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Goodbye, Google Voice

timothy posted about 5 months ago | from the your-mileage-may-vary dept.

Communications 166

itwbennett writes "The trouble with Google Voice is that the way we use phones has changed — and it hasn't kept up with the times: 'Fewer people have a mobile phone and a business line and a home line that might make One Number For All so. Text message costs (which are actually close to nothing) are almost always bundled into contract costs. Automatic voice transcription, while still a mean feat, is no longer such a magic trick,' writes Kevin Purdy in a blog post explaining why he's breaking up with Google Voice. The main problem is that, despite some very cool features, Google Voice doesn't play well with others — even apps in its own family. And it doesn't look as though that's going to get better anytime soon." I've been very happy with Google Voice for a few years now, and one reason is the transcribed voice messages, which may get hilariously garbled sometimes, but are almost always correct enough to be useful.

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All I can say to that is... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46490763)

who?

Re:All I can say to that is... (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 5 months ago | (#46491663)

Doctor

its only usefulness (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46490769)

Is when you need to provide a phone number for verification purposes and either don't want to use your real number, or your are verifying several things and need multiple numbers.

Re:its only usefulness (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46491293)

Like Microsoft Bing Rewards. +1.

Re:its only usefulness (5, Insightful)

GuitarNeophyte (636993) | about 5 months ago | (#46492093)

I am currently living outside of the U.S.. I still have a Google Voice number, because my permenant address is still in the United States. With Google Voice, we can make calls to people living in the United States still for free. That's a pretty epic usage.

Re:its only usefulness (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46492167)

Spoken like someone who has never used it. Let's see just a few of the things you missed:

- Ability to put people into groups and allow different ring through / busy / straight to voicemail times for each group. Even a "number disconnected message for a blocked group.
- Setting up a second GV number to use as a "home" phone for all those stupid calls from the kids school, then forwarding the email to both parents so we just get a transcript and no annoying rings.
- Easy ability to test new phones with different SIM cards and just send your same number to the new phones.
- Texting from your computer or tablet.
- Free VOIP calls via GMail on your computer. (I use this for work conference calls all the time)
- Call screening. You can set it (like I do) so that all unknown callers must say their name before getting through. Then GV rings you and says, "call from (recorded name), press 1 to accept". Very easy to ignore unwanted callers, while still letting through people you want to talk to who are calling from a different number.

There are lots more. Perhaps try it and see which features you like. Nobody has my "SIM phone number" - they only have the GV. The mistake lots of people make is continuing to use / hand out their physical number. That defeats the purpose of GV and makes it pretty useless. It needs to be set as YOUR number to be effective.

Horrible Headline: google voice still around (5, Informative)

lemur3 (997863) | about 5 months ago | (#46490775)

Google Voice is not being phased out (yet) by google.

This is just some doosh on itworld ranting about junk on his blog.

Re:Horrible Headline: google voice still around (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46490785)

Indeed. I'm tagging this article as troll.

Wait (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46491895)

Can we seriously tag articles troll now? If so, beta actually serves a purpose...

Re:Wait (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46492141)

The feature to tag articles has existed for years. Just click the little tag symbol under the summary of the article on the front page, type your tag in the text box and, press Enter.

Re: Horrible Headline: google voice still around (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46490853)

I agree.Gogle voice is insanely useful for me. This article was titled to get readers attention. Hitting unsubscribe now.

Re:Horrible Headline: google voice still around (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46490875)

It's spelled douche, douche.

Re:Horrible Headline: google voice still around (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46490933)

Hey FUCK YOU you autistic FUCK! Do you see what my comment is at?! That's right, +5, Informative. And see yours? 0. Did I spell all that right, you dooshbag? Worthless autistic pieces of shit like you that contribute nothing is why this place is becoming shittier each month.

Re: Horrible Headline: google voice still around (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46491037)

That's adorable. Back in my day your post would have been modded redundant for being absolutely obvious from reading the summary, and your reply would have been buried by the troll mods it received.

That guy hasn't ruined slashdot as much as kids like you. Although I did enjoy the slight irony of calling someone autistic while displaying poor interpetation of emotion and empathy. Welcome to slashdot.

Re: Horrible Headline: google voice still around (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46491155)

it literally hurts me to read that the autistic are your go to insult

Re: Horrible Headline: google voice still around (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46491213)

You literally don't know the meaning of literally, autistic asshole. Just like the rest of your retarded generation. The word you are looking for is figuratively.

Re: Horrible Headline: google voice still around (1)

noh8rz10 (2716597) | about 5 months ago | (#46492437)

maybe he has an autistic family member, and to see someone use "autistic" as a pejorative causes him pain. Yes, emotional pain is real pain. Literally.

