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Google Voice, voice mail masterManage Google Voice from either your iPhone or Android smartphone.
Hey everyone and welcome to Tap That App, the show where we cover, oh, you know, only the hottest mobile apps around. I'm Jessica Dolcourt and I'm going to show you one app that's personally made a big difference in my life--Google Voice. Now, the official Google-made Google Voice app has existed on Android for some time and, since then, that's been the app to beat. That's because Google has integrated Google Voice so well into the Android operating system, but now, Google Voice has finally gotten its iPhone version through Steve Jobs' App Police after a year and a half, no less, and suddenly your Google Voice messages are that much easier to manage. So here's a quick recap for those of you who are uninitiated. Google Voice is a free service that gives you a single Google-issued phone number that can forward your calls to all your phones, landlines, too, and you can also text. There are a ton of other benefits that you can brush up on in my other Google Voice videos, or in my how-to article on getting started with Google Voice. Now, back to the good stuff. Google Voice on Android is super easy to use. It essentially lists all those voice mails and text messages that you have lingering in your Google Voice inbox. You can tap to listen or to view them in any order, you can star them for later reference, and you can hold and press an entry to call or text a contact, or to archive or delete the message. You can filter by message type or the label screen in the menu, and here's the best part, you can also set the cellphone to make all calls through Google Voice instead of through your assigned Android number. You'll see alerts for new texts and voice messages in the notifications bar. The iPhone app has most of the same attributes except that it's laid out in the familiar iPhone fashion. There's the main menu for filtering messages. There's a dialer, if you know the number you want to call or text, and then there's your contact list. This shows your favorite people and a list of recent callers. You can switch over to see a list of all your contacts. As with the Android app, you can hold a name to text or call, quick dial is a fast way to quickly find your favorites, and it wouldn't be a good iPhone app if you didn't receive notifications about new texts and missed calls. The one thing it doesn't do is offer to automatically make all calls with your Google Voice number so you'll have to just train yourself to use the Google Voice dialer if you don't wanna confuse your family and friends with the second phone number. And if you don't have an iPhone or an Android phone, don't despair. There are plenty of unofficial Google Voice apps for other mobile platforms, plus there's always the Google Voice website for managing calls. These two, however, are the absolute best which is, of course, why they're on the show. So that's that. If you have any app suggestions, send them along to Tap That App at CNET.com.