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Google Voice Apps Arrive For Android and Blackberry 106

Posted by Soulskill
from the giving-voice-to-your-phone dept.
Mark Mathson writes "Two Google Voice apps have been released for Blackberry and Android phones. The Android app is the most complete, and it takes over the native dialer, address book and call log. Users won't be bothered with accidentally dialing numbers through the device phone number. The Blackberry app is less integrated, accessing only the native address book, and uses its own dialer. Users can't simply go into the call log and return missed calls. They need to go back to the address book and select Google Voice to make the call. Still, it solves a big problem. The apps also allow users to access the core features of Google Voice. You can listen to or read voicemails and text messages (all voicemails are automatically transcribed), access call history, send SMS messages and place international calls at low rates."
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Google Voice Apps Arrive For Android and Blackberry

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  • Just imagine what things like this will mean for Chrome OS too! I have Android running on a quad-core Core 2 Duo system and performance is amazing--GO LINUX!!!
    • Re:This is great. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by binarylarry (1338699) on Wednesday July 15, 2009 @11:41AM (#28704753)

      How exactly is the performance "amazing"?

      The heart of Android's application layer, Dalvik, runs purely in interpreted mode. This is what most Python, Ruby implementations do and what Java did a decade ago. The performance is slow and irritating.

      I have a G1 and love the phone. But I wouldn't call it a speed demon. Maybe the Core 2 helps out, but I'd still rather have native code or a JIT, so I can get performance close to what the hardware is capable of.

      • by Bigby (659157)

        Well, that's the point of the parent post. Android is designed for G1-like system resources and the parent is running it on the latest quad-core CPU. Of course it is going to have out-of-this-world performance. It is just very lightweight and lacks most of the features that a standard distribution provide by default.

        • by mdm-adph (1030332)

          I have a feeling we're all missing a very bad joke by the parent.

        • Not really.

          Because the applications are all interpreted, it's going to run poorly on the Core 2 as well.

          Just slightly less so.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Ilgaz (86384)

        There is no access to device hardware? For example, my Nokia E65 with a 133 mhz processor doesn`t really "play" h264 video, the app calls some framework whatever and that framework tells some chip to decode h264. It is same deal both on Symbian and J2ME apps.

        If it can`t do it, why did Google go with their "android" thing instead of J2ME which can be extended via JSR?

      • by Cyberax (705495)

        Android now allows native code execution.

        • by GooberToo (74388)

          Android has always allowed native code execution. The only difference now is Google has officially published a supported SDK (NDK) to facilitate the process.

      • by kamatsu (969795)
        Completely wrong. It is not interpreted, it is compiled to dalvik bytecode, like the JVM. The only difference is it doesn't support runtime bytecode generation.
        • You might want to read up on what you're talking about before posting.

          kthxbye

          • by kamatsu (969795)

            Fine, I'll use wikipedia to back up my claims.

            "Java bytecode is also converted into an alternate instruction set used by the Dalvik VM. An uncompressed .dex file is typically a few percent smaller in size than a compressed .jar (Java Archive) derived from the same .class files."

            "It uses its own bytecode, not Java bytecode."

            This is not direct interpretation of source, this is compilation.

            • "Interpretation" doesn't mean "direct interpretation of source."

              In the case of Sun's JVM run in interpreted mode or Dalvik in general, the bytecodes are a set of instructions foreign to the underlying hardware.

              Java has the ability to convert these bytecode instructions into native instructions, which are executed directly with no interpretation.

              Dalvik has no JIT ability, so the dalvik bytecodes are interpreted at runtime, every time, which makes it slower.

              Compare java -Xint, which enables interpreted mode f

    • by bogaboga (793279)

      What apps are you using or running? Any pics/videos...Heck we have Youtube, right? Any issues you'd like Google to address? Just curious!

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by ickleberry (864871)
      you do realise that Chrome/Android are just pushing platforms for Google's Web services (and therefore AdWords) and the fact that they use the Linux kernel is just a minor technical detail since most of these devices will be too locked down to even get a bash session running without a day's worth of jailbreaking and (in the case of Android) unlocking.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    But I suppose that's because I'm usually on the phone less than an hour a month.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Bigby (659157)

      It will be quite useful for us consultants that have our personal cell phone, Consulting company phone, and usually even a client phone (for long term projects). It is like having 3 email addresses and checking them all at once through an email client.

