Google Voice is #2 in Top 10 VoIP services
Google Voice is a telephone service that provides call forwarding and voicemail services, voice and text messaging as well as international call termination for Google Account owners and for G Suite customers.
Google Voice video
Positions in ratings
#2 in Top 10 VoIP services
#1 in Top 14 Call Tracking
The best alternatives to Google Voice are: MagicJack, RingCentral, Skype, Grasshopper, TextNow, WhatsApp, OpenPhone, Ooma
Latest news about Google Voice
2018. Google Voice version for enterprise came to G Suite
Google is introducing an enterprise version of its Google Voice service exclusively for G Suite users. While Google Voice has traditionally been popular among everyday consumers, offering numerous advantages beyond a regular phone number, the enterprise version aims to provide companies with similar functionalities. This includes AI-powered features such as voicemail transcription, which employees may already be utilizing in a manner that bypasses company guidelines. Administrators have the capability to provision and transfer phone numbers, access comprehensive reports, and configure call routing options. They can also assign phone numbers to departments or employees, granting them a universal number that isn't tied to a specific device. This simplifies communication by ensuring easy accessibility when needed. Additionally, the enterprise version includes a spam filtering feature, which proves beneficial in handling the influx of unwanted automated calls for various purposes.
2017. Google Voice gets group chat and other new features
Google has introduced a refreshed version of its VoIP calling service, Google Voice, across mobile and web platforms. The primary focus of this update is to provide the product with a modernized look and feel, as it had not received significant upgrades for quite some time. Alongside the visual enhancements, the relaunch brings several new features, including photo-sharing, group conversations, Spanish-language voicemail transcription, and more. In the updated app, Google Voice incorporates separate tabs in the inbox for text messages, calls, and voicemail, as explained in the company's blog post. Additionally, conversations now remain in a continuous thread, simplifying the process of keeping track of messages from contacts within a single location.
2011. Google adds phone conferencing to Hangouts
Skype's killer feature that propelled its immense popularity was undoubtedly video calling. The revenue generator for Skype is IP telephony. Google, however, was unable to replicate the same success with GTalk/GMail/Google Voice as people had already become accustomed to Skype. Nonetheless, Google aims to make strides with its rapidly expanding group video chat platform, Google Hangouts. Google's strategy involves integrating Hangouts with IP telephony. The new feature in Google Hangouts enables users to make calls to landlines and mobile phones, allowing individuals who are not currently at a computer to join online meetings. This integration is particularly crucial for business meetings, as it facilitates connecting clients or partners to the discussion. Presently, these external calls are limited to the United States and Canada and are free. However, it is highly likely that this functionality will soon be available in other countries through paid Google Voice calls.
2011. GMail VoIP is available almost globally
The VoIP service in GMail, previously available only in the U.S. and Canada, is now accessible to users in nearly all countries worldwide, supporting 38 different languages. However, there are a few countries where Gmail Call Phone is currently not available, including Argentina, China, Cuba, Egypt, Ghana, India, Iran, Jordan, Kenya, Mexico, Morocco, Myanmar, Nigeria, North Korea, Peru, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, South Korea, Sudan, Syria, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, and Vietnam. With this global expansion, Google has also reduced its VoIP rates, making them slightly more affordable compared to its main competitor, Skype. For instance, a call to France costs 8 cents (compared to 16.9 cents in Skype), and a call to the USA costs 1 cent (compared to 1.9 cents in Skype). Similar to before, using GMail Call Phone requires a quick installation of a browser plug-in, which is the same plug-in used for video calling in GMail.
2010. Google added 60 more services to Google Apps
As part of their commitment, Google has now incorporated consumer services, which were previously limited to individual users, into the Google Apps suite. Recently, they introduced Google Voice (currently available for US and Canada users only), and today, they have expanded the offering to include a selection of 60 Google services. The account administrator has the flexibility to choose which services to include and which ones to exclude. Furthermore, the administrator has the authority to specify which users or groups will have access to each service. For instance, the marketing staff can be granted access to services like Adwords (for advertising purposes), Google Analytics (for monitoring site statistics), Blogger, and YouTube (for managing corporate blogs and video content). On the other hand, IT professionals may find Google App Engine useful for developing business applications. Other potentially valuable services for businesses include Google Reader (as an enterprise RSS reader) and Picasa (for creating intranet galleries). It's important to note that the option to add new services is also available in the free version of Google Apps.
