Way back in November of 2009, Google bought Internet-based calling software company Gizmo5. The implications of the acquisition were pretty clear, and speculation about the possible integration of Gizmo5′s platform into the already thriving Google Voice system soon began. Yesterday, after over four months of radio silence from Google, the gang over at TechCrunch wrote: “We’ve confirmed that they [Google] have now built a Google Voice desktop application to make and receive calls.” While Google already has a desktop calling application — Google Talk allows users to place calls from their desktop — the functionality only extends to other users of the Google Talk network. Presumably, the new Google Voice Desktop application will allow Google Voice users to make and receive calls from their GV number to mobile and landline phones and not just other Google Voice desktop users. No time-frame was given by TechCrunch’s source. What do you think? Is Google going after Skype’s market share, or is this service something new and different? More →
It appears as though Google has quietly added the ability to send SMS messages to multiple contacts via its Google Voice web interface. Those who rely heavily, or primarily, on Google Voice have been requesting this feature for quite some time. There has been no official announcement from Google yet, but those of you with GV access can head over to google.com/voice and give it a whirl. More →
Today, Google is rolling out a new version of their Google Voice web app, leveraging HTML5, which enables Palm Pre and Apple iPhone users to have a more rich user experience. We know, we know, it isn’t a native app… but the interface looks pretty darn good. The new web app facilitates all the functions you would expect out of Google Voice, you can: place calls, send text messages, read or listen to voicemails, and adjust your account settings. What we love about the web app as opposed to third party clients is that you can actually call out directly as opposed to “dialing” a number, and receiving a call back. The update should be available to everyone by the end of today, but it’s working for us already. Couple more screenshots and a video after the break! More →
Ah, the Google Nexus One. Google’s current “flagship” Android device received an enormous amount of attention in the time leading up to its release. While definitely justified, it also came with a dose of unrealistic expectations. Admittedly, it is one of the most powerful smartphones on the entire planet (no, we won’t refer to it as a superphone), and it’s packed to the brim with the latest high-end specifications that any true geek would love. But, what’s the verdict? Well, you’ll have to read on to find out obviously. We’ve reviewed the phone with an open mind, and have also offered up some personal thoughts following the review. Just remember that violence is never the answer, ok? More →
It’s pretty simple: Apple’s iPhone OS is basically the only major smartphone operating system without an official or unofficial Google Voice client. We used to have GV Mobile and VoiceCentral, but as we all know, those were abruptly removed from the App Store and even Google’s official client was turned away. Well, at least Apple didn’t Amazon your iPhone and take away the Google Voice applications you already bought/downloaded, right? They might as well have as GV Mobile was rendered useless after a Google Voice-side update, and with no way of updating existing user’s applications, anyone who had been a GV Mobile user up until that point in time was out of luck.
GV Mobile is now available for jailbroken iPhone devices for free, but there’s something better coming up… GV Mobile 2.0. We’re really excited to tell you about it, too. It has been polished and refined — it had an injection of features — and we love using it, even in its non-final and beta form. For starters, dialed calls connect almost instantly, your iPhone contacts and favorites are accessible right within the app, there’s voicemail transcription viewing, and even multiple Google Voice account support. Advanced features like call forwarding phones, do not disturb settings as well automatic syncing, and even Growl support are on the to-do list, but for now, we’re just happy to have GV Mobile back on our non-jailbroken iPhone. Hopefully Apple reverses course and lets this version through their pearly gates when it is finished, though we wouldn’t bet the farm on it. Couple application shots after the break!
Super shout out to Sean Kovacs for hooking us up! More →
The implications of this deal are exciting. Google has purchased, in cash, the internet VoIP company Gizmo5 for a cool $30 million. The deal brings a true SIP/VoIP provider into the Google fold — the potential to merge the acquired technology with Google Voice and/or Google Talk is staring us right in the face. Last month there were rumors that perhaps Skype, due to legal issues with its own VoIP technology, might purchase Gizmo5 as a backup plan of sorts. However, that deal went south after Skype’s creators settled with eBay over future licensing of the core technology behind the popular service. So what do you think? Will Gizmo5 go the way of Orkut and fade into the internet oblivion? We’re hoping it will be more like GrandCentral…built into something we all love and the wireless service providers hate! More →
Ever wonder how much of your personal information you’ve willingly donated to Google over the past 11 years? Today, Google announced the launch of a new product to help you find out, and it’s titled Google Dashboard. The Dashboard allows you to view all facets of your Google life: Gmail, Google Calendar, web history, what mobile phones are syncing with your account, YouTube, and more. You can view your purchase history in Google Checkout, see that you have an Orkut account that you didn’t know about, and see how many people have called your Google Voice number. It’s a nice gesture but this is all the stuff we’ve voluntarily leaked to Google, we’re curious about the dirt the big G has managed to collect on its own! More →
It’s a scientific fact that Google Voice is all of that and a bag of potato chips, but now it’s gotten even better thanks in part to Google’s willingness to tick off every carrier in the nation. In the past, users who wished to take advantage of the features of Google Voice would have to use the number provided to them by Google, but now users are free to integrate some Google Voice features into their carrier-issued number. These features include:
- Online, searchable voicemail
- Free automated voicemail transcription
- Custom voicemail greetings for different callers
- Email and SMS notifications
- Low-priced international calling
What’s particularly neat about this new option is that your messages follow you no matter what, meaning that even if you switch carriers to get the hot new device, Google Voice features will come with you.
