How Does Google Voice Work

You can use google voice with your own google number or non-google number also..

Tina S
Tina S
Jan 15, 2010
0 Comments | 2906 Views | 0 Hits


With Google Voice, you get all your calls through a single number. The idea about Google Voice (formerly GrandCentral, which Google acquired) is this: lots of us have more than one phone, and it would be nice to have a single number to give out that will reach us on any of these phones.

So, when you sign up for Google Voice (I’ll call it GV for the some of the article), you pick a new phone number. Then, you tell GV about your other phones. Whenever someone calls your GV number, all the phones you’ve associated with that number will ring. When you pick up at a given phone, you can talk.

As somewhat of a side benefit, you can place long distance calls to anywhere in the continental USA for free via GV, as well as call internationally for rather competitive rates.

Google Voice, the new version of the GrandCentral technology Google acquired in July 2007, has the potential to make the search giant a middleman in an important part of people's lives, telephone communications. With the service, people can pick a new phone number from Google Voice; when others call it, Google can ring all the actual phones a person uses and handle voice mail.

The old version could let people centralize telephone services, screen their calls, and listen to voice mail over the Web. But the new version offers several significant new features, though. 

Google now uses its speech-to-text technology to transcribe voice mail, making it possible to search for particular words. Gmail's contacts now is used to instruct Google Voice how to treat various callers. And Google Voice now can send and receive SMS text messages and set up conference calls.


Just add your other numbers to Google Voice and then make your own rules for how your phones ring. 

Click the Settings link on the right side of the page and click the Phones tab to change your phone settings and add the numbers you want to forward your calls to.

You can access and make calls from the phone and the Web, block annoying callers at will, and record custom greetings for different callers or groups of callers.


GV, of course, has to centralize your voice mail as well. When someone is transferred to your GV voice mail box, GV will record a message like usual. It has a “transcription” feature which performs speech recognition and thus presents the message in both voice and text form in various places. General word is that the transcription ranges from moderately successful to mostly useless; I haven’t had enough experience yet to weigh in.

Joining Google Voice:
To join Google Voice and sign in the first time, do the following:
1. Go to Google Voice and click on Request an invite to display its window. 
2. Enter your Name and Email address, and then click Submit to send your request. Google Voice will send you an invitation “in the near future.” 
3. After you receive your invitation, click its link to display a Google Voice sign-in page, and then sign in with your Google Account, which can be your Gmail Account. 
Setting Up Google Voice with a Non-Google Number:
If you want to keep your existing mobile-phone number, you can you up Google Voice without setting up a Google number. Currently (January, 2010), you can use your existing number only if your mobile provider is AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, or Verizon.
To set up Google Voice with a non-Google number, do the following:
1. Join Google Voice and sign in the first time according the procedure in Joining Google Voice above. 
2. When prompted, click on Set up your phone to display a window that includes a security code. 
3. Click Call Me Now so that Google Voice can verify your number. 
4. After Google Voice calls, enter the security code and press either Send or Call you should soon receive an ‘activation successful’ message. 
Setting Up Google Voice with a Google Number:
With Google Voice, you're able to decide which phones you're forwarding to will directly connect to your Google voicemail or will require pressing * and your PIN to access Google voicemail when dialing your Google Voice number from these phones.
By default, any phone you've marked as 'Mobile' will directly connect to your Google voicemail when calling your Google number from the marked as 'Mobile' phone. You may or may not have to enter your PIN once connected to Google voicemail, depending on the settings you've chosen. All other phones listed in the Phones tab of your Google Voice Settings, which you've marked as either 'Work,' 'Home,' or 'Gizmo,' will require you to press * and enter your PIN to access Google voicemail when calling your Google number.
If you wish to change the default settings for the phones you're forwarding to, follow these steps:
1. Click Settings at the top of the page.
2. Select the Phones tab.
3. Select the Edit button under the phone for which you wish to change voicemail settings.
4. Click the Show advanced settings link.
5. In the Voicemail Access section:
  •  Select 'Yes' to have direct access to voicemail when calling your Google number from the phone in question. When you call your Google number from that phone, you will connect to Google voicemail. You may be prompted to enter your PIN, depending if you've selected the 'PIN required' radio button.
  •  Select 'No' to have the call ring through to your other phones unless you press * and enter your PIN to check voicemails
Some problems:
One big possible difficulty for people could be the issue of changing phone numbers. People's phone numbers can form a piece of their identity, in particular with home phone numbers held for years and number portability making it possible for people to keep their mobile phone numbers even if they change carriers. 
Even leaving aside the issue of the hassle of changing phone numbers, sharing your Google Voice number means committing your telephony to Google's services.
Moreover, you can only assign one GV number to an account. 
Call screening is horribly broken for a common case: callers from a corporate PBX. Many corporations present the same caller ID for any of hundreds or thousands of internal phones. The first person from that company that calls you will record a name, and from then on, you’ll hear that name announced even for the dozens or hundreds of people at that company that may call you. There is no way to override this, tell it to forget the name, or any such thing. Even if you disable call screening for unblocked numbers, it STILL announces the name it first recorded. Jarring and annoying.
Another possible hitch is offering phone numbers that match where people actually live or work. Here, Google hopes to have things under control, though there were no numbers in the 415 area code for service.
You can’t port an existing number to GV, though there is some indication you may be able to do so in the future.
GV won’t attach an audio recording of a message to an email; you just get a link to the audio recording in the email, so you can’t listen to your messages when you’re offline.
Author's note: Ref: Google help articles.
Keywords: Google Voice Work, telephone services,voicemail,google number,mobile,problems,number screening,PBX,block calls,recording message,google account,sprint,blackberry,transcription.

Please Signup to comment on this article