2010. GMail = Unified Communications client
Few days ago the analytical company Frost & Sullivan stated that Google will soon storm the unified communications market, which is dominated by Cisco, Avaya and Microsoft. After all, Google has GMail, Google Voice, GTalk, Buzz, Gizmo5, Android, GISP and it remains just to combine all these technologies into single offering. And Google has decided to immediately confirm this forecast - from today GMail allows you to make and receive phone calls (thanks to the integration with Google Voice and Gizmo5). Meanwhile the VoIP service in GMail is available only in US. ***
2010. Google Voice hacked iPhone by means of HTML5
The story of Google Voice ban on the iPhone is over. Thanks to Apple and AT&T, Google Voice app hasn't arrived to iPhone yet. That's why Google went the other way and launched the web service, that works in the mobile Safari browser just like the native application. It allows you to make calls via the Web interface, view and listen to the voice mail, send and receive text messages. But the most interesting thing in this story is that the emergence of this application may cause a revolution in the current mobile marketplace. Earlier we wrote about the political games around the HTML5 implementation. And one of the major players in these political games is Apple, the manufacturer of the most popular mobile device, iPhone, which is known for its closeness. No application can get to iPhone unless it's approved by Apple. ***
2009. Google acquired Gizmo5
Multiple sources (including TechCrunch) say that almost exactly Google has bought Gizmo5 for $30 millions. If it's true, Skype now will get the very powerful competitor. Interesting, that month ago Skype was going to buy Gizmo5 itself in order to replace the Global Index technology (that was a reason of lawsuit) with Gizmo5 SIP-based platform. But now when Skype has after the Skype settlement, though, Gizmo5’s strategic value to Skype sort of plummeted. But, it turns out, that Gizmo5 has the strategis value to Google. And, really, it ideally fits Google's communication plans. First of all, GTalk can call only between internet users, but can't call PSTN and mobile phones. Gizmo5 will easily provide this opportunity to GTalk users. ***
2009. BT unveils Google Voice alternative, develops voice platform for SaaS
Ribbit, owned by BT (British Telecom) announced the new service Ribbit Mobile, that provides personal virtual PBX and can be linked to your existing mobile number. Ribbit Mobile's features are very similar to Google Voice - it can forward incoming calls according to your settings, send/receive sms, voicemail and transcribe voicemail. Unlike Google Voice, that only works with phone-company phones and SIP, Ribbit can also connect to Skype. And its main advantage is Web integration. Ribbit Mobile allows to call and receive calls in the web interface or using the widget. That is what Google Voice can't do. ***
2009. Google Voice is rolling out mobile apps for Android And Blackberry
The availability of Google Voice apps for Android and BlackBerry has simplified the usage of Google Voice phone numbers by automatically routing outgoing calls through Google to the intended recipients. The Android app offers the most comprehensive experience as it seamlessly integrates with the native dialer, address book, and call log. This integration prevents users from accidentally dialing numbers through their device's phone number. On the other hand, the Blackberry app is less integrated and only utilizes the native address book while employing its own dialer. Users are unable to directly return missed calls from the call log; instead, they need to navigate back to the address book and select Google Voice to initiate the call. Nonetheless, this functionality effectively resolves a significant issue. Additionally, the apps provide access to essential Google Voice features, such as listening to or reading voicemails and text messages, viewing call history, sending SMS messages, and making international calls at affordable rates.
2009. Google Voice - state-of-art VoIP service
Google Voice, formerly known as GrandCentral, is a comprehensive VoIP service offered by Google after its acquisition in 2007. The rebranded service combines various features typically provided by different startups, and it continues to be free for users, with the option to purchase credit for affordable international calls. However, Google Voice remains exclusively available in the United States. Notable new features include the ability to send and receive SMS messages using your Google Voice number, make phone calls through the web or mobile/landline phones, receive voicemail transcripts via SMS using Google's internal technology, create conference calls by adding phone numbers to existing calls, and enjoy free calls to all U.S. numbers. Original GrandCentral features such as voicemail screening and personalized greetings are still accessible, and voicemails can be received as email attachments. It's important to note that the transition to Google Voice does not support the migration of GrandCentral address books, as the new system relies on Google Contacts. Additionally, the service is incompatible with Google Apps accounts and requires a separate Gmail account.
2008. Gizmo Finally Introduces A Browser-Based Phone And Ringing Links
Gizmo, a competitor of Skype, is introducing a Flash version of its SIP phone client called GizmoCall. This browser-based phone operates similarly to other Flash-based phones such as Ribbit and TringMe. Although Gizmo's in-browser phone is coming out a year later than others, it still managed to beat Skype to the punch. Similar to Skype, GizmoCall offers low rates for calls to regular phones, while PC-to-PC calls remain free. Additionally, GizmoCall supports video calls and includes a convenient feature that can transform any phone number into a clickable link. Furthermore, Gizmo has opened up its APIs, enabling developers to integrate calling features into their applications, distinguishing itself from competitors like Ribbit and Ringful.