Re:Horrible Headline: google voice still around (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46491415)

Your comment?!? That's MY comment, you useless scum-lapping shitbag. Listen, you stupid-looking piece of sewage breath, coming around here trying to take credit for other people's work will get you kicked off the internet - and once that happens there's nothing you can do about it, you slimy little jizz bucket. Goddam puss-faced little pimp stick.

Re:Horrible Headline: google voice still around (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46491659)

Yeah, AC, we "believe" you.

Re:Horrible Headline: google voice still around (5, Insightful)

Inops (2888419) | about 5 months ago | (#46490903)

Couldn't the Slashdot editors filter the bs from the titles? I suppose "Obscure tech writer stops using Google Voice..." doesn't have the same click rate.

Re:Horrible Headline: google voice still around (2)

Nimey (114278) | about 5 months ago | (#46491825)

No, they don't care.

Re:Horrible Headline: google voice still around (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 5 months ago | (#46492123)

The point of the headlines is clickbait.

If you want a story accepted, give it a clever clickbait headline.

That is all.

Re:Horrible Headline: google voice still around (0)

gatkinso (15975) | about 5 months ago | (#46491217)

"Douche." Now, one letter at a time... "d"...."o"....

Re:Horrible Headline: google voice still around (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46491889)

Whoousce

Re: Horrible Headline: google voice still around (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46491893)

I hope they don't. I'm usually finding myself in places where I have wifi and but no phone signal (traveling to foreign countries) and I count on iOS Hangouts to always be available.

Re:Horrible Headline: google voice still around (2)

lytles (24756) | about 5 months ago | (#46492095)

the complaint about MMS is legitimate, but it's not a question of google supporting it - AT&T and verizon refuse to send the messages to GV numbers. other than that, GV is awesome ... my cell phone bill is less than $10 per month

i haven't tried the hangouts integration - it's possible that that makes things worse

Voice messages? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46490795)

What are those for? Send an email or shut up.

Re:Voice messages? (1)

chill (34294) | about 5 months ago | (#46490883)

Those are for when you are driving and it is so much easier to just leave a VM. Also, when the background noise in the car makes a dictated e-mail look like it written by a drunk, illiterate wombat.

Re:Voice messages? (2)

michrech (468134) | about 5 months ago | (#46491815)

You mean there are *non* drunk / illiterate wombats?

Still Useful for many things. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46490801)

The google voice # is still great if your going to sell anything on Craigslist, ebay, etc. You have one number that will reach you anywhere and you dont have to give people your personal #. After your done you can switch it in a second.

Re:Still Useful for many things. (2)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 5 months ago | (#46491035)

It's also great if you have a mother-in-law on the other side of the world. The cost per-minute for calls from phone to phone (she just cannot seem to figure out Skype) is as good as any provider.

My wife talks for an hour and it's just a few cents. Or at least that's how it seems. Plus, we can do all kinds of other tricks with voice to text and other things.

I was about to get really pissed if this story was about Google pulling the Voice service.

Re:Still Useful for many things. (2)

BradMajors (995624) | about 5 months ago | (#46491667)

Free and low cost phone numbers are available from multiple sources. This is not a unique property of google voice.

WTF? (5, Informative)

Penguinshit (591885) | about 5 months ago | (#46490803)

I use Google Voice as my primary phone number. This is because (like Stephen Hawking), I am quadriplegic and unable to speak due to Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig's Disease). I use it to text and for the relatively few "voice" telephone conversations I have (using my eyegaze computer which - via text-to-speech - "speaks" what I type). I use it for texts daily and for at least one vocal conversation a week (I use web-based video conference multiple times per week to conduct my biomedical and technology research business).

Re:Salesman giveaway number (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46491319)

I use Google Voice as my salesman number. Anytime a request for info, or quote request, requires giving a verification or call back phone number, I use my Google Voice number. Mine does not combine my numbers. Most helpful for night shift workers.

My Google Voice number does connect ro a free IPKALL number, which connects to a free SIP account. The free SIP account is accessed by a Linlsys PAP2T-AT which gives me a free phone line and number to give out. Call screening features work great. GV allows placing calls on a PC, and ringing your SIP phone so you don't use any airtime. Texting makes the number appear as a cell phone. Keeps you from getting texts all day to your cell. I text salesmen beck at 2AM that send sales pitches.

Most of the time it silently goes to voicemail, unless i'm expecting a verification call. When I expect a call, I turn on the ringer, or login on a laptop if in the field.

Re:WTF? (1)

Travis Mansbridge (830557) | about 5 months ago | (#46491587)

Agreed. It's also great to be able to check my phone messages and even send/receive from that number even if I can't find my phone.

