Earlier this week, I wrote about Trying out the Google Voice service, focusing on some of the service highlights. But what made my transition to the new number even easier was the use of the GV Mobile iPhone application. This application is available in two versions: free and premium ($2.99).
One of the commonly cited shortcomings of the gvoice service is that your true number is not hidden by default when you call someone. There is a workaround where the dialer can call their gvoice number, press 2, and then the number they wish to reach. The GV Mobile application handles this: you dial the number you wish to reach, and the service calls YOU. When you accept the call, it forwards to your intended party. Yes, it’s not completely seamless, but it doesn’t require any additional thought. Both the free and the premium version of this service support this action.
The GV Mobile application ties directly into your phone’s address book for both dialing and sending SMS messages. (SMS messages available on the premium version only). The one shortcoming I’ve seen on the SMS feature is that you can’t send a text to multiple parties at once. However, it appears that way on the gvoice website as well, so that may be more of a shortcoming of gvoice than this application.
The free version of the application only offers calling features, and the premium version allows the user to send text messages, see a history of calls and check their voicemail. The screens are familiar, very similar to the native iPhone experience.
Moving to a new service is never easy, but the GV Mobile application by Sean Kovacs eases some of the pain of the transition. A noted future enhancement is an “offline” mode (currently the application is dependent on Internet connectivity), and while Sean has said it’s not in the product roadmap, I can see a definite benefit to using “push” technology. At that point, there would be no reason to use the integrated phone dialer and messaging features built into my phone.
If you’re using Google Voice on an iPhone, why don’t you have this app yet??
ADD: MobileCrunch just released an article comparing the features of a few iPhone gVoice apps: Battle Of The Google Voice iPhone Apps: VoiceCentral vs. GV Mobile