      In addition to that, you can treat your voice mail like email and listen the voice mail only if necessary. This is much quicker for those of us with Blackberries and the like.

    • I barely use it, but the voicemail transcription and text-messaging "conversation" history is cool.
      • by Hadlock (143607)

        Voicemail transcription is awesome. I've got it setup to replace my cell phone's voicemail completely. I liked having email on my cell phone, but getting voicemail in your computer's email is just damn cool.

    • by ajs (35943)

      But I suppose that's because I'm usually on the phone less than an hour a month.

      I don't see why time on the phone is meaningful in evaluating Google Voice (and frankly, I'm shocked to hear that there's "hysteria", given that everyone I talk to has never heard of it.

      Google Voice provides a number of useful features: portable phone numbers that can be directed at multiple devices simultaneously; Web-accessible voice mail; voice main transcription and so on. They're useful features. That's really all there is to it.

  • I have a G1 through T-Mobile in the UK. My terms and conditions say that I'm not allowed to use VoIP services (well, the wording's a little more complicated than that, but that's the gist of it).

    Be interesting to see what happens as and when Google Voice gets rolled out to the UK. In the meantime, can somebody invite me to join the US trial and provide the necessary details of harbour?

    Nick.

    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      It probably isn't using VoIP. Google Voice has a feature where it will call your phone, then connect you to the person you want to call. I imagine the app just calls the web service, which dials your phone, the app auto-answers, and then you're connected as a regular voice call.

      Trying to run VoIP on T-Mobile's data network would fail pretty fast.

      • by bcong (1125705)
        I don't think your summary does Google Voice justice. Within their database they have phone numbers with the area code 406 dynamically assigned to a Google voice subscriber and each of that subscriber's contacts. This means that if you call from your phone which is registered under Google voice the 406-xxx-xxxx that corresponds with a certain person within your contact list, you will be in turn calling that person transparently, and they will see on their caller id your GV number not the actual number of
    • by Korin43 (881732)
      Google voice doesn't take the place of your phone service, it uses it. What you do is call the number Google gives you, then it places the call. So as far as your phone company is concerned, you spend the entire call connected to Google.
      • Google voice doesn't take the place of your phone service, it uses it. What you do is call the number Google gives you, then it places the call. So as far as your phone company is concerned, you spend the entire call connected to Google.

        My phone tariff (I've got an HTC Magic) provides unlimited landline calls - so does that mean if I can call a "landline" Google Voice number, essentially (tariff aside) all calls will be free?

  • Unlimited Calling (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Just add your Google Voice # to your Fav5 plan or whatever and use these apps w/Google Voice to route all your outbound calls, the cellular company only thinks your calling the same number and google is routing it for you. If you willing to ditch caller-id you can configure google voice so all inbound calls have your Google # as caller ID.
    • by Bigby (659157)

      First part is great.

      As for the second part, why would I want to ditch caller ID?

      • So you know when the call is coming in via Google Voice. Otherwise, you can't tell if the call is straight to your cell # or through your Google Voice #.
      • by laxpeter (996124)
        So that all inbound calls count as being in your Fav5 plan too. Is that really how TMobile tracks it, though? Just on caller ID? If so, I could certainly imagine the caller id info being passed on the data network from Google to your phone so that it could display the 'real' caller ID, while still qualifying for the free call from TMobile.
        • by sharpone (706018)

          I have this running. I have found that a number of GV calls have been marked as 'unavailable' on my call history, even though the CID has never failed to come to the phone. I am not sure if this is because T-Mobile recognizes the call pattern as always going to/from 1 number or not. It is definitely against their Terms and Conditions: "*Your five numbers must be US domestic numbers and must not include 411, voicemail, toll-free, 900, calling card, and customers' own numbers; and single numbers allowing acce

          • by Mantorp (142371) *
            for the few people I dial internationally fairly frequently I added them as GV - Bob for example then put the number as my GV number followed by a p for pause then my pin and another p then 2, then another p then the number and pound sign.
            like this:
            555-555-5555p1111p2p011445555555555#
            It dials the whole thing automatically
    • by maxume (22995)

      Aren't most of the Fav5 plans within about $20 of the unlimited plan from the phone company?

      Looking, Alltel starts friends and family at $40 (for a local plan) and it look like a mostly unlimited national plan is $90.