2008. Get GrandCentral On Your Softphone
Internet telephony offers unparalleled freedom and flexibility for mobile workers. Among the top web services in this realm is GrandCentral, which provides a single phone number that can ring various devices, including mobile phones, landlines, office phones, and more. Soft phones, which are computer applications enabling phone calls through a microphone headset, are also gaining popularity. While Skype is a well-known soft phone, a competitor called Gizmo5 (formerly Gizmo Project) can be combined with GrandCentral to offer soft phone capabilities. This integration is possible because both services utilize SIP, a standard protocol for VoIP communication. By using Gizmo and GrandCentral together, you can enjoy free inbound and outbound calling without consuming cell minutes or relying on a landline. To set up this combination, ensure you have active accounts on both GrandCentral and Gizmo5. Then, log in to your GrandCentral account, access the "Settings" tab, and add your Gizmo5 phone number as a device in the Phones section. Obtain the Gizmo5 SIP phone number from the "My Profile" section in the Gizmo5 application and enter it in GrandCentral. Save the changes, and whenever you have Gizmo5 running on your computer, you can receive calls without using cell minutes or tying up a landlines as all voice packets are transmitted over the internet from GrandCentral to your Gizmo5 connection.
2007. Google acquires GrandCentral
Google has officially confirmed the long-speculated acquisition of communications service GrandCentral, with the exact terms and price remaining undisclosed. TechCrunch initially broke the news last week, estimating the deal to be around $50 million. This acquisition marks a significant move for Google into the telecommunications industry. Existing GrandCentral customers can expect uninterrupted service, while new sign-ups are currently limited to invitation only. Another notable change is the introduction of GrandCentral's RingShare service, which now offers a curated selection of licensed music instead of allowing users to upload their own MP3 files. As of now, there is no information regarding the integration of GrandCentral into Google's existing tools and services, and Google has stated that there are no specific product plans to discuss at this time.
2006. Gizmo Project Will Make Web Calling Easy
One of the main challenges faced by mobile workers is the difficulty of making VoIP calls over EV-DO networks or commercial WiFi services, like those found in Starbucks. Port blocking and limited bandwidth often make it impossible to make phone calls when needed, resulting in the use of expensive mobile wireless minutes. However, there is some good news on the horizon. I recently spoke with Jason Droege, CEO of San Diego-based VoIP services provider SIPphone, who introduced a new version of their service that is perfectly suited for web workers. SIPphone offers a soft client compatible with Windows, Linux, and Mac computers, allowing users to instant message or chat with their contacts. What sets it apart is its ability to make and receive regular phone calls from landlines or mobile phones, with outgoing calls costing just a penny a minute within the US. The company has developed a simple-to-use flash-based browser plugin version of their service, set to launch later this month. All you need to do is visit the website, enter the number, and click call. The call is initiated, and if you have headphones, you can have a conversation without any additional software installation. This means you can make phone calls from internet cafes while traveling around the world. I suggested to Jason that they add a feature allowing users to connect their mobile phone numbers to the system, reducing the reliance on unreliable WiFi networks or limited bandwidth EVDO networks. This is not an impossible feat, as Jajah, another low-cost VoIP service provider, already offers a similar connection service and is gaining popularity. These simple browser-based VoIP applications will become increasingly valuable as more people embrace a cord-free lifestyle and work outside traditional office environments. So, what are your thoughts? Would you consider using this web-based calling service?
2006. GrandCentral: one phone to rule them all
Over the past decade, many "unified messaging" services have been introduced, but only a few have gained significant traction. At DemoFall, I explored various phone-messaging applications that were individually useful but challenging to envision using together. However, one service that stood out was GrandCentral, which appeared immediately useful and likely to incorporate the features of other messaging services over time. GrandCentral offers "One number for life," providing users with a new phone number. When someone calls this number, the system records their name and simultaneously rings all of the user's phones—office, mobile, home—allowing them to answer from any device. This alone is a valuable feature, but GrandCentral offers much more. Users can reject calls after hearing the caller's name, customize which phones ring based on the caller's identity and time of day, permanently block certain numbers, and even listen in on voicemail as it's being recorded. Additionally, GrandCentral keeps a permanent record of incoming calls and enables users to make calls through the service, connecting to them after it first calls their specified phone. The features are presented in a polished and user-friendly web interface. The service provides 100 free minutes per month, with additional usage costing $15 per month. During the beta phase, all services are free and don't require credit card information. Some suggested improvements include the need for a mobile interface, such as a Java or Windows Mobile download, and an Outlook plug-in for convenient calling from the address book. The calling rules could be more flexible, and users may encounter confusion with missed call indicators appearing on all phones except the one where the call was answered. It would be helpful to have an option to disable these reminders. Finally, despite its "for life" claim, there is uncertainty regarding the service's longevity, especially considering its previous incarnation as an enterprise data aggregation service. Nonetheless, GrandCentral is an impressive personal phone call-handling service worth exploring, and it is hoped that the team will continue to add new features. It's worth noting that GrandCentral has received financial backing from Halsey Minor, one of the founders of CNET.