Google Voice for Android and BlackBerry

Wednesday, July 15, 2009 | 8:03 AM

Today, we're happy to announce Google Voice for mobile which brings voicemail transcriptions, the ability to call and text with your Voice number, and cheap international dialing to your mobile phone. David and I were inspired to build this app when we went skiing for a weekend in Tahoe. Like all good Google Mobile team members, we each had three or four phones with us. Of course, carrying three phones while skiing is pretty tough, so we both decided to take a different phone to the slopes each day to see which one worked best as a 'winter sport device'.

Normally, this would have been a nightmare because our friends wouldn't know which number they could reach us on. But since we use Google Voice, one number rings all of our phones. As we were skiing and sending pics to our friends, we had a thought - it's great that our friends and family only need to use one number to reach us. But it's weird that our outbound calls and messages are shown as coming from the phone's underlying number, rather than from the Google Voice number that they're used to, causing confusion.

So with that, we're excited to release the Google Voice app for Android and Blackberry. You can use the app to make outgoing SMS messages and calls from your Google Voice number. What's more, this app improves the mobile experience of Google Voice in a number of ways.

The Google Voice app integrates seamlessly with your phone's native address book, making it even easier to call or text with your Voice number. Voicemail transcriptions are now available, and the app will highlight individual words during playback just like your favorite karaoke song. It also lets you take advantage of Google Voice's low-priced international call rates, starting at only $0.02/minute.



To try Google Voice for mobile, go to m.google.com/voice on your BlackBerry or search for "Google Voice" on Android Market to download the app. Before you ask, yes, we are working on ways to make this service available to iPhone users. If you don't have an Android-powered device or BlackBerry, you can still use many Google Voice features via our mobile website at google.com/voice. Please note, in either case a Google Voice account is required. Check out more details in our Help Center and feel free to leave feedback and questions in our forum.

QR code
To download the app from Android Market, scan the QR code above

You can read more about Google Voice on the Official Google Blog

Posted by Marcus Foster, Product Manager, and David Singleton, Engineering Manager, Google Mobile

59 comments:

tk said...

There should be an easy way to make direct Google Voice calls from non-smart phones. A registered phone in google voice could dial it's own google voice number in order to access direct Google Voice calls?

For now I am limited to only initiating Google Voice calls from the web.

Staff Writer said...

Excellent!!! I've been waiting a long time... I've tried a few test calls works smoothly...

Any word on the iPhone app?

JayD said...

How about windows mobile phones? Soon I hope?

maverickmt said...

im with JayD - where is the love for windows mobile?

av said...

how does this affect (verizon) mobile-to-mobile minutes, which are typically included/free in a monthly plan?
i'd be hesitant to use GV frequently if i would now have to use real minutes to call or receive a call from a fellow verizon wireless number

blkrde said...

How about pushing sms straight to the phone using this? That would be killer!

Sampson said...

Any word on the WinMo app

jeff said...

I have a Google Hosted account and it doesn't work with the market for making purchases. I had to create an @gmail account for that.

Now my Google Voice account is on my Hosted email address (as is everything else) and the GVoice app won't accept a different email address than my @gmail which isn't what I registered with Google Voice.

I can't add either email address to the other account as a secondary email (assuming that would help) because both are Google email addresses. HELP!

NetApex said...

@tk Registered phones CAN dial their own GV number and then press 2 to initiate outgoing calls. It takes a little extra work, but it is possible. Also until Google comes up with their own official version you could try GVDIALER for Windows Mobile phones. (30 day free trial should give Google time)

Frank said...

@blkrde I have received transcribed SMS messages from people calling my GV number and leaving a message.

adrianhensler said...

Any timeframe on this working for Canada?

Murkin said...

Just wanted to chime in on this. I think it's pretty ridiculous that Google hasn't even mentioned Windows Mobile in the announcement above. There are millions of WM users out there and I'm sure many would use a Google-developed GV option (myself included - HTC Diamond) instead of using a 3rd-party hack.

Avi said...

Palm pre version please!

Anurag said...

Any word on Nokia Symbian app??

Jeff said...

Really not sure why, but I have the app installed on my G1 this morning, I have it set to make all calls using Google Voice, and no go. All my calls are still showing up as being from my mobile number when I call people. I'm not exactly sure where to go from here...

smithnwessen said...

I dont know why it is like this....

