You may have heard about Google Voice, but do you know what it is -- and how much money it can save you? Here's an overview of this a free service, and a few tips on how to use Google Voice to save plenty of dough.
Google Voice provides you with a free phone number, free outgoing text messages, voicemail transcription, free domestic long distance, and low-cost international calls. It also consolidates your voicemail into one inbox. The Google Voice BlackBerry application extends the Google Voice services by enhancing voice and text messaging on your BlackBerry. Once you sign up for Google Voice, just download the application and install it on your device to start taking advantage of these features.
Free Outgoing Text Messaging
Text messaging is not cheap, and if you do not text a lot, it is hard to rationalize paying extra for a text messaging plan. Google Voice allows you to send free text messages from both the browser and the BlackBerry application. Your carrier will still charge you for receiving messages, but you will cut your bill in half by using Google Voice to send them for free. Since the application uses your Google Voice number, you will have to let the recipients know who you are to avoid confusion.
Carrier Voicemail Integration and Voicemail Transcription
Google Voice allows you to bypass your wireless carrier's voicemail system. By following some simple instructions to update your call forwarding settings, your BlackBerry will redirect missed calls to your Google Voice inbox. This is really convenient, because you now have one less mailbox to check, and Google Voice automatically transcribes the message so you can read it right from the application.
Cheap Long Distance
Not only does Google Voice allow you to make free long distance calls, but it offers tremendously low international long distance rates. To save a ton of money on long distance calls, just use the Google Voice dialer on your BlackBerry rather than the built-in dialer to make the call. Since Google does not bill customers, you must buy credits to make international long distance calls ahead of time.