Re:WTF? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46492237)

faggot

Save google voice! (2)

cedarhillbilly (940464) | about 5 months ago | (#46490817)

Maybe it is a good headline because it caught my attention and drove me to comment. Being backwoods senior citizens, my wife and I use google voice all the time. No cell service where we live so we stay in touch with our family and our volunteer activities without paying for long distance using google voice. Besides, some of us less dexterous seniors need a keyboard to respond to texts. Google if you are listening, don't dump voice cuz some yuppie in a metro area has a bug up his a**

Re:Save google voice! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46490843)

Google isn't canceling Google Voice. This is just some lame blogger who couldn't think of anything to write about so he decided to bitch about GV and pretend he was quitting it. Obviously, I'm betting he doesn't.

Re:Save google voice! (1)

Applehu Akbar (2968043) | about 5 months ago | (#46491583)

Another chrono-American here who wishes for more general ability to move between the voice and text worlds: Parent was given the impression that GV was being canceled because Google has a history of blipping in and out of experimental technologies too fast.

Fox News? (5, Insightful)

Like2Byte (542992) | about 5 months ago | (#46490829)

Is that you? To reiterate another poster's comment, this is just some dude's blog entry.

Seriously? WTF with the headline, Timothy? Is /. Into sensationalist, eye-grabbing headlines now? How about maybe only showing comments 5 at a time while you're at it? That should garner some ad revenue. That title is *very* misleading.

Timothy is dying (3, Funny)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 5 months ago | (#46491679)

to see the next hollywood blockbuster movie.

See? We can play that game too.

Google Voice still being actively developed (5, Informative)

lemur3 (997863) | about 5 months ago | (#46490831)

Some of the complaints in this blog were mentioned in a post by a google employee 4.5 months ago:

https://plus.google.com/u/0/+N... [google.com]

... rest assured, weâ(TM)re working to support SMS messages for all Google Voice phone numbers ... we are listening and working hard to make this happen, but we need to work with carriers and this can take some time.

It will take some time before Google Voice is fully integrated into Hangouts, and we appreciate your patience along the way.ï

there is also mention of third-party apps which, on android, use various methods to achieve VOIP through Google Voice on the handset, which isnt a feature that Google Voice currently allows (it must route your call via an actual phone call).. these apps have been warned that they will be no longer to do that by May 15th of this year..

im guessing that we will be seeing some changes to Google Voice in the coming few months... maybe even things that make this itworld blog post seem kind of silly.

(disclosure: been using google voice since its first year, wish it could be better... 'breaking up' with it over the stuff in TFA is silly, some of those gripes are silly)

Re:Google Voice still being actively developed (2)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about 5 months ago | (#46490873)

Google Voice is "still" being actively developed? What has Google added to Grand Central at all?

Re:Google Voice still being actively developed (2)

mrbester (200927) | about 5 months ago | (#46491027)

Still actively developed would be "We've got this 3+ year old thing, it's really popular and maybe the rest of the planet might care if they could use it".

Re:Google Voice still being actively developed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46491543)

Still actively developed would be "We've got this 3+ year old thing, it's really popular and maybe the rest of the planet might care if they could use it".

Try "we bought this thing"

Re:Google Voice still being actively developed (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 5 months ago | (#46491687)

Still actively developed would be "We've got this 3+ year old thing, it's really popular and maybe the rest of the planet might care if they could use it".

As a Canadian, I'm often pissed-off by all the services not available in Canada. Maybe Google are not aware there's more than one country in North America.

Where is native VoIP support? (2)

swb (14022) | about 5 months ago | (#46490925)

Where is native VoIP support? That's the feature that would be most appealing, the ability to make and take calls to other 'real' phones from devices with only data access as a native feature.

I know there are other third party apps that can do this like Skype or Line2 and there are apparently back-door ways of doing with GoogleVoice (which according the the Google blog post quoted above aren't supported).

But I always expected this to be a Google Voice feature and it hasn't been.

Re:Where is native VoIP support? (1)

MrDoh! (71235) | about 5 months ago | (#46490985)

Yeah, that's strange it's not been integrated as the functionality seems obvious (and there's apps like GrooveIP that do it). The only thing I can imagine is that the actual carriers are warning Google off from including that sort of functionality as I'm sure they'd not like all their customers getting free calls. When Google Fiber has rolled out to the world, and Google buys TMobile, then we might see that functionality.

Re: Where is native VoIP support? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46491065)

Or it could be that if google turns voice into a telephone service then they need to make it a focus of their business and take on all those costs and responsibilities.

They can keep selling ads and offering little services to keep people interested...or, they can become the next Skype/AT&T/whatever that everyone bitches about. Tough call.

