Google privacy I would just use my native number.

Re:Visual Voicemail (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29886301)

Difference is if you disconnect your phone you can still retain your voicemails infact keep your voicemails for ever. The other feature is transcriptions which I am not so sure is available on other carriers..
 

Google Invites? (1)

thesaintkhalsa (1327575) | more than 4 years ago | (#29885931)

Is there a legitimate way to get GOOGLE invites - not really confident of getting them off Ebay - thanks in advance

Early adopters lose (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29886071)

Interesting, I went to change mine to my current number but google wants $10 for that service... serves me right for being an early adopter!

Re:Early adopters lose (1)

StayFrosty (1521445) | more than 4 years ago | (#29886859)

I just checked my GV account. You don't have to change your GV number...you can redirect your mobile phone voicemail to GV. All you have to do is go in to settings, click on Phones, find your mobile phone in the list and click the "Activate Google voicemail on this phone" link. You keep your old GV number and any voicemail that used to go to your mobile carrier's voicemail goes to GV instead. It doesn't cost anything to do it this way either.

Mod parent informative, please. (1)

Arthur Grumbine (1086397) | more than 4 years ago | (#29887113)

I had the same experience as the GP, thinking that I had to pay $10, but then I saw that I could just choose to "Activate Google Voicemail" for my cell phone (which currently receives all my GV number calls). Very easy to do. I chose my provider, and it immediately popped up a code/number to call which activated it instantaneously. To set custom greetings for specific numbers/people just click on the "Contacts" link on the left-hand column, the choose the Contact you want to change (you will need to have the phone number in that person's Google Contacts profile) and click the "Edit Google Voice Settings". Select "Record New" for the greeting, and Google will call your cell phone and you can record and confirm the greeting right there. To be honest, for sound quality I would have preferred if I could record the greeting using my computer's microphone (a decent quality corded headset) instead of my cell phone, but still - very easy to setup.

Missing Features (5, Informative)

dijjnn (227302) | more than 4 years ago | (#29886077)

From TFA:

More specifically, if you sign up for Google Voice with your existing number, you'll get:

        * Online, searchable voicemail
        * Free automated voicemail transcription
        * Custom voicemail greetings for different callers
        * Email and SMS notifications
        * Low-priced international calling

If you decide to also get a new Google number, you'll get all of the above PLUS:

        * One number that reaches you on all your phones
        * SMS via email
        * Call screening
        * Listen In
        * Call recording
        * Conference calling
        * Call blocking

So, you don't get all the features if you port in an existing number. How ... lame. Completely killed my interest in this most recent development.

Re:Missing Features (1, Insightful)

Patik (584959) | more than 4 years ago | (#29886179)

So, you don't get all the features if you port in an existing number. How ... lame. Completely killed my interest in this most recent development.

There's really no point to this new option -- it's just a stripped down 'lite' version of the existing service aimed at drawing in people who were scared off by the "you'll have to change your phone number" nonsense. There's absolutely no reason to choose this option when you sign up. If all you want are the voicemail features, sign up for a "full" account (with a new number), then add your existing phone and switch on voicemail handling. That's it.

Actually, this new option is even worse: once you set it up, you can't go back to your carrier's voicemail system. You're stuck with Google's whether you like it or not.

And by the way, it's not full number porting, you still keep the same carrier. Not yet at least -- Google says that's on the horizon.

Re:Missing Features (2, Informative)

SoCalChris (573049) | more than 4 years ago | (#29886615)

There's really no point to this new option -- it's just a stripped down 'lite' version of the existing service aimed at drawing in people who were scared off by the "you'll have to change your phone number" nonsense. There's absolutely no reason to choose this option when you sign up. If all you want are the voicemail features, sign up for a "full" account (with a new number), then add your existing phone and switch on voicemail handling. That's it.

It would be stupid to sign up for the "lite" version of this instead of the full version. But being able to forward my existing cell phone # to use google voice for voicemail is huge to me. I no longer have to wade through Verizon's crappy voicemail system (Which has no way of deleting all new messages - I get a ton of spam messages).

Actually, this new option is even worse: once you set it up, you can't go back to your carrier's voicemail system. You're stuck with Google's whether you like it or not.

Maybe it's not enabled for all carriers, but I've got an option on my settings page to revert back to using Verizon's voicemail if I like.

Re:Missing Features (3, Informative)

metaomni (667105) | more than 4 years ago | (#29887011)

"Actually, this new option is even worse: once you set it up, you can't go back to your carrier's voicemail system. You're stuck with Google's whether you like it or not."

Umm, you can revert your forwarding back to your carrier's voicemail. They'll even tell you how.

Re:Missing Features (1, Informative)

tonycheese (921278) | more than 4 years ago | (#29887265)

As others have said, I don't know why you're convinced that Google won't let you change back to our old voicemail system, how would you even know if you didn't have it? I signed up for it, and I see an option to disable at any time.
I'm happy about the new option, by existing descriptions of Google Voice I didn't know before that I had the option to keep my old number and ONLY forward my voicemail. Plenty of people will be convinced to switch by the newer service allowing us to keep the same number.

