Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Google Voice Impressions

Having been a Grand Central user since their beta in 2007, I got the option to migrate to Google Voice. Based on my usage, here are the improvements to the original Grand Central experience:

  • Integration with Google Account 
  • Integration with Google Contacts
  • GMail-like UI that allows for folders like Inbox, Starred, Trash, Voicemail, etc.
  • SMS support
    • Receive SMS on the Google Voice number and have that SMS forwarded to your registered cell phone. This was my biggest feature request from Grand Central!
    • Respond to SMS via the Google Voice web interface and have then be returned as an SMS
    • Ability to respond to call via SMS
  • Transcription – finally caught up with Jott on that front.
  • Ability to annotate messages or SMSes with notes.

Here are the things where Google has more work to do (or could have done better during migration):

  • No integration with Google Apps For Your Domain (my pet peeve with several Google features!)
  • No keyboard shortcuts for the UI a la GMail or Google Reader
  • No migration of Grand Central call history, messages or contacts
  • A separate UI – this should really be part of GMail (my company has had that for years with both fax and voicemail!)
  • No mention of fax support i.e., use the number for incoming faxes so that it can really be a universal number
  • No tag/label support like GMail – kinda stupid to just have fixed folders especially when GMail has us used to labels

The rest of features are just parity features with Grand Central. Google Voice

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