For many people two numbers is a reality. And while some people might be okay with one number which serves both for work and personal – I am not. Up until Google Voice, this basically meant two handsets. Two handsets suck unless you’re one of those goofballs toating around a man-purse. Even then it sucks.
Google Voice on the iPhone, with an application that lets you dial – like GV Mobile by Sean Kovaks, lets you accomplish the impossible: you can stop carrying both a personal cell phone and a work cell phone. It’s now possible to have one GSM phone with two numbers, two voice mailboxes and the ability to dial out or text from either number.
About 8 months ago I transitioned my business number over to a Google Voice account. Google Voice includes an important feature which lets you choose if the caller id sent to your handset is your Google Voice number or that of the caller.
now all incoming calls on the Google Voice account ring as “ExpanDrive – mobile” on my iPhone.
This allows me to filter calls based on availability – but perhaps more importantly, answer with the appropriate greeting. It’s lame to always answer with a business greeting for any unknown number – and you can’t just answer a work number with “Hello?” Additionally, Google Voice gives you the luxury of two voice mailboxes. When you don’t pick up, calls that came in on your Google Voice number go to your Google Voice inbox – and your personal to your AT&T inbox.
What really makes this a feasible solution for fulltime use is a dialing application. Without this the ability to dial out on either number, you always dial from your personal number. You can receive calls on your business number, but you can’t make them. Customers or partners with whom you’re trying to develop a relationship will always have your personal number. That is a recipe for disaster.
GV Mobile lets you dial from Google Voice number directly from your handset. If you’re not familiar – it goes like this. You open GV Mobile and thumb through your contacts or enter a number – hit call. GV Mobile initiates a Google Voice call – which rings your handset – you pick up. As you pick up it dials the other party, showing them your Google Voice number on their caller ID. It is awesome.
As you might imagine, I’m fairly dismayed that Apple is pulling all Google Voice apps out of the app store. While I am sure that somebody, if not Google, will create a web-based dialer that serves the same purpose, it is quite unsettling that Apple is pulling all of these apps off the market – because they mean a lot to guys like me.