Friday, March 26, 2010

Google Voice is still Lacking

I’ve been a religious Google Voice user for awhile now, so it really bothers
me that it is still lacking feature wise.  Of course, I’ve been helping with some of these missing
features (re: Google Voice for Outlook) but there are still
plenty more missing as well as some minor issues I have with the service.

Messaging (MMS)

For some reason, Google Voice still lacks this functionality. 
It can’t be THAT difficult, can it?  I mean, the iPhone managed to add
it before Google Voice, and if you really want to compete in the mobile business, its kind of necessary to
have MMS, as SMS is pretty much irrelevant now.

Not only that, but any MMS that is sent
to a Google Voice number is just lost.  Couldn’t they at least be forwarded to my email address? 
I don’t like the fact that I could be losing incoming messages to /dev/null, and its even more annoying
having to give out two different phone numbers (one for MMS and one for SMS).


It is all well and good that Google’s own shortcodes work through Google Voice, but not so
fantastic that nobody else’s does.  I don’t want to be passing around two sets of phone numbers,
and I’d love the ability to just set to spam a shortcode that is getting out of hand and won’t let me
unsubscribe (if that ever happens).  Developers pay tons of money to set up shortcodes, so why
doesn’t Google Voice support them?


Google Voice is a Service. 
I use it with my cell, with my home phone, and with my computer.  But in order to make desktop apps
or things like Google Voice for Outlook possible, an API is almost necessary.  I’ve managed to do
it without one, but it still pretty much sucks.

Outlook Mobile Service

charge tons of money for people to have the ability to send text messages through Microsoft Outlook. 
Adding the very simplistic SOAP server to the Google Voice backend would allow anyone with Microsoft Office
to send text messages, forward emails, and receive reminders and notifications for FREE,
something that is usually charged 10 cents or more per message
(Combine this with MMS as mentioned above, and it gets EVEN BETTER!)

Internet Fax

Google Voice already has “Receive Faxes” as a
“Suggest a Feature.”  Adding this and providing users on computers a way to send faxes would
increase productivity and make the service even more useful to small companies and freelancers.

Keep in mind, these are just a few ways that Google could improve Google Voice, there are tons

What do you want to see added?

1 comment:

  1. Shortcodes, an API, and fax service are definitely on my list (in descending order of
    importance to me). Despite not currently having much use for MMS as none of my friends use it (and I don't
    believe my phone supports it), I agree that it too is much needed. Outlook support, of course, is at the
    bottom of my personal list because I stopped using it years ago in favor of Gmail's web interface
    and haven't looked back (I've grown to wonder how I tolerated it), but I can see how it
    would be useful for people who do use it.

    From my notes for a to-be-written-someday post
    of my own on the subject, I see that I also highly prioritize per-phone settings for caller ID and
    presentation (to, for instance, show caller's number on my cell, my Google number at home); the
    ability to SMS previously-unmessaged contacts from a cell phone without initiating the conversation through
    the desktop or mobile Web; partnership with MOBIVOX to use their voice-dialing technology; adding features
    enabled only on inbound calls (phone switching, call recording, etc.) to outbound calls as well;
    interconnection with Google Talk/Skype; custom ringback tones like GrandCentral had; and labeling.
    Supporting multiple numbers is one of your ideas from a while ago that intrigued me, and it's also
    on the list.

    Are those enough ideas? ;-)