If you are the user of Google Voice (formerly GrandCentral), you already enjoyed the advantages of centralized virtual phone number, receiving forwarded calls, checking voice messages in email, etc. And last week, I discovered another good feature of Google Voice, you can use it to dial out phone calls as well.
Yes, it is true. And it is a little different than it was in the Grand Central period. Before, we just used the Google Voice or GC to receive phone calls. But when you dial out the phone calls and the recipients still see your real phone number. So what did the new feature of Google Voice make differences? Well, you can allow you to make calls with your own phone set but the other side will see your Google Voice phone number on their in-coming caller ID screen.
The first way is an easier way, you can call your own Google Voice phone number from any other phone sets first. And when you hear the voice message greetings, you press * key on your phone. Then the system will ask for your voice message PIN number. After entering your correct voice message PIN number, you will be prompted to some choices.
You just need to press the numeric key 2 (number two) on your phone, and then you will be prompted to enter the out-going phone number you try to reach. After you enter the phone number, please do not forget to press # key. Then your call will be initiated, and the other side will see a call from your Google Voice phone number.
Is not that simple?!
Now, the following question will be what should I need this feature any way?
For me, 1), I can call any USA, Canadian phones for free on any physical phone set I can reach. That means I can make any long distance phones with all of my desktop phones in my office for free. Now, I do not need to ask for the long distance code again from the phone guys. Byebye, the phone guy in my office. And I can make international phone calls in this way too, just you will have to deposit some funds into your Google Voice account first. Finally, Google Voice found the way to make money. And it is not too bad for me, it is only cost 2 cents to call China the same rate as my calling card.
2), finally I have a complete incoming and out-going virtual phone number now. As I indicated before, the big difference for me is I can display my Google voice phone number to my clients now. Before, they can use my Google Voice phone number to call me. But every time I use my own cellular phone to call them, they will see a personal phone number. Which defeats my initial purpose of having the Google Voice virtual phone number.
OK, you like it so far. But you do not like the long process to make phone calls with Google Voice as I discussed above.
If you are using some kind of smart phone (iPhone, BlackBerry etc.), actually you have another way to dial out with Google Voice.
Now you can download the Google Voice mobile application from Google web site and install on your smart phone. And when you want to make phone calls, just launch this Google Voice application from your smart phone, and punch your destination phone number, then you are going to be established a out-going phone calls with your virtual Google Voice Phone number.
Give it a try, and let me know it will work for you too. Have fun!