One of the things that I was really looking forward to when getting my Android powered phone, was visual voicemail. I saw a few of my friends using it and I was, quite honestly, jealous. I knew it was going to be something that I had to utilize.
I’m the first person to admit that I, pretty much, hate voicemail. It’s not really the voicemail itself that I hate either, and it’s not that people are calling me. Nothing like that. What I hate about it is going through the process of calling my voicemail, typing in my pin number, and then listening to each message individually and deciding what I want to do with it, then acting upon my decision. I understand that this is not a “chore” to most of the world, but it annoys me to go through this process.
Most, if not all, carriers provide a visual voicemail service built in to their Android handsets. Some carriers even provide this service for free. Verizon is not one of those carriers..
Verizon thinks that I should have to pay an additional $3.00 a month for this service on top of all the money I am already paying them. I know some people would say, “well it’s just $3.00 a month, pay it.” No. Not going to happen. I know full well that there are free services available to me that will take care of this.
When you type in “Visual Voicemail” in the Android Market’s search box, a few services will appear. However, the way they work is to forward caller’s to their service and the voicemail gets stored on their servers for you to access. I don’t want this. I don’t know these companies and I just don’t trust them.
Along came Google Voice.
I’ve had a Google Voice account for a while now, but have never really used it. Now that I have the Incredible and have a real use for it, I am definately taking advantage of GV. I realize that the voicemails are now being stored on Google servers, but Google is a company that I feel I can trust. Not to mention, I have a phone with a Google made operating system.. 100% integration folks. 🙂
Advantages over traditional voicemail:
- Voicemail listed so that I can look at any of them without wading through audio computer system
- Voicemail’s are sent to me through email
- Can access my voicemail from any computer using my Google Voice account
- Voicemails can be transcribed to text so that I can read them if I am somewhere I cannot use my phone’s audio
- Ability to stop, pause, rewind & fast forward messages
- Delete without listening
Enough talking. Here’s how to setup Google Voice in your Android device:
Step 1: Get a Google Voice account
Step 2: Activate Google Voicemail
- From the GV account page, click on “Settings” in the upper right corner of the page. Click on the “Phones” tab.
- You should see your mobile number listed with a link that says “Activate Google voicemail on this phone.” Click on this link and Google will give you steps to dial a specialized phone number from your handset.
- Dial this number and from now on, when people call you and the phone goes unanswered the call will get forwarded to Google Voice.
Step 3: Record your greeting
- Click on the “Voicemail & Text” tab.
- Click “Record New” and GV will call your phone to prompt you with options to record your new greeting message.
- Record and hangup.
- Go back to your GV account and the “Voicemail & Text” tab. From here you can listen to your greeting through your computer and apply it or re-record.
- Under “Voicemail Notifications,” I unchecked Send a text (SMS) message.
Step 4: Do Not Disturb
- Go back to the “Phones” tab and click “Edit” under your mobile number.
- Click “Show advanced settings” and under “Forwarding Options” select “Go straight to voicemail.”
- Now click on the “Calls” tab. Check the box that states “Enable ‘Do Not Disturb.'”
Step 5: Setting up the phone
- Open the Android Market and search for “Google Voice“
- Download and install the app, then open it up.
- It will immediately start going through the setup process. Towards the end of the process it will ask you to dial the specialized phone number again from Step 2. No need to do this again.
- During the process your phone will be reprogrammed to utilize GV as it’s primary voice mail serivce instead of your carriers.
- In the GV App, press Menu -> Settings -> Sync and Notifications
- Enable Synchronize Inbox
- Enable Background data (this will make sure that you receive your voicemails right away)
- Enable Inbox notifications (this will make sure you receive a notification in your status bar)
- You will now have access to all of your messsages using this app. It’s quite nice.
Step 6: Last two forwarding options (This will vary depending on your carrier)
- For some reason, GV did not prompt me to set this up, but I figured it out through trial and error.
- Back on Step 2 you had to dial a specialized phone number, well, there are two more.
- You need to setup forwarding for cal that are Ignored and calls that never made it to your phone due to lack of coverage.
- On your HTC Droid Incredible: (These are for Verizon only)
Dial *90xxxxxxxxxx (xxxxxxxxxx is your GV phone number) and press Call
Dial *92xxxxxxxxxx (xxxxxxxxxx is your GV phone number) and press Call
NOTE: Please do a google search for how to setup these options for your carrier.