Just yesterday Dan introduced you to GVdialer for iPhone. For those of you who are using a BlackBerry , here’s a version of GVdialer that integrates your device with Google Voice. Most impressive about GVdialer is that you can have it automatically intercept any type of outbound call whether it’s dialed from the keypad, phone book or recent calls – and route the call through your Google Voice account.
What’s the big deal about Google Voice? There are three primary reasons I think you’ll soon see a flood of applications offering to integrate your cell phones to Google Voice.
As you know Google Voice is a free voice service introduced by Google on March 11, 2009. It’s actually not a new service but an upgrade of Grandcentral.com which had been previously acquired by Google.
The promise of Google Voice is that you’re assigned one number to receive phone calls. With some extra work you can also make phone calls as well (this is the part that GVdialer makes much easier). Your Google Voice number functions as a voicemail box and Google transcribes all your voicemail and allows you to set many options depending on who the caller is. For example, you can tell Google Voice to forward incoming calls from your family members to a certain phone number and to send any other calls straight to voicemail.
For example I have three cell phones. With Google Voice I can set all my business calls to forward to one phone while personal calls forward to another. Or if I want all three of my cell phones could ring simultaneously until I pick up one of the lines.
Here’s a quick video on how calls get routed with Google Voice.
Why is Google Voice becoming such a big deal?
First, if you dial out on your regular phone without going through Google Voice then your caller sees your true number – and not the Google Voice number. This defeats the purpose of having one number because people simply return calls from the recent call list on their cell phone. If they’re constantly seeing your true cell phone number on their caller ID – guess which number they are going to keep calling back?
When you call Google Voice from one the phones you’ve registered – you can press 2 to make an outbound call. This causes the phone call to go through with the caller ID number of your Google Voice account and makes it so that the person your calling only sees the Google Voice number on their caller ID screen.
Software such as GVdialer automate the keypresses needed to dial out through your Google number.
Second, many Google Voice users have cellular calling plans which allow for unlimited incoming and outgoing calls from a set number of pre-determined numbers. T-Mobile calls these “My Faves” and Verizon calls them “Friends and Family”. Using a tool like GVdialer makes every single outgoing call route through your Google Voice number. If that number has been established with your cellular provider under one of the above plans then calls to and from it are free.
Presto. Instant free unlimited cellular calling (and T-Mobile’s cheapest qualifying plan is a rather affordable $39).
By making sure that all their calls are routed through one “friend” number, some users are obtaining unlimited incoming and outgoing calls. In order to do this they use a software program like GVdialer that makes certain all outgoing calls are routed through Google Voice.
Note: Consult your cellular plan terms of service as some providers may prohibit the above trick.
Lastly, GVdialer is just more convenient and saves tons of keystrokes. Instead of having to dial my Google Voice number, press 2 to dial out, dial a number, push # — I can dial as normal from my BlackBerry. This utility also eliminates the need to change phone numbers on my contacts to insert lengthy dialing codes that could point the number first to Google Voice.
About the only negative that I have found has to do with dialing contacts from your address book where there is an extension. The program makes no distinction between a regular phone number and a phone number that has an extension stored with it. Therefore I have been unable to fully use the dialer on my contacts that have extensions already embedded in their phone number.
GVdialer for BlackBerry is $9.99 with a 31 day trial available. This program is a more convenient solution than the Easy Dialer software that we spotlighted earlier. This is because GVdialer automatically intercepts outgoing calls and routes them to Google Voice while Easy Dialer requires the extra step of making a menu selection to do so.