Also, your post is just so... inflammatory. Your word choice seems so angry and negative as if they were pushing a giant turd down our throats. It's really not that bad... if you don't want to use the new service just leave it alone, plenty of people like it!

Re:Missing Features (2, Informative)

tjb627 (1443659) | more than 4 years ago | (#29886221)

All this is doing is forwarding your phone call to Google's voicemail instead of your own. This is nothing new, I've been doing this for weeks.

Re:Missing Features (1)

RanCossack (1138431) | more than 4 years ago | (#29886227)

I don't think it's actual porting so much as just some background forwarding of voicemail messages; at least, I had a "new Google number", and the changes allowed me to set up my normal cell number like that.

Re:Missing Features (2, Informative)

herksc (1447137) | more than 4 years ago | (#29886237)

Actually, there is no "port" involved here, really. This is essentially just setting up your carrier to forward calls on no-answer/busy to your google voicemail.

Re:Missing Features (1)

samuel.hurley (1220378) | more than 4 years ago | (#29886691)

Its just TDMA call-forwarding no reply. Example: from AT&T's website (http://www.wireless.att.com/learn/basics/choosing-features-services/call-forwarding.jsp): * Immediate Call Forwarding: Dial *71 and the 10-digit number to which your calls should be forwarded. Press Send. * Call Forwarding Busy: Dial *73 and the 10-digit number to which your calls should be forwarded. Press Send. * Call Forwarding No Reply: Dial *74 and the 10-digit number to which your calls should be forwarded. Press Send.

Re:Missing Features (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29886247)

It's basically just voicemail (like youmail) if you use your current number.
The bigger thing here is that if even if you use a new number, but have some relatives that don't call you on your google voice number, you can still get their voicemail in the same way.

Re:Missing Features (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29886623)

I signed up with Google Voice about a month ago and got a new number for it. As expected, no one uses my new GV number.

Today I logged in and was able to turn on GV for my mobile phone's voicemail by entering a code into my phone. If/when I want to switch back to my carrier's voicemail, I can just click the 'deactivate' button in GV.

Of course, I can't speak for joining without creating a new number...

Re:Missing Features (3, Informative)

Nerdposeur (910128) | more than 4 years ago | (#29886883)

So, you don't get all the features if you port in an existing number. How ... lame. Completely killed my interest in this most recent development.

You're missing something. I already have a GV account. If you call my special GV number, I get the full feature list. Now I get that, PLUS I can click to add the "Lite" version to my actual cell number.

That means that if you call my cell directly, I can still send you to GV voicemail, with the "Lite" feature set.

As they say:

If you already have a Google number, this new feature should also help with the transition to your new number, as you can now forward unanswered calls to your mobile phone to your Google Voice account. This way, people who still call your old number will reach the same voicemail as people who call your Google Voice number. If you already use Google Voice, you can add Google voicemail to any mobile phone you've linked to your account.

Sprint subscribers beware (1)

NiteShaed (315799) | more than 4 years ago | (#29886239)

I was pretty excited when I saw this, but then with a little more digging it looks like if you're on Sprint, you'll get a minimum 20 cent charge per voicemail (20 cents per minute call forwarding [sprintpcs.com] ). Some people are saying Sprint has or is about to do away with this fee, but I haven't seen anything definite.

If I'm mistaken PLEASE correct me (and supply a link showing that the fee isn't around anymore), but for now I guess I'll be passing on this :(

Re:Sprint subscribers beware (1)

ZeroPly (881915) | more than 4 years ago | (#29886559)

This is incorrect. The charge is if you forward your Sprint number to another number, not the other way around. I use Sprint and Google Voice, and have never had an extra charge from Sprint. The only number I give out is the Google Voice number, my phone is set to not even ring if a call comes in to the Sprint number - the caller just gets a voicemail telling them to call the Voice number instead.

Re:Sprint subscribers beware (1)

NiteShaed (315799) | more than 4 years ago | (#29886631)

That's not what this new feature is though. If you sign up to use your existing cell number, you forward the call *from* your cell phone *to* Google Voice to land the voicemail on their system instead of your own. It's very cool, and gets you out of Sprint's garbage voicemail system, but unfortunately Sprint does seem to still charge 20 cents/min for call forwarding.

Re:Sprint subscribers beware (1)

ZeroPly (881915) | more than 4 years ago | (#29886727)

I did not understand the question in that case. I'm still missing why that's "new". I can do that right now with an arbitrary cell phone and my existing Google Voice number. Checked through the Google Voice page, I'm probably missing something.

Re:Sprint subscribers beware (1)

NiteShaed (315799) | more than 4 years ago | (#29886819)

I never actually thought to try doing it before today, so I can't say. I hadn't realized that you could set call-forwarding on Sprint to forward only after a no-answer, I thought it was either all calls getting forwarded or none, and since the only phone I really use much is my cell, I had no place that I wanted to forward to anyway....

