Google Voice and Talkatone App

GoogleVoice-LogoWe got rid of our land line and home phone number over 5 years ago. We’ve never looked back as it was a monthly bill we didn’t need. Our decision was based partly on the fact that we had 3 teenagers in high school who needed cell phones more than we needed a land line. I’ll save my editorial on cell phones, Sprint, and our service for another day.

I’ve been using Google Voice for almost two years. It works well for me since the bulk of my days in my home office are spent on the computer and on the phone with coaching calls during business hours. I dial from my computer and it saves me from using my prime time cell phone minutes. One feature that I really like is that I have my Google Voice number set to forward to my cell phone and it “translates” voicemail into text messages and email – the translations can be pretty entertaining. You can also record a separate voicemail greeting with your Google Voice number. It has some great features.

The few difficulties I’ve encountered are really no different than cell phone problems. Sometimes there is a bad connection which can also be dependent upon our internet connection and not just Google’s service. My Mac laptop has some cooling fans with their own personalities which can rudely interfere with the audio connection.

I’ve been working on several big projects that have required literally hours on the phone. On Friday, Sprint sent me a friendly text that I was almost out of minutes. This motivated me to do a little weekend research to see if I could use Google Voice on my smartphone without the minutes counting on my cell phone plan. Surely someone had already invented this and I just needed to learn how to use it!

I read about several different apps, their functionality and consumer reviews. You can make voice over internet protocol (VoIP) calls with your smartphone and some tablets.

Talkatone App

Talkatone app icon Hello Talkatone! They had me intrigued from the first sentence on their website…

“Millions of people use Talkatone to call and text over WiFi or a data connection without using cell minutes.”

Talkatone does exactly what I need. I’m using the free version and so far, so good. We did laugh at the potential of taking calls on my iPad. Don’t worry, I use the earbuds with the built-in microphone.

I’m still testing the different features and I’m experimenting with another app I bought for $2.99 called GV Connect. Some people say it has a nicer interface than Talkatone and they can work together – I’m not convinced yet.

I always try to find apps that are for both iOS and Android as we are a house divided with our technology choices. Cross platform compatibility is important for my family. It also helps me recommend things to my clients since I’ve heard people are still using Windows computers. 😉

Have you tried Google Voice or any other phone apps? I’d love to hear from you – leave a comment below.