Google Voice is a Free Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) Telephone And Messaging Service for Google Account customers in the US, and Canada. I have personally used Google Voice since 2009, and have been very satisfied with this service!
For enterprises, where Google Voice is now an optional G Suite add-on (with rates ranging from $10 to $30 per user per month), businesses gain a simple system for assigning work numbers to employees and then letting said employees use whatever devices they want, whenever they want. All you have to do is set up the proper forwarding within the service, and someone's personal Android device or any company provided handset can be "that phone" — regardless of what network it's using or what carrier assigned number is actually connected to it.
Even in a small business, independent contractor, or strictly personal arrangement, Google Voice is packed with potential. You could move your number into the service and then have all of your incoming calls ring multiple phones simultaneously (your personal phone, your work phone, your home office VoIP line, your actual office land line, or any combination) every time a call comes in. You just pick up the call using the device that is most convenient!
To maintain your privacy AARP is endorsing the use of a FREE Google Voice App for calls and Text Messages!
To learn why you should use Google Voice, you can either:
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Click or Tap any of the links in the Table of Contents
|Why Should You Add A Virtual Cell Phone Number To Your Smartphone To Maintain Your Privacy|
|What Are The Features Of Google Voice|
|How To Sign Up For Google Voice|
|Standard Google Voice App Configuration|
|Follow Google Voice Setup Instructions On A Device Other Than Your Smartphone|
|Configure Google Voice App Privacy Settings|
|Configure Google Voice App Notification Settings|
|Test The Google Voice App|
Less than 40 Percent of U.S. households have a landline. If you currently have one, get rid of it and save the money!
63% of adults live in "Wireless-Only" households – those where there is no landline but at least one cellphone!
✔ You keep your privacy by not giving out your personal cell phone number to strangers and businesses!
✔ Unlike other FREE Apps such as Skype and WhatsApp that require both parties to use the same service, with Google Voice, you can call any number.
Android and iPhone Smartphones DO NOT offer this feature. Phone calls must be originated from the Google Voice App.
✔ TAP 4 on your Smartphone and the participant(s) will hear an announcement that the recording has begun.
✔ TAP 4 on your Smartphone again and the participant(s) will hear an announcement that the recording has ended. All voice recordings are stored in the Voice Mail Tab.
✔ Both IOS and Android users can block phone numbers however, telemarketers can still leave you voice mail messages. When you block a phone number with Google Voice, repeat callers will hear this recording and, they CAN NOT leave you a message.
✔ To initiate a conference call, TAP 5 on your Smartphone to bring another phone number into the conversation.
✔ You can initiate a phone call or receive a phone call via your carrier's network or Wi-Fi connection in the US.
✔ You can send and receive SMS and MMS Text Messages via your carrier's network or Wi-Fi connection.
✔ The Phone Calls can be forwarded to your cell phone so that you can receive all notifications ON ONE DEVICE.
✔ If you are ever in a situation where your Smartphone is lost or stolen but you have a Tablet, you can use the Google Voice App on your Tablet to call any U.S phone number using your cellular or Wi-Fi connection! This feature alone is a great backup plan!
✔ If you are ever out of the country and as long as you are connected to a Wi-Fi network, you can CALL THE U.S FOR FREE by dialing the appropriate international dialing code.
✔ You can also use this second cell phone number for a business phone number and you get to determine when you do not want to receive phone calls and forward them to Voice Mail by activating the Do Not Disturb feature!
✔ When you use the Chrome web browser and install the Chrome Google Voice Extension, you can reply to Text Messages from your your Chromebook and Windows desktop and laptop devices!
All you need is a FREE Gmail Email address. If you do not have a Gmail address, you can sign up for one at www.gmail.com.
Once you have a Gmail Email address and password, use a computer or laptop browser:
Login to www.google.com/voice/
Choose a new phone number and activate the new service. You will have the option to select a phone number that has certain values (i.e. you may want your phone number to end with a certain sequence like 1303 or 4237 etc so it is easy to remember).
Download the Google Voice App on your Smartphone and Tablet devices from the Apple App Store or Google App Store.
Phone calls originated from the Google Voice App will show your Google Voice Number Caller ID.
All phone calls to the Google Voice Phone Number will be AUTOMATICALLY FORWARDED to your cell phone number.
The history of all Google Voice Phone Calls appear in the Google Voice App 📞 Calls TAB.
If the caller leaves a voice mail, it will be stored in your IOS or Android Phone App.
Text Messages originated or replied to from the Google Voice App will show your Google Voice Number Caller ID.
When a New Text Message is received, it will be forwarded to your Smartphone Messages App.
The history of all Google Voice Text Messages appear in the Google Voice App Messages Section.
You can attach pictures when you SEND, and REPLY to Messages. You are also able to RECEIVE Text Messages that contain pictures.
Login to your Smartphone Google Voice App with your Gmail email address and password
TAP the Search Google Voice Menu
TAP Settings and proceed to configure different Google Voice options:
✔ LINK your Cell Phone Number to the Google Voice Number
❌ DISABLE Forward messages to email. All Text Messages sent to your Google Voice number will be automatically forwarded to your Smartphone Messages App.
✔ ENABLE Make and receive calls (Use carrier only)
✔ CHOOSE how you want to answer and forward calls.
❌ DISABLE Anonymous Caller ID.
❌ DISABLE Call Screening.
✔ ENABLE Get email alerts for missed calls
✔ ENABLE Incoming call options. This allows you to record incoming calls.
❌ DISABLE Show my Google Voice number as caller ID when forwarding calls. You want the real phone number that is calling to appear as the Caller ID!
✔ ENABLE Default account for Google Voice.
❌ DISABLE Do Not Disturb
You can MANUALLY ENABLED or DISABLED this feature anytime! When DISABLED, all calls to Google Voice will be forwarded to your Smartphone. When ENABLED, all calls to Google Voice will be sent to Voice Mail.
✔ ENABLE Custom Voicemail Greeting. Suggest that you record the same voicemail as on your Smartphone.
✔ ENABLE Get Voicemail via email
❌ DISABLE Let Google analyze Voicemail transcripts
❌ SKIP this section
✔ ENABLE Filter Spam
❌ DISABLE High-contrast conversation view.
✔ TAP > to configure the Browser, Mail, Navigation, and Calendar defaults apps.
✔ ALLOW Access to Contacts
✔ ALLOW Access to All Photos (Read and Write)
✔ ALLOW Access to Camera
✔ ALLOW Notifications Settings
✔ ENABLE Alerts for Lock Screen, Notification Center and Banners
✔ ENABLE Sounds
✔ ENABLE Badges
✔ ENABLE Show Previews - Always
✔ ENABLE Notification Grouping - Automatic
Test the Google Voice App by taking these steps:
Have someone call your Google Voice Number and verify that it is being forwarded to your cell phone number and showing the person's "Caller ID".
Have someone send a Text Message to your Google Voice Number and verify that you are being notified, and can reply to it.
Consider adding the Google Voice Chrome Web Browser Extension to your Chromebook and Windows desktop and laptop devices! This is a great feature to quickly reply to Text Messages from your Desktop, Laptop or Tablet without using your Smartphone. You can also make Google Voice calls from your tablets!
If you like this free service, please share this information with your business associates, co-workers, friends, and relatives!
Would love to hear your comments, opinions and thoughts on this topic!