I’ve been using Google Voice for many years as my primary phone number because it includes many nice features:
- Voicemail transcriptions.
- Online text message archive (searchable).
- Ability to block annoying callers.
What I like the most is the ability to change my primary phone number and/or device whenever I want, and never have to broadcast a new number to anyone nor transfer data from one device to another. Everything is online so I just connect my phone to Google Voice and everything works as it always did.
But there’s still a few open issues I have:
- Group texts from iOS (in particular) sometimes are not received (but I get follow-up replies).
- Picture messages are not received.
- Caller ID for outgoing calls from a forwarding phone does not show my Google Voice number (unless you first load the web interface, which you need a data plan for, and select your caller there which routes to your forwarding phone first).
It seems Google Voice may eventually improve the third problem above, as it currently only works for text messages:
I haven’t been able to get around these issues smoothly.
Most friends and family complain that I have two phone numbers (my Google Voice number and my real/forwarding phone number) and that they never know which one to call or text. As much as I try to broadcast only my Google Voice number, sometimes issue #3 above arises (where I have to make an outgoing call from a forwarding phone) which causes my non-Google Voice number to appear as the caller ID.
Other times I miss important group texts which causes odd feelings or distress to the senders. Recently I never received a group text from my sister exclaiming that she was pregnant. I did, however, receive replies from others (IE: “Congrats!”), but was not sure what they referred to, so I ignored them. A few days later my sister called and asked if something was wrong.
I don’t want to give up using Google Voice because it is a tremendous time-saver and has so many useful features.
One option is to buy into Android because Google Voice is baked in on those devices, but I am not sure I am ready to do that just yet.
Not many options at the moment, as you can see.