Re:Sprint subscribers beware (2, Informative)

dillpick6 (699618) | more than 4 years ago | (#29886607)

I can confirm that Sprint is still charging (at least in the New England area).

A friend turned it on for his phone and sent a test message, successfully made it through, and was transcribed to his email. We did notice that there are an extra few rings before VM picks up because Sprint is forwarding on to the new number.

After a while, the charges did show up in his account on sprints website at 20 cents a pop.

Hope this helps!

Replying to myself (1)

NiteShaed (315799) | more than 4 years ago | (#29886655)

Well, I just called Sprint, and the rep says the 20 cent/min forwarding charge is definitely still in effect, and he had no information on it being repealed. Hopefully they're planning on doing it soon, which is what Google Voice is saying when you activate the service.

Re:Sprint subscribers beware (1)

tonycheese (921278) | more than 4 years ago | (#29887307)

It sounds like people who use Sprint get a warning message, and I didn't get a warning message with Verizon, but just in case - does anybody know of other carriers doing this?

MWI on a forwarded call (1)

oh-dark-thirty (1648133) | more than 4 years ago | (#29886417)

One possible drawback is that if you have your mobile's VM forwarded to Google's VM, your mobile phone will only show a missed call and not a new VM.

Re:MWI on a forwarded call (1)

fugspit (632645) | more than 4 years ago | (#29886579)

Unless you are running the google voice app on you phone, In which case you get a nice nice little "you have a new voice mail popup"

If your phone is incapable of running the Google Voice app (e.g. iPhone) you can set it up to email or sms you when a new voice mail arrives.

Re:MWI on a forwarded call (1)

oh-dark-thirty (1648133) | more than 4 years ago | (#29886633)

For my EnV Touch, I guess an SMS notifier would be the best solution, as I have to make a trip to the mobile web to check email..

Re:MWI on a forwarded call (1)

oh-dark-thirty (1648133) | more than 4 years ago | (#29886753)

I suppose I could also use my mobile phone's email address, but either way it's a -1 for my 250/msgs a month...

Re:MWI on a forwarded call (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29886963)

You can have Google Voice send you a text message when someone leaves a voicemail though which, IMO, is just as good (assuming you're not paying $0.15/message or whatever they're up to now).

No new subscribers (2, Informative)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 4 years ago | (#29886521)

The news sounds exciting, but from everything I'm gathering anybody who's not already using Google Voice can't signup at the moment. The site says it's only available to Grand Central users, and that doesn't appear to be open for signup right now either.

As someone who's still using the ancient call the system and keep pressing next to skip messages I want to keep system, I'd happily switch over to this (hell I'd even pay a bit for it - between Gmail, Reader, Picasa, Google Apps, and this, I'd certainly be willing to pay for my Google account - not more than $10-ish per month, but still).

Re:No new subscribers (1)

jmscott42 (205767) | more than 4 years ago | (#29886915)

Do you know anyone with Google Voice? I noticed in the last day or so it suddenly said I had 3 invites..(!) Hadn't seen that mentioned anywhere, but have been (figuratively) under a rock the last few weeks.

Landline? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29886705)

So, two questions - What prevents this from working on landlines? - Do you use minutes on your cell plan when GV handles calls ?

Don't wake me until Google Voice supports porting (2, Insightful)

ericrhall (193865) | more than 4 years ago | (#29886711)

Heck, I would even pay a small monthly fee, maybe a buck or two a month to port my existing cell phone number. This is a number I have had since cell phones became popular. I would gladly port it, cancel my current Verizon phone, and then shop for the best plan out there regardless of carrier. Google voice would free me to have a device and plan morph with the changes in my lifestyle over time.

T-mo prepaid not working (1)

intiha (1646093) | more than 4 years ago | (#29886717)

Doesnt work with T-Mobile prepaid FYI. Google FAQ mentions that "conditional voicemail forwarding" is not enabled by some carriers. Tmobile is one I guess!

Since when is call forwarding new? (1)

eberon (1665639) | more than 4 years ago | (#29887043)

So.. we should be excited because phone numbers (including Google Voice numbers) can receive forwarded calls when configured via your carrier? NO WAI!

How is this new? (1)

Fnord (1756) | more than 4 years ago | (#29887303)

It effectively already did this, at least on any handset/provider that lets you specify the forward number for unanswered calls. I put my GV number in as that number, and configured GV to go straight to voicemail. Combined with the GV app for android, I get a nice visual voicemail like interface along with transcription.

How is what google is promoting at all new?

You can almost already do this on most providers (1)

caseih (160668) | more than 4 years ago | (#29887373)

On GSM phones, just dial *002*# and all your unanswered calls will go to your google voice account. Of course Google likely uses this technique, but has some added logic to make it so that Google Voice will not forward back to your cell phone if the call is being forwarded from your cell phone in the first place. I can't find any details on how Google does it, but it has to be done with the forwarding mechanisms already offered by providers.

A downside to all this is that forwarding uses up your airtime. Also it's not available on T-Mobile prepaid (though it is on AT&T GoPhones).

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