      Boost mobile has unlimited for $50:

      http://plans.boostmobile.com/monthlyunlimited.aspx [boostmobile.com]

      But I don't think they have quite the same coverage as the networks (I know they use Sprint's network, but I'm not sure if they have any roaming agreements with Verizon; if they do not, they would not have equi

    • Just add your Google Voice # to your Fav5 plan or whatever and use these apps w/Google Voice to route all your outbound calls, the cellular company only thinks your calling the same number and google is routing it for you. If you willing to ditch caller-id you can configure google voice so all inbound calls have your Google # as caller ID.

      This is clever, but I doubt it will work. First of all, Google will call you back when you make your calls, and you don't know what number Google will call from. (wait for it)

      the cellular company only thinks your calling the same number

      Secondly, even if Google is spoofing a caller ID# that is on your favorites list, its not really calling from that number... Do you really think Google's CallerID spoofing is going to fool your phone company? Really? If true, then all anyone would ever need to do to get free phone calls is be able to spoof caller ID. I doubt it can w

    • by crolix (833807)
      Unlimited calling is already possible on Android phones. As I already mentioned in another thread, there is now a free application called Crolix Communicator that allows free VoIP calls from one Android phone to another. It uses XMPP/Jingle to do that. Check it out, it's available on the Android Market: http://www.androlib.com/android.application.crolix-communicator-jADw.aspx/ [androlib.com].
  • This is the second time I've come across issues with GAFYD and google services. I'm using GAFYD on my g1 and I have a google Voice account with the same account, yet when I try to run the android voice app it says I have no GV account associated with a different google account I have (one that isn't setup on the phone, not sure how it knew it was associated to me at all). Anyone get it working successfully with a nonstandard google account?
  • I bet Symbian and even high end J2ME client will follow soon and if people choose an officially shipped, supported application instead of 3rd party clones, Skype will be really hit big time.

    It has been YEARS that Symbian S60 client of Skype, the one you can click and download to any S60 device was promised but never shipped. It comes with some phone in UK I heard. That is it. They also spread some real FUD about J2ME in the process when people were naive enough to ask them.

    Skype and eBay suits running it re

    • by guisar (69737)

      Skype has officially sucked ass for about a year now- the Linux client only half works on Pulse and is way behind the MS window version in features. The S60 "lite" version is useless as it still uses airtime. Come on- Fring enables (in a sort of functional way) the skype functionality so why can't Skype get it's act together.

      I'm a Skypeout and Skype number paying customer but I'm searching for something more responsive to my needs and I'll gladly say to hell with them when I find it.

      Google voice I'm sure ev

      • by Ilgaz (86384)

        Oh Fring has become such a standard in Symbian so they shouldn`t even bother with coding it after this stage and help/support Fring instead.

        I mean they can code World`s best VOIP client ever and Symbian community may ignore them since people are really sick of the never ending story.

      • by metamatic (202216)

        I'm a Skypeout and Skype number paying customer but I'm searching for something more responsive to my needs and I'll gladly say to hell with them when I find it.

        Gizmo5 and any standard VoIP client? I use Twinkle on Linux.

  • It'd be nice... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mdm-adph (1030332) <mdmadphNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Wednesday July 15, 2009 @12:16PM (#28705289) Homepage

    ...if they released a few more invites to Google Voice to go along with this so people could test -- I mean, I'm sitting here with a G1 and I can't even use it. :P

  • Sure, they say it can make "cheap international calls", but can it understand if I ask it to call someone in my native language (which, for the record, is not English)?

    Can it transcript voicemails that are in another language than English? Because very few of my voicemails are in English. Very few of my contacts on my phone has an English clinging name.

    When Apple released their Voice Control for the iPhone 3G S, they never came around this issue, yet speaking of it in the same keynote as they talked about

    • I'm currently using Google Voice, and it doesn't listen to me when I tell it to call people. Unfortunately, it doesn't have Voice Recognition for anything. Just voice transcription services for the voicemails. As for transcribing the email from Spanish to English or something like that, as for right now, Google Voice is only US numbers as far as I'm tracking, so I wouldn't expect the ability to transcribe. If GOOG-411 goes international, then you will probably see a shift towards more languages, since t
    • by NiteShaed (315799)

      Sure, they say it can make "cheap international calls", but can it understand if I ask it to call someone in my native language (which, for the record, is not English)?

      I'm not sure what you're asking here.....you dial the number, and the call is placed like any other phone. What difference does it make what language the actual conversation is in?

