Google Voice Mail

The feature that inspired me to sign up for Google Voice was the idea
of getting voice mails as transcribed emails, instead of having
to call and listen to them.

I implemented that feature a couple of days ago. Yesterday I
was at a party, and mentioned it, and people wanted to test it,
so someone called my phone and left a message.

The transcription is better than some voice-to-text
transcriptions, but could still be pretty alarming if you didn’t
know that’s what it was:

Transcript: Alex, Hi Laura, this is [redacted] and I’m sitting in
[redacted, but it wouldn’t do you any good if I didn’t] living room and we’re doing a test message to see if
you can get this. Both or the police and it as an email. Hope it all
works. Bye. Yeah.

The first name was transcribed pretty well — the second name
wouldn’t have been recognised. Otherwise it’s a good
transcription except that she said “both audibly and as an email
instead of “Both or the police and it as an email.”

The actual voice mail can be played from the email message, so
as far as it goes, this is a useful feature. Unfortunately,
there are a few disadvantages to this instead of the t-mobile
voice mail:

  • It apparently made the process of getting to
    voice mail a little longer and more confusing because of going
    to Google Voice instead of t-mobile voice mail.
  • The call
    doesn’t appear in the call log on my phone, which is a really
    useful feature, since most of the people you call are the ones
    who’ve called you in the last few days.
  • I had turned the phone off an put it in my backpack, and
    when I turned it on again, there was no indication that I’d
    missed the call. There’s an option to send a text message to the
    phone when there’s a voice message, but I think that costs me $.10!
  • I suppose there’s a way to get at the google voice mail from
    your phone, but until I figure out what it is, I need to be able
    to get at voice mails when I’m not at my computer.

So as attractive as having an email transcription of voice
mails is, I think I’m turning the feature off again for the moment.

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