But why are windows mobile users are left to develop their own apps and then anti-wm people criticize wm for integration and stuff

Google voice is excellent but Google being professional should release app for all known most used platforms. If they have a problem with Microsoft's policies or whatever then what Google is doing is exactly same.

Google is a service provider and should provide service for all platforms irrespective.

This whole competition is becoming personal rather than professional

Google ... dont spoil your reputation.

vaporland said...

@smithnwessen, last time I checked, Google was a private company, not a service provider. They said they wouldn't do evil, but that doesn't mean they're stupid.

Google and Microsoft are trying to eat each other's lunch. MS hasn't gone out of their way to help Apple, and Apple reciprocates by doing nothing to help MS.

I would not expect Google to work hard to make Windows Mobile work with their apps and services. Keep in mind that MS constantly changes their technology.

MS does this more to drive revenues for training / licensing than to drive technology advancement.

I think that if you are going to want to use Google's free services, you will probably want to be on a platform that they endorse more than Windows Mobile...

Chris said...

Take a hint from the third-party GV application:

Allow users to pick *when* to use Google Voice -- I don't want to lose out on free mobile-to-mobile minutes by having all of my outbound calls routed through some random New York number for outgoing calls (347 area code).

I don't mind the 347 number (although it's much nicer with GV having all of my calls routed through my personal Google Voice number), but there's no way I can use the official Google Voice app if it wants to be an all-or-nothing replacement dialer.

Calciphus said...

@vaporland

Google has a strong history of supporting Windows Mobile. In fact, Street View on the Google Maps app appeared at the same time as the Blackberry release, long before other devices. Google Maps for windows mobile has complete OS integration, even down to selecting a contact in the standard phonebook and having the option to "show on map".

So I have no doubt a Google app is well on its way, especially one tied into other Google services. The user experience of Bing on windows mobile is (unsurprisingly) a lot better, and any leg up Google can get over Microsoft on home turf is worth the relatively minimal development effort.

And that's the heart of the matter: There doesn't need to be a business relationship for Google to develop this kind of app. All the tools are publicly available, as evidenced by GVDialer. They don't have to haggle with the carriers, device makers, or Microsoft. They can just make it.

vaporland said...

@Calciphus:

"Google had a strong history of supporting Windows Mobile, before they began offering their own competing platform."
There, fixed that for you.

Microsoft had a strong history of providing Mac compatible browsers for that platform, until Apple created Safari - then they dropped it.

Picturesofwhatever said...

This is not the announcement I hoped for. I already make phone calls with my Google Voice number as caller ID. I just set up my Gizmo Project caller ID as my Google Voice number. When I saw the announcement I was excited because I thought that Google had added a SIP client to Google Voice for Android. That would have been great. But no such luck. I'll stick with Symbian until you guys figure it out.

David

Chris Duck said...

Not supporting hosted accounts = fail.

korpios said...

This is the second Android app from Google (after the Map Editor) that won't let me sign in with my Google Apps account ("korpios@korpios.com"), since I use that for everything instead of a "gmail.com" account. The Map Editor was a disappointment, but as I use Google Voice extensively, this is extremely annoying. Other apps (e.g., Android Gmail) work fine with my Google Apps account; what the hell, Google?

Tristen said...

Yes, great, now can I please have access to the google voice service?

It seems odd that this app would be released before most people can even use it.

I can't WAIT to use it, it seems like a great service. But that app sitting on my phone is rather useless at the moment, right?

Jus sayin :)

jtbrighten said...

Need to be able to use Google Apps account!!!!

Njschloss said...

I sure wish google would send out my google voice invite. I want to try this on my g1!

Andrew said...

Any update on sending invitations? I heard something last month and a friend actually got one, but I have not.

Olivier said...

Works great! Fantastic. I have been waiting for this and it works great.

vaporland said...

They are sending out invites, my wife and I just received ours this week. We signed up a while ago, but since they have millions to give out, ask and ye shall receive.

Phil said...

Invites anyone? Or is google the only one that can invite? I want GV bad!

Andrew said...

@vaporland I'm asking :)

james said...

whats the point of voice transcription if you can hear? Are there that many deaf people?

Murkin said...

@james: the point is that they will text you the voicemail if you want (which can save you some time). plus, the "voicemail" is then searchable as if it were email.

james said...

sounds like a lot of development for something nearly useless. i just want a gv number and vm's as a file and call screening. vm to text is useless.