      Can it transcript voicemails that are in another language than English? Because very few of my voicemails are in English. Very few of my contacts on my phone has a

  • Just need a Google Voice invite now!
  • Outbound SMS worked and appeared to come from my Google Voice number. My friend replied, and the SMS I recieved did not have his cell number as a sender. It did have my contact entry prefixing his message, though.

    Example SMS Body: -John Smith: Hey, I got your text.

    Outbound calls using the Blackberry app looked like they were trying to connect but never went through. Maybe the load from the app release is a bit more than they planned on.
  • It would be great if someone wrote a voice app that allowed you to dicate text messages to your friends, since typing on those little keypads can be a pain.

    And it would be even cooler if your friends' phones had a voice app that could then dictate the text message back through the phone's speaker.

    That would be a great set of apps for a phone, I hope someone comes up with it :p
    (Yuk Yuk)

    • No, no, no, you stupid American. Txt >>> voice.

      I had this argument with my wife before. She has a Blackberry. I have a ... phone. Just a phone. I've finally gotten her to understand that just calling me is easier and faster than trying to have a conversation over text, especially since it will take more time than the entire conversation for me to send a single text using that damned keypad.
      • by s73v3r (963317)
        For conversations, yes. However, for a quick question, text messages are better, because I can get straight to the point, and get a direct answer.
        • I understand that this is, in theory, an advantage. But unless the answer required is simply yes or no, with no elaboration, it takes longer to text than to talk. (And it's cheaper to talk than to text!)

          Again, this is something I do with my wife - we don't have to spend time exchanging pleasantries, we can just say "hey, you want to go to the movies with X and Y this weekend?" If the answer is yes, we can go right ahead and start discussing what to see - no additional time to compose replies, wait for th
          • by xgr3gx (1068984)

            Maybe you guys missed my silly point.
            What I described is the same thing as what phones were originally designed to do, send and receive voice.
            Having a voice to txt to voice feature is foolish. My attempt at humor. ;)

  • I was using the app on my G1 when it was still called grand central.

    It's an excellent app. Now you can place calls direct with GV.

    The SMS portion is useless since I use the googletalk app.

    The voicemail is great. I just wish they included GV configuration in the app and the ringshare service.

    • by geekoid (135745)

      I was using the app on my G1 when it was still called grand central.

      yeah, but you still ahve a 6 digit ID, Loser~

  • Is there a way to configure the phone to direct all calls through a wireless router, when the router is in range? I would like to make internet-based calls rather than cell-based calls when I am at home.

    The reason for this is that I make very few calls away from home. This sort of setup would allow me to pay under $10 per month for all my phone calls, and yet have only a single number.

    Currently I use a pay-as-you-go cell phone for when I am out, and Skype for when I am at home, but this is not ideal. I have

    • by JSBiff (87824)

      "Is there a way to configure the phone to direct all calls through a wireless router, when the router is in range?"

      Yes, it's called Unlimited HotSpot Calling [t-mobile.com] from T-Mobile. (Note: You may want to double check this with T-Mo, but I believe the phones and plan will work with almost any WiFi AP, not just a T-Mobile HotSpot, though that marketing page doesn't make that very clear).

      Plus, with UHC (Also some times called UMA - Unlicensed Mobile Access, or GAN - Generic Access Network), you can seemlessly transiti

      • The $50/month is what I'm trying to get around. What I currently have is two phones:

        1. Skype, which is about $3/month for unlimited calls. (And which I could probably replace with a free service.)
        2. Virgin Mobile, which with light use costs less than $10/month.

        I'm hoping that there will eventually be a way to combine these two into a single phone, with a single phone number, at about the same price.

  • Google Voice is a really nice service but the key issue I have with it is that I can't port my number. Sure, I'd love all the extra little perks it offers like visual voice mail, but I won't get any of these features until I tell everyone to use my new Google number. Call me attached and lazy if you will, but that's a fair amount of effort. Let me port my number and then I'll use your services.

    That being said I've only used my Grand Central / Google Voice number on two occasions: helping my parents buy
  • You can set your Google Voice number to be your default voicemail answering number. I use it and it's great. It's in the setup for voicemail - you can set the phone number of the answering service to any number you like. I don't know if Verizon, etc, allow this, but I love having customized answering messages for my friends and family.
  • People have other phones than the iphone, its not the end all and everywhere machine you think it is. Android is googleâ(TM)s phone, its natural they would come out with the app for their products before others. Also, Blackberrys (RIM) have more marketshare than iPhones (Apple) too

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