Google Voice Gets the Google+ Circles Treatment


I have my doubts about Google's drive to add Google+ features to each and every one of its apps and services, but here is a new Google+-related feature that actually makes perfect sense: starting today, Google Voice – the company's VoIP telephony service – will integrate with your Google+ circles.

Here is how Google describes this feature: "Circles give you more control over how you manage your callers; for example, calls from your “Creepers” circle can be sent straight to Voicemail, only your “College Buddies” circle will hear you rap your voicemail greeting, or you can set your “Family” circle to only ring your mobile phone."

Depending on how you use Google+, this is indeed a really useful new feature, especially given that Google makes it very easy to set rules and even different voicemail greetings for every different caller.

Sadly, No Circles Interface in Google Voice

It's worth noting that this doesn't mean you can now drag and drop your contacts into different circles, though. Instead, this feature is actually a bit hidden in the Google Voice contacts settings (click on Contacts, then select a group, then click on Edit Google Voice Settings.

Chances are, if you follow a lot of people on Google+, just a few of these are likely to ever call you. This feature, then, is probably more interesting for those who are either very meticulous about how they organize their Google+ circles and those who use it as a very personal social network and less like Twitter or Facebook.


10:55 am

Google Voice Integration with Sprint is Now Live


Google just announced that its integration with Sprint’s wireless service is now live. Sprint users now have two options: turn your Sprint number into a Google Voice number so that your Sprint number will ring all your other phones, too, when somebody calls – or turn your Google Voice number into your Sprint number and replace your current mobile number. Either way, Google Voice will now replace Sprint’s voicemail system and international calls will be routed through Google Voice, too. Porting numbers between Google Voice and Sprint will be free.

These new features are, of course, optional. Users can also continue to use their current Sprint service without switching to Google Voice. Detailed instructions for those who do want to switch, though, and make use of Google Voice’s free voicemail transcriptions, cheap international calling rates and other features, can be found here.

10:10 am

Just Got Access to Google Voice in One of My Gmail Accounts


Works just as advertised, but here are a few observations:

  • the new phone icon is inconspicuously placed in the “Chat” box – if Google didn’t point it out so clearly when the feature is activated, you could almost miss it
  • Gmail doesn’t auto-recognize phone-numbers and so you can’t just click on a number in an email and initiate a call
  • if your account doesn’t have a Google Voice account associated with it, everything will work, but people obviously can’t call you back on this number (instead they will hear a message that says: “Hi, the person you are trying to call used Gmail from his or her computer.”)

4:40 pm