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Author Topic: Google Voice!  (Read 3738 times)

Deozaan

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Google Voice!
« on: July 16, 2009, 02:05:08 AM »
I just received an e-mail this evening inviting me to try out Google Voice (USA Only for now). I'd never heard of it until I received the invitation and I'm not even sure how I got signed up to be invited. I wasn't invited by any specific person.

So what is Google Voice? To be honest, I'm still not entirely sure. They gave me a free local phone number that anybody can call (and it was activated immediately). I can set it up to forward to any of my "real" phone numbers. When I signed up, I started out with a voicemail in my inbox, which was automatically transcribed for me:

Quote
Welcome to Google Voice! Google Voice gives you a single phone number that rings all your phones, saves your voicemail online, and transcribes your voicemail to text. Other cool features include the ability to listen in on messages while they are being left and the ability to make low cost international calls. To start enjoying Google Voice, just give out your Google Voice number. You can record custom greetings for your favorite callers or block annoying callers by marking them as SPAM. Just click on the settings link at the top of your inbox. We hope you enjoy Google Voice.

Here are a few things I think sound cool about the service: Since I already have a Google Android phone (G1) all my contacts in my phone are in my Gmail and in my Google Voice account. Also, there's an application for the Android phones so that you can have the mobile phone use Google Voice for all calls, international calls only, or no calls. And I can put a call widget online:

Quote
Call Widgets can be put on any web page, and allow people to call from that web page. When somebody clicks on the widget, we call them and connect them to you. Your number is always kept private. You can create multiple call widgets and have different settings for each of them.

The about page says that Google Voice invitations are only being sent out to users of Google GrandCentral, but I've never heard of that until today. Maybe I was invited because I'm using a G1? Or maybe I signed up for something several months ago and simply forgot entirely about it? I don't know. But Google Voice seems interesting, so I'm going to start using it and see how it goes.

« Last Edit: July 16, 2009, 12:08:35 PM by Deozaan »

Deozaan

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Re: Google Voice!
« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2009, 02:13:23 AM »
I called from my wife's phone to try out the "send to voicemail, but eavesdrop on the message" feature. It didn't work. For some reason the call hung up on me, but still allowed me to leave a message from my wife's phone, so I decided to test how well the transcription worked.

This is what I said:

"Hi. This is a test voicemail message to myself. Let's see if it can transcribe properly. Alright, goodbye."

This is what it transcribed:

"hi ryan this is a test voicemail message to my cell let's see if we can transcribe properly alright goodbye"

Okay, so it's not perfect. It somehow thought my "hi" was "hi ryan" (I guess I did draw out the word, "Hiiii") but the cool thing is that it highlighted the parts it wasn't sure about, and each transcript allows you to give feedback on whether or not the transcription was useful.

I also got a notification from the Google Voice app for my G1 that told me I had a voicemail, which allowed me to read the transcript and listen to the voicemail. Cool stuff.

I'm going to bed. I'll play with it more over the next few days.


justice

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Re: Google Voice!
« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2009, 04:06:17 AM »
Very interesting I've been following this. More information about the service from Read/Write Web

jgpaiva

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Re: Google Voice!
« Reply #3 on: August 26, 2009, 10:21:10 AM »
Doesn't this mean that all calls calls to your unique google number will go through google's system?
What's the business model of this system? How do they get paid?

Deozaan

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Re: Google Voice!
« Reply #4 on: August 26, 2009, 10:30:59 AM »
Doesn't this mean that all calls calls to your unique google number will go through google's system?
What's the business model of this system? How do they get paid?

That's a good question. There haven't been any ads in regards to the phone... there probably are some ads on the google voice website but with adblock plus you'd never see them.

The only thing I've seen them mention prices about is international calling, and the rates appear to be fairly competitive.

But other than that, sms are free, local (anywhere is USA) is free, voicemail is free, it's all free for what I've been using it for.


justice

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Re: Google Voice!
« Reply #5 on: August 26, 2009, 10:37:35 AM »
maybe they can use voice recordings to train speech to text and text to speech services.

jgpaiva

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Re: Google Voice!
« Reply #6 on: August 26, 2009, 11:09:40 AM »
To be honest, I asked because I really don't like this conquer the world idea of google, and <obsessive mode on> google being able to listen to all my calls sounds really scary! <obsessive mode off> :)

Cloq

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Re: Google Voice!
« Reply #7 on: August 28, 2009, 06:33:18 PM »
I love the voice mail to text msg function.. though sometimes the output is hilarious.  ;D