How to get the most out of Goolge Voice

Google Voice is one of Google’s most useful creations. It assigns you a phone number which you can then use to call and text people in North America for free. International calls cost a low 2 cents per minute so it can be a cheap alternative to using your allocated minutes.

There are many features in Google Voice that people don’t know about, so here are some of the best ways to get the most out of your Google Voice account:

Send text messages through Google Voice for free

Using Google Voice you can send text messages to other phones using your smartphone, computer and through your Gmail account. Using the Google Voice Desktop you simply press ‘text’ in order to send texts. You can do this using the Google Voice app for smartphones also. In Gmail you can keep your messages in the same place however, in order to do this:

  • Click Settings then Voice Settings
  • Click the Voicemail and Text option
  • Check the box that says ‘Forward text messages to my email’

Screen calls from unknown callers

If an unknown caller rings your Google Voice number you can get Google Voice to ask the caller to declare their name before you have to talk to them. So if and unknown caller calls you and you click answer, Google will ask the caller what their name is. Google Voice will then say ‘Incoming call from [unknown callers name].’ You will then be given the choice to accept the call or send them to voice mail.

If you send them to vice mail you will also be able to listen to them leaving the message without them hearing you, if you recognise the caller you can then press * to talk to them.

This is an incredibly useful feature for business people who may get calls from lots of people in one day.

To turn this feature on:

  • In the Google Voice desktop press the gear shaped icon to go to settings.
  • Go to Settings >> Voice Settings >> Calls
  • Turn Call Screening on and then check the ‘Ask unknown callers to say their name’ box.
  • Then save your changes.

Record calls using Google Voice

Google Voice allows you to record phone calls that you have received, however the ability to record phone calls made by you is currently not supported. In order to record the call simply press 4 during the call. You will then hear a voice saying ‘This call is now being recorded’. The recording will then be saved and you will be able to access it using the Google Voice app or desktop. You will also be given the ability to email, download or embed the conversation on your own website.

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These are just some of the many tools and features available on Google Voice, a remarkably powerful tool.

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