Holy crap. It seems that Google is going to have some pretty serious explaining to do this morning, as one of our readers has sent us in a tip that reveals a major security flaw involving Google Voice. After entering “site:https://www.google.com/voice/fm/* ” into Google, our reader was shocked and discouraged to be greeted by 31 voice mail messages belonging to random Google Voice accounts. Clicking on each revealed not only the audio file and transcript of the call, but it also listed the callers name and phone number as it would if you were checking your own Google Voice voice mail. We’re not too sure if this flaw is something new or if it has been around since Google Voice started, and could just be test messages, but needless to say the matter has to be fixed if it’s legit. Some censored screenshots are after the jump.
UPDATE: It seems as if these voicemails have been publicly posted/shared online and Google indexes them. Here’s official word:
“Since the initial idea behind posting a voicemail, was precisely to share it with others, we did not restrict crawling of those messages that users post on the web, but we can certainly understand that users would want to make them public on their sites but not necessarily searchable directly outside of their own website. We made a change to prevent those to be crawled so only the site owner can decide to index them.”
Apparently there isn’t enough to do in Washington these days. 20 House of Representatives lawmakers have pressed the FCC to investigate how and why Google decides to block certain phone numbers with its Google Voice service. After numerous complaints were filed by said Representatives, mostly from rural areas, the FCC has sent a formal inquiry to Google and asked for a response by the 28th of this month. Google insists that it is not a “traditional” phone company and should not be regulated as such. Just one more thing to keep the lawyers at the search giant busy, huh?
After Apple rejected the Google Voice app for the iPhone (or withheld the app’s release for further review, according to Apple), the Internet erupted with anger. Some folks even went as far as ditching their iPhones and moving to Android or other devices, platforms and carriers. While a move like that may have been a little drastic, we’ve all been waiting impatiently as the FCC continues to review the case in order to determine if anything was awry. In this latest addition to the soap opera, the FCC has released a previously confidential letter from Google explaining the company’s position. In a nutshell: Google claims Apple was concerned that the dialer in Google Voice would somehow replace iPhone’s native dialer. Apple also allegedly made it clear that it did not want to confuse its customers, which could be nice or extremely insulting depending on how you look at it. We’re going with the latter. Shortly after the Internet exploded in response to this new Google letter, Apple issued a rare, albeit brief, public statement: “We do not agree with all of the statements made by Google in their FCC letter. Apple has not rejected the Google Voice application and we continue to discuss it with Google.”
[Via Ars Technica]
What better way to celebrate Labor Day weekend than to help all of our Canadian brothers and sisters pull a fast one over on Google? We here at BGR know that a lot of Canadians are worried about the upcoming non-confidence vote that could topple the current government in the midst of an economic crisis, so we thought we’d take advantage of a rather slow Sunday to give you something to smile about: a way to get Google Voice to work in Canada. It does require you to snag a MagicJack, but that’s literally all you need to make this happen. Some of you might be a bit nervous about buying and using a MagicJack up in Canada, but we’ve been using it for a few months now up in our super-secret Canadian satellite office and have not had a single issue. And no, this Google Voice trick doesn’t require you to have the physical MagicJack plugged into your computer at all times. In fact, once you get your MagicJack set up and activate call forwarding, you can throw the little bugger in the trash if you want. Hit the jump to learn how to get your Google Voice on north of the border.
It looks like the FCC’s bravado move to lay some smack down on both Apple and AT&T has pretty much unearthed a whole heap of nothing. AT&T and Apple have just released their responses to those now infamous letters the FCC sent to Apple, AT&T and Google over the whole Google Voice debacle. AT&T’s position is best summed when it said that it had “no role in any decision by Apple to not accept the Google Voice application”, while Apple’s response is pretty damn classic. You see, Apple is claiming that this is all just a misunderstanding and that it didn’t reject the official Google Voice app, it’s just taking its sweet ass time reviewing it in full. Why? Because it’s has two major concerns:
1. “[Google Voice] appears to alter the iPhone’s distinctive user experience by replacing the iPhone’s core mobile telephone functionality and Apple user interface with its own user interface for telephone calls, text messaging and voicemail.”
2. The iPhone user’s entire Contacts database is transferred to Google’s servers, and we have yet to obtain any assurances from Google that this data will only be used in appropriate ways. These factors present several new issues and questions to us that we are still pondering at this time.”
Anyone abreast on anything Apple-related knows there’s a multitude of applications available for download or purchase that duplicate many different parts of the iPhone interface so we’ll leave the comments to you, as always.