Murkin said...

i completely disagree. i've been in plenty of meetings where getting up to check my voicemail is impossible. skimming through the text transcription of the voicemails (and as i said previously, searching for information, phone numbers, etc.) is extremely useful.

james said...

again, lots of development for rare reward

mrtalent said...

Not working for me! I have the BB Bold on AT&T, the app loads, and I type my sign in information, then it just sits at "getting account details." I've removed and re-installed twice now, no luck.

Anybody else see this?

Dave said...

Although I look forward to Google's own app, I have been using Sean Kovacs' GV Mobile for a little while now. There is a free version and a $2.99 version. I have the paid version and couldn't be happier.

I highly suggest anyone waiting for the iPhone app to just pay the three bucks and enjoy Google Voice now. :)

Jeremy said...

I'll add my voice to those requesting Windows Mobile support. Google Maps on WinMo is phenomenal. I'd love to have something like that for GV.

Samuel said...

I know this product will leave the US, I just hope it comes to the UK next

jstngk said...

Not being able to use Google Apps Account = EPIC fail. Sad my contact information is no longer integrated. I can not even use Google Voice on my Android phone because it is using a Google Apps account destroys the usefulness.

Lindsay Lewis said...

Premature. Enough said.

ytlevine said...

+1 for a Windows Mobile app...

Lazlo said...

I don't really understand why you can't get to your Google contacts. All this work to bring to eliminate being tied to one phone and you are stuck with only calling the contacts on your cell phone.

jeff said...

"I don't really understand why you can't get to your Google contacts. All this work to bring to eliminate being tied to one phone and you are stuck with only calling the contacts on your cell phone."

I completely agree. Google Voice should integrate into GMail so that you have your text messages, voice mails, and email all in one place that you can search.

Mike said...

Am I missing the boat her? I understand the feature of a single number but does the call not use your your cell plan minutes?

Jacs said...

"There should be an easy way to make direct Google Voice calls from non-smart phones."

There is. Have your friend(s) text your GV number. GV will then forward the text to you phone as normal. However, notice the number it comes from. It should have a 406 area code. This number is unique to the person that sent you the text message. So if you store and call back that 406 number your friend will actually see your GV number as the caller.

It's pretty ingenious how it works. The 406 number is basically a shortcut that:

1. Calls GV
2. GV sees the call is coming from a registered phone and finds the contact that number is tied to
3. GV calls that contact for you

FatalError said...

Make it work with Google Apps and maybe it'll actually be useful.

Ivan said...

I'd love to see a Windows Mobile version of this!

Creative Wellness said...

A PALM PRE (WEB OS) APP WOULD BE NICE AS WELL! THANKS FOR YOUR GREAT PRODUCTS.

b_nutz said...

NEED the S60 App!! C'Mon GOOG! Or even better, integration w/ fring.... *light bulb*!

Jeremiah said...

Google Voice is wonderful & my dreams have finally come true. Google has created the Google Voice Mobile App. Sadly it is not availible on Symbian. Pretty Please don't forget about Symbian Google Team.

David said...

HELP, I NEED AN INVITATION TO GOOGLE VOICE!

Do you have one to spare?

Thank you!
*
Dave Steinbach

davidsteinbach@gmail.com

Ananya said...

1. Suggestion; can you release SIP information for user accounts so that the more technical amongst us can switch to configuring our routers with your info and ditch other providers. It will also allow us to make SIP terminated calls on the google accounts.

2. Can you tightly integrate google voice with google apps?

3. Can you tweak the app to allow for voip calls through the cell phone itself?

4. With Voip can you also add presence, and video over SIP capability so that the new generation 3G phones can make SIP video calls?

5. Please release your app for symbian as well! That's a lot of users out there :-)

Thanks for a great product!

mobilecheck said...

I am searching in the net about a software application that will allow me facility of voice messaging and mms, So am I am right place?

Brianhama said...

I have created an application to allow support for Google Voice from Windows Mobile.

http://www.brianhama.com/GVoiceDialer.aspx

Yann said...

Any Palm Pre version in the Pipeline? your time would be better employed on that than the iPhone version ;)

Thanks!

Neil said...

Windows Mobile please, and be sure it integrates *transparently* under any existing contact manager for outgoing calls!

Swimm12984 said...

You uy had better get a symbian app out there.....they have almost 50% of the smartphone market in their pocket...worldwide...thats a helluva lot more users than android and apple combined and it includes me so hop to it guys....wheres the s60 app?!?