Re: Where is native VoIP support? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46491353)

just outsource and cooperate. Right now I need an AT&T phone to make phone calls through my AT&T wifi account, This is just pernicious.

Re:Where is native VoIP support? (1)

silas_moeckel (234313) | about 5 months ago | (#46491163)

It used to be but was removed.

Re:Where is native VoIP support? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46491167)

Gvoice only lets you link 2 phone numbers to one real number.
If they supported VOIP it would be a lot easier to have a ton of phone numbers.
That's something I actually want, I want to hand out a different phone number to each person (really each company) that requires a phone number in order to reduce their ability to cross-reference me in the Big Data databases.

Re:Where is native VoIP support? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46491943)

Some psychiatric medications and counseling for your paranoia would be more appropriate. Real phone numbers are expensive and there aren't going to be enough to go around for everyone to have a block of 10.

Re:Where is native VoIP support? (1)

swb (14022) | about 5 months ago | (#46491361)

I kind of expect Apple to do it in cooperation with the carriers so that devices like iPads and maybe even iPod Touches could use voices. Add the phone app functionality to non-phone devices or enable it in wifi-only scenarios on existing phones.

I'd see it as something carriers could charge some kind of extra fee for as well as call them cell "minutes" no matter how they are used. This allows them to monetize it. Possible opportunity to further monetize it by offering additional phone numbers or other phone features.

Voice functionality on a non-phone device would require an existing Apple iPhone on your plan -- this covers whatever risk Apple feels from people buying only an iPad mini (even with 4G data) and using it as a phablet without buying an iPhone.

Lets Apple enter the "phablet" market without actually having to create another iPhone device itself.

Creates unique, Apple-only feature of making and taking calls using your iPhone cell number on any enabled i-device. iPhone in another room? Don't get up, just answer the call from the couch on your iPad.

I think it's an interesting idea that has just enough value for everyone (carrier, Apple, consumer) that I'm sort of surprised they haven't implemented it.

Re:Where is native VoIP support? (1)

philthedrill (690129) | about 5 months ago | (#46490999)

Some third party Google Voice apps do support VoIP (like GV Mobile+), but yeah, it would be nice for it to be in the official app.

Re:Where is native VoIP support? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46491403)

In answer to your question - SIP support for Google Voice is found on Asterisk.

Re:Backdoor details (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46491463)

As a backdoor user, here is how to do it. The only cavot is you can not dial out with the desk phone hardware.

Step one. Get a free SIP account. There are several providers, pick one. A SIP account will have an account looking like an email address/ User at provider format.

Step 2. Get a free or paid DID (direct inward dial) phone number. This gives GV a number to forward to. Link it to your SIP account.

Step 3. Get a SIP client, either a softphone for free or a ATA/IP phone. Connect it to your SIP account.

Now you have a number GV can call. This works well for international travel. Take your IP phone with you. Family can call on your local GV number. Google forwards to the local IP Call number to link to a plain SIP VOIP call that you can take worldwide.

Re:Where is native VoIP support? (1)

fortfive (1582005) | about 5 months ago | (#46491701)

Well, you can do this, on a computer at least, using Google talk. You have to use chrome, though, to make it happen, at least on my Mac.

Re:Google Voice still being actively developed (1)

Rich0 (548339) | about 5 months ago | (#46491173)

there is also mention of third-party apps which, on android, use various methods to achieve VOIP through Google Voice on the handset, which isnt a feature that Google Voice currently allows (it must route your call via an actual phone call).. these apps have been warned that they will be no longer to do that by May 15th of this year..

Gee, that sounds about as helpful to their customers as retiring Google Reader...

I have Google Voice, but (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46490833)

I don't use it much. I would use it more if I could send MMS messages on it...

timothy phones it in..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46490845)

I've been very happy with timothy's editing for a few years now, which may get hilariously garbled sometimes, but is almost always correct enough to be useful.

The underlying story? (0)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | about 5 months ago | (#46490847)

To me, the underlying story is that Google is no longer as well managed as it has been in the past. Projects aren't finished; maybe those working on them got bored and decided not to be adult.

I've thought about and studied the phenomenon of companies slowly degrading for decades. Hewlett-Packard was already going downhill in the 1970s; the company was making data acquisition hardware that had an obviously unfinished design.

Fairchild Semiconductor was, at one time, the best manufacturer of transistors. The company began selling power transistors with epoxy casing. The epoxy degraded the transistors. It seemed that Fairchild never recovered.

Tektronix was a great company at one time; everybody in the tech world was impressed with Tektronix oscilloscopes. I suppose the good managers decided to move to other efforts. One problem was that Tektronix was not prepared for lower-cost competitors.

