Google Voice released its first mobile client to the Android Market this week. The mobile application allows you to make calls and send text messages from your Google Voice number. Also included with the service is visual voice mail, which offers transcriptions of your messages.
The new service works by converting your voice messages into text that is easy to read. When a new message is available, Google Voice sends an alert to the notification bar. The transcription is not always perfect, but most messages are readable. During playback, you can easily jump to any part of the recording by tapping the word in the message.
Using a simple hack, any Android user can use their Google Voice account for all voice mail. If you wish to replace your regular T-Mobile voice mail with Google Voice visual mail, follow these steps. If you don't have a Google Voice account already, go request an invitation now.
- Create a new contact on your phone that includes your mobile number. When creating the contact, check the box to send all incoming calls to voice mail.
- Go to your phone settings and browse to Call Settings. Change your voice mail number to your Google Voice number. Be sure to write down your existing voice mail number if you want to revert the changes.
- While still in the Call Settings, change your Call forwarding numbers to your Google Voice number.
After making these changes, any call that would normally would go to your T-Mobile voice mail is now forwarded to Google Voice. All changes can be undone by simply replacing your original T-Mobile voice mail number.
Play around with the hack and see how you like it. Visual voice mail is a highly requested feature and T-Mobile might launch their own service when the myTouch 3G is released. We will have to wait and see how the services compare, but it is nice to have choices.
If you are new to Google Voice, watch this introduction video to get a better understanding of the service.