Sprint, you have made me proud. They have taken a leap of faith, that I think will eventually pay off! What leap am I talking about? Why, the integration of Google Voice into their services of course! This to me is a game changing idea! Putting your phone account into the customers hands. With Google voice, you’re able to save your voicemails (as many as you want!) get them transcribed, send free text messages, and make multiple phones ring at the same time. I was granted Beta access, and today, the day of public release, I will be posting my thoughts on the service below. Read on for more!
Ok, so lets get started! Lets talk about what Google and Sprint have done right! Let me begin by saying that this has been a lifesaver for me! My htc Evo decided to completely die on me, so I was phoneless for 2 days. Thanks to this service, most people had no idea I was without my phone. How is this possible you ask? Well, I am a huge user of Gmail, and now, with free outgoing and incoming calls, your email is basically a phone hub. When someone calls, it will ring your cell, any other phones you have added, as well as your email account! Its a bit disconcerting, if you have your email buried under several windows, and your computer starts ringing. Usually, your like, what in the world is going on?? I have gotten used to this, and now I know to either pin my email in chrome, or keep a separate window open for my email.
To make a call, simply login to your email, and look for your chat widget, and within it should be an option to call phone. Click on that and you will be presented with a dialer. Simply dial anywhere in the United States for free calls. Easy as pie! The quality of the calls is very good, and like I said before, no one knew that I was actually on a computer. This has been a wonderful tool, and I hope that google continues to offer it for free!
So, what do you get with this integration? Well, for starters, you get free text messaging on your android powered phones. The only problem is that you have to use the Google voice app, which still doesn’t feel completely solid. I have trouble with it crashing, and its hard sometimes to get to the list of conversations. Another problem is that right now, Google isn’t offering MMS, so when you are sent an MMS, it now goes to your handset messaging system, not Google Voice. I am hoping that an update to Google Voice android app will fix this soon. Also, Sprint has a good network, and while it is not perfect, I usually have internet access. This is essential for the Google Voice app, because you are actually not getting SMS messages sent to your phone, you are receiving digital messages through the Google voice app (as of right now, there is no way to make it purely sms, without the google voice app, without completely removing the GV app entirely). This is bad if your in an area that has 1x signal, but not digital signal. You will not get your text messages, due to the fact that you have no net connectivity. This is a major flaw, and it needs to be fixed. Either give us the option to get all of our text messaging through the messaging app and disable digital text messaging, or fix the GV app so that it supports 1x (not going to happen). Also, the built in text messaging apps are usually better than GV.
So, all in all, Google has provided a solid service, with a dependable partner. I think that this test will eventually reach the other carriers, and one day, the handset will simply be an extension of our digital selves.