More recently, Adobe seems to me to be on a long downhill slide; the PDF file formats were a gift to the world. Now Adobe seems to me to be becoming more and more aggressive toward its customers.

Jamie Dimon of Chase Bank seems to me to be becoming tired of being CEO and making huge management mistakes for which there have been multi-billion dollar fines.

Re:The underlying story? (1)

Rich0 (548339) | about 5 months ago | (#46491207)

Tektronix was a great company at one time; everybody in the tech world was impressed with Tektronix oscilloscopes. I suppose the good managers decided to move to other efforts. One problem was that Tektronix was not prepared for lower-cost competitors.

Having known somebody employed by them who was frustrated with the changes at the company, I think there is a bit more to it. Some of it is the sort of thing that hit all of these companies - the MBAs took over.

For Tektronix, however, I really wonder if it wasn't the end of the cold war that really caused a shift in technology spending. If you watch any of those 80s videos on SDI (Star Wars) or other big defense contracts you'll always see Tek blue-green in the equipment racks. Their niche was making the best gear money could buy, and it seemed like Tek was constantly selling stuff to aerospace contractors. If you're building some radar system designed to evade the best jammers the Soviets could build, that is the kind of gear you need to test it. Technology was a huge priority in US military buildup during the cold war. Today that niche is much smaller than it used to be.

But, I'm not in this field personally, so I could be missing something. It seems like great companies often fail once their founders are no longer running them day-to-day. I've always argued that the founder does best (just the result of selection - you wouldn't have heard of the company in the first place if they didn't do a good job). Then their hand-groomed successor takes over and that usually goes reasonably well (the Tim Cook / Ballmer - perhaps the "exception that proves the rule"). Then the executive search committee takes over and it goes all downhill.

Actually, the problems MS has goes all the way back to Gates and the fact that the model just doesn't work any longer - Ballmer has stayed fairly true to the MS of the 90s. Often companies go down because companies abandon the corporate culture that made them successful. I suspect that MS and Apple may fail because they don't abandon it quickly enough.

Google often ignores the social effects. (1)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | about 5 months ago | (#46491325)

Google's handling of Google Voice is getting an enormous amount of bad public relations. Google often makes changes without adequate explanation. See, for example, this information from Google: An update on Google Voice [google.com] .

Obviously, no one considered the effect on Google's reputation of the fact that Google employee Nikhyl Singhal communicates in an inadequate fashion. For example: "Ward Mundy, Nov 1, 2013: +Nikhyl Singhal Your suggestion that developers have violated Google's terms of service and posed a security risk is disingenuous to put it charitably."

"Enormous" effect? (1)

sirwired (27582) | about 5 months ago | (#46491551)

Google Voice is a rather tiny product that a relatively small portion of the user base ever uses. Which is good, because they'd almost certainly kill it if it did take off, since it makes pretty much no revenue, and almost certainly loses quite a bit of money per user. (Really, I'm not sure why they keep it going at all... I don't even see a glimmer of a viable business plan here.)

I really doubt anything Google does to Google Voice (including simply pulling the plug) would have an "enormous" amount of bad PR.

Google Voice Don't Go! (4, Insightful)

sanosuke001 (640243) | about 5 months ago | (#46490857)

I use Google voice exclusively. It allows me to have a phone number separated from my service provider which I probably won't have forever (so I don't have to worry whether I'll be able to port my number over). It allows me to make phone calls from my computer for phone interviews and the like (headset/mic so I can type). It also allows me to text people without paying Verizon a dime for bullshit reasons.

Don't worry about that (2)

stoploss (2842505) | about 5 months ago | (#46490897)

I use Google voice exclusively. It allows me to have a phone number separated from my service provider which I probably won't have forever (so I don't have to worry whether I'll be able to port my number over). It allows me to make phone calls from my computer for phone interviews and the like (headset/mic so I can type). It also allows me to text people without paying Verizon a dime for bullshit reasons.

I use GV in exactly the same way for exactly the same reasons. I just seamlessly "ported" from one wireless provider to another a few months ago. Unlike "real porting" I could use both phones while I was getting things setup and switch my inbound call routing back and forth between the devices at will.

This article is just some hipster douchebag's whiny blog. I tagged this slashdot headline as troll.

Of course, you *do* have to worry that Google is planning to subsume Voice into Hangouts. That decision is so obviously retarded it can only have something to do with Google's attempt to make Plus get traction. Oh, and maybe someday GV will support MMS. It's annoying that those messages get blackholed.

Re:Don't worry about that (1)

bloosh (649755) | about 5 months ago | (#46491537)

Why *do* I need to worry about GV becoming part of Hangouts? I'm looking forward to it.

