I’ve been using GoogleVoice for a long time. It’s a ridiculously simple killer app that helps me coordinate, manage and archive all my communications. It knows where I am and follows me (ringing the applicable mobile, VoIP/Skype or landline phones that I frequent depending on time-of-day, who is calling, etc.).
The voicemail features of Google Voice make things even awesomr. Voicemail transcription and the ability to see/play the messages via email, on the web, or on my GoogleVoice enabled Android phone just makes plain-old blah-blah-leave-your-message-at-the-beep voicemail look, well, plain.
But, when people call my mobile/landline directly, I have to ratchet back down to dumb-voicemail-mode where I have to actually call my voicemail provider, pump in my password and dial the prompts to skip archived messages to get to the one I want to hear.
A reasonably new feature of Google Voice, if you have Verizon Wireless (forwarding instructions) or other carriers, is to supplant your exiting voicemail for a super-awesome Google Voice voicemail. If they choose to leave a message, you get it transcribed and sent to you via email/text or whatever else you choose.
You can even do this if you don’t want to confuse people with having two phone numbers by signing up for GoogleVoice with your own number.
I’ve tried this before but haven’t been convinced. Greg Loesch inspired me to take a fresh look at this feature thanks to his awesome/detailed post on tips for Verizon/Google Voice usage. (Nice work, Greg).
In my initial testing, following the instructions at GoogleVoice > Settings > Phones > Enable Google Voicemail for this phone, it seems to be smart enough to allow a call to my mobile/landline to ring and, if I don’t answer, it drops the call right into my voicemail box (rather than re-routing the call afresh causing an infinite loop).