Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Improvements for @GoogleVoice

Google Voice is in dire need of some few improvements if it wants to be
useful:

  • Archive & Labels feature of Gmail

This
one is fairly self-explanatory.  It allows us to keep records of voicemails, calls, SMS, and the
likes, but it doesn’t allow us to archive, label, or tag them.  This would make organization much
simpler.

  • MMS

Google Voice does wonderfully
with it’s support of SMS; but it’s lacking in one thing that more and more phones are getting: MMS. 
Without MMS, or at least an MMS to email forwarding system, it’s impossible to receive those cute and funny
picture, sound, and/or video messages from your friends.  This is a much needed feature.


  • Contact Bridge

This is another issue I can see with
Google Voice.  How am I supposed to randomly SMS someone from my phone?  Right now, it’s
impossible.  But doing something simple (that US carriers support) would make it super-easy to SMS
people, and would remove the requirement for Google Voice to send the contacts name with each SMS.


[email protected]_GOOGLE_VOICE_NUMBER.gvoice.com


ex. [email protected]


Verify that the sender is indeed the phone number supported, and then send the text from the email,
and reply back from that email.  SMS and MMS over email is supported by many (if not all) US
carriers.  Like this, I would be able to add my contacts to my phone’s address book, and message
them seamlessly.

  • UTF-8 Texting

So far,
through my tests (in SMSing an iPhone, since they have a world keyboard) I have only been able to receive
Japanese text messages through Google Voice.  Attempting to send a text that's either partially or
completely Japanese appears garbled on the receiver’s iPhone.

  • Shortcode SMS

Maybe?  This may not be cost-effective for Google.

  • Ringback
    Tones

GrandCentral had them, and we want them back.  At least the
basic ones, like “Russian Ring” and “Japanese Ring.”

  • Alias Numbers

One Forever number is pretty good; but you know what’s even better?  Two
forever numbers.  Unfortunately, not all landlines have free long distance yet (Heck, not even all
cell phones do yet!)  So even (at least) a paid model for another number would be nice.


  • Skype

Seriously, you bridge over to Gizmo but not
Skype?  Adding a Skype bridge would be pure awesome.  PURE AWESOME.  I don’t
think anybody can argue with that. 

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