Re:Don't worry about that (2)

wirefarm (18470) | about 5 months ago | (#46492049)

I'm with you guys. I lived overseas when I signed up for Grand Central, which became Google Voice, so I could get a US number for my mom to call me on, that I would route to a skype number (it's harder to keep the same skype dial-in number if you're as forgetful as me at keeping a balance on it).

Now I have Google Voice going to an app on an old iPhone with no cell service, and use WiFi for 99% of my calls, occasionally sending the traffic to any number of 'burner' phones if I won't be near WiFi.

The funny thing is I had never noticed the MMS issue.

When I'm at the computer, I use the Hangouts plugin for chrome to make and receive calls and it works well, where before I had to be logged into the right Gmail account and have the page open for it to ring. If you use Chrome, I highly recommend it.

Re:Google Voice Don't Go! (1)

BradMajors (995624) | about 5 months ago | (#46491677)

There are other companies who provide the same service you are seeking.

Re:Google Voice Don't Go! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46491843)

Examples, please.

Google Voice probably lives... (1)

Ralph Barbagallo (2881145) | about 5 months ago | (#46490915)

I was convinced Google Voice was next on the chopping block after they canned reader. The iOS app hasn't been updated in over a year, and they broke gmail GVoice calls awhile back. But they've now added Google Voice support to Hangouts, which leads me or believe it's going to morph into a Hangouts feature instead of a standalone service.

Re:Google Voice probably lives... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46490981)

Well, you could do phone calls from Google Talk originally, which turned into Hangouts, so it makes sense. I know too many Google employees that use Google Voice to expect different.

Stupid Headline. (5, Insightful)

krelvin (771644) | about 5 months ago | (#46490927)

Say goodbye to Kevin Purdy.

I use google voice a lot.

I had to stop using it because it missed calls (1)

Karmashock (2415832) | about 5 months ago | (#46490949)

Every so often it would just not record a call at all. Which meant people left me messages and I had no clue.

I LOVE voicemail transcription. In fact, I wish they'd just get rid of voice mail entirely and make everything text. But at the very least, carriers should offer voice mail to text messaging. It can't cost anything. The computing power is marginal and the text costs are zero.

Google Voice is following the trend of USA only (1)

ukoda (537183) | about 5 months ago | (#46490967)

It is getting hard and harder to deal with Google outside the USA. In the old days you could buy Nexus phone using a VPN and a friend in the US as the shipping address. Now you have to have a USA issued credit card and many times they know you on a VPN. My Google Glass invite will expire in 2 days which pisses me off because is my $1500 not as good anyone else in the USA?

Google Voice is simply another case in point. On May 15th they will block 3rd party apps, effectively disconnected people who uses Google Voice outside the USA. The native Google Voice app demands you verify against the USA phone number, which is fine while you are visiting the USA but once you leave it will stop working when you get a new phone or the app is updated. Groove IP was a great work around and allows you to join those US based work conference calls for free but would cost via Skype. Also handy to contact US based associates that don't have 24/7 VOIP app running and Skype has never work 100% on mobiles.

BTW I would love to hear suggestions for open source VOIP apps that would work as alternative to Skype? I can't say I seen any that can find peers without a commercial service or PSTN behind it.

Re:Google Voice is following the trend of USA only (1)

SixGunMojo (177687) | about 5 months ago | (#46491211)

It is getting hard and harder to deal with Google outside the USA. In the old days you could buy Nexus phone using a VPN and a friend in the US as the shipping address. Now you have to have a USA issued credit card and many times they know you on a VPN. My Google Glass invite will expire in 2 days which pisses me off because is my $1500 not as good anyone else in the USA?

I wouldn't be surprisedif this largely due to Google trying to avouid litigation in the EU to avoid a conflict with their business model and the EU's privacy laws.

On anouther subject, I also use Goggle Voice frequently. I have a blacklist on my phone that only allows numbers in my contact list to ring. I made my GV number one of my contacts so my friends have my 'real' phone number and everyone else gets the GV number. Voice Choice on Google play allows all calls to my contacts to be made from my phone number and all others to be made from my GV number. This could also be a great way to separate work and personel calls.

Re:Google Voice is following the trend of USA only (1)

thsths (31372) | about 5 months ago | (#46491221)

I second that. Initially Skype did not have a telephone bridge, but now you can call worldwide (from and to) for decent prices - even free for freephone numbers. Google Voice on the other hand is getting more and more difficult to use, and the new hangout is another huge step back (trying to find an SMS is quite a challenge). I wish Google would sometimes focus on the customer experience...

Can we get a ban on IT World stories please.... (5, Interesting)

guevera (2796207) | about 5 months ago | (#46490979)

....they've always been worthless content free clickbait, but it seems like we're seeing them more often lately.

