Last week we reported that Google had finally begun rolling out support for incoming number ports to its Google Voice service. Lack of the feature, as any Google Voice user will likely attest to, has been a sore spot for Google’s telephony product since the company first acquired GrandCentral in 2007. Today, Google has announced that the new feature is now available to all current Google Voice users. Number portability allows users to transfer their cell phone or landline telephone numbers between service providers. Google Voice has always supported outbound number porting, which allowed users to transfer their Google Voice number to another carrier, but incoming ports had been off limits until recently. Google charges a one-time $20 fee to port a number into Google Voice, and the process takes approximately 24 hours. Hit the break for a video explaining the process. More →
If you’re a Google Voice user and you’re not TechCrunch founder Mike Arrington (who was able to port his number into the service a long time ago), odds are pretty good you’ve prayed for incoming number portability at some point. And for years, your prayers have gone unanswered. Well, no more — Google has officially implemented incoming number portability as of Wednesday evening, and it is in the process of being rolled out to all users. Rejoice! To port your number into your Google Voice account, simply click on Settings in the top right corner, and then Voice settings. Now, on the phone tab next to your Google Voice number, click on Change / Port. Now click on “I want to use my existing mobile number instead” and follow the on-screen instructions to port your number. There you go — you now have 867-5309 as your phone number and $20 less in your pocket.
In a blog post today, Google announced an update to the iOS version of its official Voice application that supports the iPad and iPod touch. The two most notable feature additions, as defined by Google, are: the ability to use the application on both the iPad and iPod touch to send and receive free text messages and a new feature dubbed Click2Call. As Google explains:
While you can’t use your iPod or iPad as a phone, you can use it to initiate Google Voice calls with your phones. We call this feature Click2Call. Simply click any ‘Call’ button in the Google Voice app on your iPod or iPad and then select which of your phones you want to ring. Google Voice will call your phone and then connect your call.
Other improvements include:
- When you enable Push Notifications, we will automatically disable Text forwarding for you, so you won’t receive multiple notifications.
- Want some quiet time? You can send all callers straight to voicemail by turning on Do not disturb in the Settings tab.
- We made it easier for you to place calls from the address book by adding a dedicated Contacts button to the Dialer tab.
- Sending text messages is now more streamlined since you don’t need to press the OK button anymore.
The new application is available for download — in the U.S. only — via the App Store. Enjoy. More →
TechCrunch is reporting that popular voice service, Skype, is gearing up for a big cloud-based play. This would presumably include web-based voice-calling, and possibly even video and chat services as well. In addition to the web move, it seems that Skype is starting to focus and set the company’s sights on the enterprise world. With Google Voice now available for Google Apps customers (and some sort of Enterprise-styled Google Voice service possibly coming soon), we’re wondering Skype’s next move here. TechCrunch throws out the concept of having Skype possibly integrated into Microsoft’s cloud offerings, or even possibly extending the Skype relationship with Facebook into something much larger. More →
Microsoft is making good progress in its efforts to woo developers to the new Windows Phone 7 platform, but we hope the company is equally devoted to keeping devs on board once they arrive. As the Redmond giant struggles to become a leader once again in the mobile space, developers and the apps they build are integral to Microsoft’s success. But in a blog post last week, developer Nicholas Yu made some troubling comments. Yu found that the number one feature users are requesting of his app — a Google Voice client called GoVoice — is the addition of push notification support. Yu notes in his blog post, however, that he is hesitant to add the functionality. More →
The day hath cometh. Today, an official — Google made — Google Voice application landed in Apple’s iOS App Store. The new program, which requires and iPhone and iOS 3.0 or higher, offers push notifications of text messages and voicemails and allows users to access GV’s settings and dialer directly from their device. If you’re a Google Voice and iPhone user, make sure to pick this up! More →
We have been waiting for this day for a long time. Not just because we love GV Mobile + so much, but because it shows that Apple has finally relaxed some of their App Store policies and will likely start being a bit more competitive with other platforms (hopefully). Now, back to GV Mobile +… it has been approved moments ago, developer Sean Kovacs tells us, and the price is $2.99. It is packed full of features — everything you’d want in a Google Voice native application, and we can’t wait until everyone gets to try it out. So, what are you waiting for? We have direct linked the iTunes app listing for you.
Note: if the link doesn’t work for you immediately, it’s because it literally just hit the App Store servers and is being propagated throughout the world. Just keep trying, ok?
Thanks, Sean! More →
We just got off the phone with our buddy Sean Kovacs, aka the Google Voice king of iOS, and he filled us in on the latest with his app and the development and submission process. If you aren’t aware, (please stop reading this site) Apple removed all Google Voice-related applications over a year ago when it decided that the apps “duplicated” functionality on the phone (phone app). People have been debating the real issue behind Apple’s move since then, but with the recently updated and reasonably straight forward developer guidelines now published, Sean Kovacs is deciding to try his hand again. Hit the jump for our conversation. More →
At the same event where Google introduced voice calling in Gmail, the search giant also announced that it would be placing Google Voice phone booths in select U.S. locations. The GV stations, which will closely resemble the iconic red telephone booths in the U.K., will begin appearing on college campuses and in airports in the next few weeks. The purpose of the old-fashioned booths is to get people more acquainted with Google Voice, allowing them to see how GV’s voice call-quality compares with more traditional landline services. Google said they would release more details about the telephone-towers in the coming weeks. More →
CNET is reporting that “Google is testing a Web-based service within Gmail that will allow users to place phone calls from their in-boxes.” The new reported service will allow users to make VoIP calls to landline and cellular phones, not just other Gmail or Google Talk users. CNET explains, “This is the likely culmination of Google’s work to integrate Gizmo5’s similar product, which it acquired late last year, into its arsenal.” Details on exactly how the service will work were not revealed to the site, and it is not clear if a Google Voice account will be required. When asked to comment on the report, the search giant would only say: “Google is always testing new features and products, but we have nothing specific to announce right now.” What do you think? Would you find functionality like this useful? More →
Google has released an update to its Android and BlackBerry Google Voice applications, and is promising faster connection times. As Google states, “Our mantra is faster = better.” Here’s how the updated clients will expedite calls:
Until today, the Google Voice app had to make a request to the Google Voice server every time you wanted to make a call to send us the phone number you wanted to dial. Then the call would be connected via a Google Voice access number. With direct access numbers, we assign a unique phone number to every person you call. This means that we no longer need to use your data network to access the server each time you make a call, so calls will be placed much faster.
We’ve got the rest of the press release queued up for you after the bounce. We’re curious, how many of you give out your Google Voice number exclusively? More →