How to Use Google Voice On Your Computer Desktop
Despite being integrated with the hugely popular Google Hangouts, Google Voice hasn’t lost its luster. It still boasts a legion of ardent fans who use it to call and SMS their contacts on the web on a daily basis. The only spanner in the works that holds Google Voice back is the absence of an official desktop client, with the exception of a Chrome browser extension.
This means you should not close your Google Voice browser page if you want to receive a message or call alerts from your favorite contacts. Quite annoying, isn’t it? Luckily, we have compiled a list of the best Google Voice desktop app clients at the end of this article.
Before we discuss these apps, though, it is necessary to revisit the basics of installing and using Google Voice. This app is built into Gmail, so it’s automatically available to anyone with a Gmail account. It enables you to call another phone number from your device and make voice and video calls to another device. Other features include call screening, conference calling, call forwarding, and voice transcription. Unfortunately, Google Voice is only available in the US and Canada.
Requirements to Install Google Voice
We’ll assume you already have a Gmail account, which means that the first thing you will need is a Google Voice account. Using your Google account, go to the Google Voice homepage and sign up. Google Voice allows you to select a single phone number that friends, colleagues, or family members can contact you on. If you have several phone numbers, this single Google Voice number will ring all of them at the same time. This enables you to answer your incoming calls using the most convenient device.
The next step is to buy a dedicated headset with an inbuilt microphone if you wish to make regular calls using your PC and safeguard your privacy. Everyone knows how unreliable a built-in microphone can be.
Getting Set Up
Once you have created your Google Voice account, Google will prompt you to select your new Google Voice number; the number people will call to reach your Google Voice account. You can have it assigned based off of your city or area code. Of course, this step can be skipped in the short-term, though you won’t get much use out of the account until a Google Voice number is assigned.
Once you select it, you will be prompted to link your Google Voice account to an existing phone number, and then to enter a verification code sent to that linked number.
The third step is to add any additional phone numbers that you want Google Voice to forward to. This means setting up your work phone, cell phone, or home phone to ring simultaneously when the Google Voice number is dialed. You can add a new linked number at any time by going to the settings tab, and then to the account tab.
Shortly after you finish setting up the account, you’ll have a brief voicemail welcoming you to Google Voice. After that, you’re good to go.
Top 3 Desktop Client Applications for Google Voice
The fact that Google Voice is free to use and has a powerful signal that works even if you switch your network location makes it attractive; reliability is a big draw. It also lumps all your phone numbers into a single one, so it has a huge convenience factor. The only notable downside is the lack of a built-in desktop widget.
With that in mind, here is the list of the top three desktop client apps that you can use with Google Voice to make it that much easier for you to receive and manage your call alerts, voicemails, and SMS.
Created specifically for Windows users, this powerful desktop client application enables you to listen to voicemail, send and receive SMS texts, and connect with your contacts via calls. It instantly notifies you of any incoming message, calls or voice mailbox. It also keeps a detailed log of all calls received or dialed, and it features voicemail transcription and audio playback.
Built specifically for Mac enthusiasts, this Google Voice client allows its users to make or receive calls and SMS messages. You can also access the voice mailbox and send several SMS messages in a single batch. Its main advantage is its pleasant and easy-to-use interface, its ability to notify you of any alerts via customizable sounds, and its reverse call lookup that even works for numbers that aren’t on your contacts list.
Google Voice by Google
This is a Chrome extension that helps you stay connected with your Google Voice contacts through calls, preview your inbox, send SMS, and receive SMS notifications via the Chrome browser on your desktop. The extension appears in the form of a button on the browser’s toolbar, which alerts you of any incoming communications.