Re:Can we get a ban on IT World stories please.... (1)

Threni (635302) | about 5 months ago | (#46491117)

There may be hope: http://soylentnews.org/ [soylentnews.org]

I've no idea who's running this site, but an alternative Slashdot sounds intriguing and may go some way to addressing the increasing number of problems plaguing this site.

It definitely has issues. (1)

Simulant (528590) | about 5 months ago | (#46490989)


In my experience SMS is broken with Google Voice... no group texts, no attachments, randomly misses texts completely. Highly unreliable.

But I kind of like this about it. Nobody texts me anymore.

Probably not much of a selling point though.

A reason to really like Google Voice (1)

virago81 (67404) | about 5 months ago | (#46491007)

Look up: Obi202. It's a small box that allows you to use Google Voice not just as "call forwarder" but as your primary phone number via VOIP.

Re:A reason to really like Google Voice (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46491183)

The Obi202 will stop working in a couple of months when google voice drops XMPP support.
If you currently rely on the Obi202, make other plans.

Re:A reason to really like Google Voice (1)

DocJohn (81319) | about 5 months ago | (#46491209)

Indeed. We have used multiple OBI 110 boxes, connected to different Google Voice numbers, and it works like a charm for landlines. Free landlines. As many as you need. For free calling, with a regular telephone.

I'm sorry, but anybody who knocks a service that allows you to deploy free regular telephones (after the cost of OBI 110, $47 on Amazon) to anyone with an Internet connection isn't seeing the forest through the trees. Not everybody has or needs a mobile phone. (And especially the cheap phones many people buy as emergency phones for their senior parents are absolutely crap to talk on.)

As long as Google doesn't do anything to screw up the use of an OBI, it's gold.

Re:A reason to really like Google Voice (2)

Rich0 (548339) | about 5 months ago | (#46491227)

Look up: Obi202. It's a small box that allows you to use Google Voice not just as "call forwarder" but as your primary phone number via VOIP.

Yup, and they advertise that it won't work after May 15th with Google Voice. Apparently Google will be taking steps to block 3rd-party VOIP integration on that date. I'm not quite sure how they'll manage to stop it entirely though, unless they eliminate Hangout support as well.

Re:A reason to really like Google Voice (3, Informative)

bloosh (649755) | about 5 months ago | (#46491665)

The Obihai boxes (I have one which I use for Google Voice) use XMPP for Google Voice.

Google is killing XMPP support and the Obi boxes will no longer directly support Google Voice at that point.

Fortunately, the Obi boxes also do standard SIP. You can get a SIP account from a VOIP provider and a DID. Point your Google Voice number at the DID and you'll get incoming calls.

For outgoing calls, most decent VOIP providers will allow you to set your outgoing caller ID after verifying that the number is valid.

It's not free, but it works and it's relatively inexpensive.

Free (1)

rabbin (2700077) | about 5 months ago | (#46491011)

I still use Google Voice because it's free (well, I suppose it's not free because they are collecting my data, but I have a feeling the carriers are doing the same anyway). How can you beat that? Sure, I'm only able to use it at home and through WiFi hot spots, so it's only a little bit better than a landline, but I'm not getting gouged by the cell phone companies for a couple of GB a month.

Now someone will respond to this and tell me what great cell phone service they have that's not available in my area and is still garbage for the price ("See? The system works for me. Why isn't it working for you?")

Silent MMS dropping is a deal breaker (1)

philthedrill (690129) | about 5 months ago | (#46491019)

One thing the article nailed:
"MMS messages not only don't come through, there's no notice that someone tried to send something."

Most users don't know the difference between SMS and MMS (and why should they?), so it requires explaining to other people why you only get some texts and not others.

I do like the spam number blocking feature, though, and I'm afraid that once I port it over to a real phone I'll get more telemarketer calls than useful ones.

Re:Silent MMS dropping is a deal breaker (4, Insightful)

Dan East (318230) | about 5 months ago | (#46491199)

MMS texts (and images) come through but only if sent from a Sprint phone. I was rather surprised one day when I received one - I assumed google finally added support for mms. It wasn't until after a lot of trial and error and sleuthing that I figured out it was only if the mms was from a sprint phone.

The article is correct - google voice should be alerting someone (sender or receiver) the message wasn't delivered, but my hunch is that Sprint is providing the connectivity for Google Voice and they just throw away 3rd party MMS messages as part of the contract in order to keep bandwidth down.

Re:Silent MMS dropping is a deal breaker (2)

lytles (24756) | about 5 months ago | (#46492059)

i agree - silently dropping MMS is a killer

afaict, AT&T and verizon refuse to send the data to google so there's nothing technical that google can do, ie this has nothing to do with google being stingy and everything to do with AT&T and verizon being a virtual duopoly and using their market position to exclude competitors

here's an article [usatoday.com] talking about it. and from the google engineer's google+ page (emphasis mine) ...

