As we just broke the news on, Google has a secret group messaging project that was built from within their confines: Disco. Slide, which Google bought last year, are the ones responsible for the app. And since word is that they’re allowed to run autonomously within the company as their own startup of sorts, the app probably doesn’t have anything to do with Google’s broader social strategy.
Still… → Read More
This is the biggest news about Google Voice since the company behind it, previously called Grand Central, was acquired by Google in 2007. They’ve integrated with Sprint. What that means is you are one of Sprint’s 50 million U.S. customers, your Sprint phone number is now also a Google Voice number. And If you’re already a Google Voice subscriber, you can use that number on your Sprint phone… → Read More
Last week, after nearly two years of waiting, Google Voice finally enabled number porting — the highly requested feature that lets you transfer an existing phone number to Google’s powerful telephony service. And then, just as everyone was getting excited, the feature disappeared. But now it’s back.
Turns out last week’s number porting launch was just a test (which is why Google didn’t announce… → Read More
Over the past few years, I’ve been pretty vocal with my distaste for AT&T. Their complete and total incompetence when it comes to handling the iPhone in major metropolitan areas (or really any mildly crowded area) was only matched by a few of the colossal fuck-ups they’ve had with regard to some of my bills over the years. Tonight was the last straw. And it couldn’t have come at a more perfect… → Read More
We’ve been huge fans of Google Voice for quite a while now — it makes screening calls and managing multiple phones a breeze — but there’s always been a huge thorn in its side: it didn’t allow people to port their existing phone numbers over. In other words, in order to take advantage of all of Google Voice’s benefits, you’d have to get a new phone number. Now, after years of waiting, that’s… → Read More
I own an iPhone. I live in San Francisco. As such, it’s basically a total crapshoot as to whether or not I’ll be able to make a phone call in the city. Skype had always been a pretty good back-up solution, but an even better one came a few months ago: Gmail Calling. And now Google has just extended the free period of the feature through 2011. Yes, through next year.
Gmail Calling is great because… → Read More
As we wrote a month ago, Google Voice finally arrived for the iPhone after Apple waited 16 months to approve the application. And as expected, the app was a hit with Google Voice and iPhone users. Unfortunately, at the time of launch, Google Voice for the iPhone didn’t support the iPod Touch or the iPad. So today, Google is announcing a new version of Google Voice that will work on both iOS… → Read More
Let the Fail Whale jokes begin.
I’ve been using Google Voice on a daily basis for around a year now, and the last month has been by far the worst in terms of connectivity issues. Right now, it looks like the service is having yet another outage — both Michael Arrington and I are having problems, and other users on Twitter are having them as well. Outbound calls ring endlessly (and sometimes… → Read More
Over the past few years, there has been no shortage of developers complaining about how long Apple has taken to approve their iPhone applications. But few have waited as long as Google for the Google Voice application. But today brings great news: the wait is over.
If you want to be a phone company you can’t go dead. Ever. People rely on their mobile phones for everything these days, so when calls aren’t going through it’s a really big deal. And as far as we can tell, Google Voice is currently having some serious issues.
Both Michael Arrington and I use Google Voice exclusively for our phone calls. And this morning, we simply can’t place calls: we’ll dial… → Read More
Listening to voicemails is a huge waste of time. That’s why apps that transcribe your voicemail to text are a godsend. The new Yap Voicemail app is now available for the iPhone. You route your voicemails through Yap. It transcribes them for you using only speech-to-text technology (no humans), which allows it to offer the service for free (with ads at the bottom).
The transcriptions are not… → Read More
This is a post I’ve looked forward to writing for a long time — and I’m surprised that I’m even getting the chance. In July 2009, we broke the news that Apple had banned Google Voice from the iPhone. But it hadn’t just blocked Google’s official application — it had also removed two third-party applications that had already been live on the App Store for months: GV Mobile, which was created by… → Read More
If I learned anything from the crappy 2008 remake of the marginally less crappy 2004 japanese horror flick One Missed Call, it’s that if I miss a phone call, I will probably die. Fortunately, Google doesn’t want me to die. That was their original original slogan, after all: Don’t be evil, and don’t wish death upon people. That was too long, so they shortened it to… → Read More
I think I liked Google Voice better back when it was hard to get an invitation. Back then it worked most of the time, and the infrequent outages were tolerable given how useful the service is overall. But over the last week the service has become spotty at best, and unusable at times. Given that I ported my phone number to Google I don’t have much choice but to soldier on in the short term – but… → Read More
Is it conceivable that one of our greatest inventions, the phone number, is about to face extinction?
This morning, Google officially unveiled its Voice/Gmail integration, which will allow users to make Google Voice calls from the browser. It’s a pretty nifty service that is gaining traction in the TechCrunch SF newsroom. Another product we’re eyeing? That shiny London-esque phone booth with the “vintage” 1957 phone that makes free domestic and long distance Google voice calls.
I dropped by… → Read More
We were excited when we got our hands on an unlaunched version of Google Voice for the desktop, which let users make and receive calls via a soft phone on their computer. We hear that software is still on ice, though, and won’t be launched any time soon. But it probably doesn’t matter – today Google Voice is being integrated right into the browser via Gmail. It’s amazingly good – I know because… → Read More
Google Voice is great, especially if you’re on a mobile platform that offers a native Voice application (namely Android or BlackBerry). But if you’ve been using the service on a regular basis, you may have run into an odd issue: sometimes when you go to actually call someone there’s a lag, as if the phone isn’t altogether sure what it’s supposed to do when you tap on the ‘Call’ button next to a… → Read More
As soon as everyone got to actually see the unreleased Google Desktop application in action, they wanted to have it.
The only problem is this isn’t just about waiting until Google finishes it off and ships it. There’s a real possibility that Google will never release a Skype-like soft phone for the desktop – they clearly want to build these types of applications in the browser. But the experts… → Read More
When Google acquired Skype competitor Gizmo5 in November 2009 it wasn’t much of a stretch to anticipate a soft phone application for Google Voice to be coming soon. A few months later we heard that Google was dogfooding Google Voice Desktop internally. But then last month we learned that Google was delaying any launch of the product, and may be scrapping it entirely, because Google founders Larry… → Read More
When Google launches new services, they often gets a lot of hype (see: Wave, Buzz). Unfortunately, they don’t always live up to that hype (see: Wave, Buzz). But one service that Google launched last year definitely has: Google Voice. Sadly, it has only been open to those with invites. But starting today, it is open to all.
Google is adopting an Apple strategy today. The search giant is giving students priority to its invite-only phone service, Google Voice. Clearly, Google is trying to go after impressionable minds to gain early adopters of their technologies, which is something that Apple has been doing with its products for some time. The company implemented a similar strategy with Google Apps and Google Wave. The… → Read More
Voice mail is a pain, but it doesn’t have to be. Just ask the million users who’ve now registered for YouMail, a ‘digital secretary’ type service that offers visual voice mail, smart filtering, voice-to-text transcriptions and custom greetings.
YouMail, which operates only in the United States, says it has not only surpassed the 1 million registered users mark but has also handled over 300… → Read More