T-Mobile has allowed MMS messages from their users to be sent to Google Voice users.

Re:Silent MMS dropping is a deal breaker (1)

hobarrera (2008506) | about 5 months ago | (#46492363)

Most users don't know the difference between SMS and MMS (and why should they?), so it requires explaining to other people why you only get some texts and not others.

They do in my experience. And I've yet to come across somebody that's ever used MMS. I know I haven't.

Uhm... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46491107)

Ok, so is there some *OTHER* free number you can get and keep forever that will let you forward it to you?
Is there another free *real* phone number you can get and answer on the computer? (SkypeIn is available but that isn't even close to free).

Also, the author is mixing up Google Voice the Service with Google Voice the app. Some of the "problems" depend on the app you use. That's true with "normal" SMS messages too. Not all phones/apps show emoticons - and I've never used MMS in my life. Google voice was originally designed to forward calls, and didn't even do SMS back when it was Grand Central.

Anyway instead of MMS, you can use email if you have a fancy smart phone.

Google voice only ever worked in the US (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46491143)

So who cares.

Wait!... (4, Insightful)

whisper_jeff (680366) | about 5 months ago | (#46491231)

Wait! One dickhead stops using Google Voice and that earns a frontpage article on Slashdot??

SERIOUSLY?!?

Ok, come the fuck on!!!

Can this site make even a minimal effort to not be total shit? For quite a long time, Slashdot was very educational and informative but, over the past few years, it has sunk to near-uselessness. It's only because some people steadfastly refuse to give up despite the fact they are fighting a losing battle that the site isn't entirely crap.

One guy stops using Google Voice and that earns a Slashdot article.

Wow.

kevin (5, Insightful)

O('_')O_Bush (1162487) | about 5 months ago | (#46491375)

Dear Kevin,

That is pretty cool, I guess. Not that I care what you think.

Signed,
Everyone else

Spam box (1)

xgerrit (2879313) | about 5 months ago | (#46491387)

Google Voice is still great for having a spam-box phone number you can give to places that require a working phone number (car dealers, political organizations, etc.), but you don't really want to hear from. But if that's how it ends up being used, I don't think that's going to convince Google to keep it around. You can tell it's been unloved for some time now... The iPhone app (at least) was updated once all of last year, and the only thing in the update was a warning if you try to txt 911. (So it was probably prompted by a legal issue.)

Maybe now that Google has a mobile phone OS and has to work with all the mobile carriers, there's outside pressure to hold Google Voice back. Well if it goes, so much for my spam-box.

Anymore, Google has become... (1)

EzInKy (115248) | about 5 months ago | (#46491409)

...synomous with being spied upon. Because of their past goodness I would like to defend them, but when even the login to their services defaults to "staying logged in" even though they present that staying logged in could be a security risk makes one question Google's ultimate motives here. One would think that if Google truly valued privacy above all else Google would do what ever it takes to keep their user's secure above all else. I hate to hate on someone who has done me so good in the past, but what Google does in the present is what counts.

Random guy stops using popular service (4, Funny)

rebelwarlock (1319465) | about 5 months ago | (#46491597)

In other news, I had hotdogs today. Though I suppose that would be on slashdot too if I had written a fucking dissertation about it. Who gives a fuck if some random jackass stops using one of Google's apps?

prepaid wireless (1)

hawguy (1600213) | about 5 months ago | (#46491879)

Google voice works great for those that hop between prepaid wireless providers. I've switched providers several times in the past few years and didn't have to deal with porting my number around (some mvnos are better than others when it comes to porting)... I just ported my long time cell number to GV and now it doesn't matter what phone number I have on my cell... Everyone can keep calling my "old" number at GV and it rings my cell. And if I lose or break my cell phone I can quickly repoint GV at another number (or not, since I get voice mails and sms's in my email so don't really *have* to answer the phone)

What makes slashdot great! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46492391)

The editors can post these lamest of stories and know that it prompt hilarious insightful comments. Most of the articles are not worth reading and the comments are good enough to vet that information, tear the article/pundit to shreds and provide more interesting information links. To me, it looks like the Lucy getting Charlie to attempt punting the US football. Or the diners on TV's Alice who continue to eat at Mels despite the awful food and coffee and owner. Its all about Alice, Vera and "Kiss my grits, Mel!" Flo. At this point, I could say the best thing to do if you really think slashdot is going to crap is not even respond to posts, for as long as you do, slashdot is just as entertaining and informative as it has ever been. It's because of you, I still open slashdot everyday. It's because of you that I post this. I just wanted to thank you all!

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