Google’s “Voice Assistant” Not Quite Siri-Smart But Most People Won’t Notice

google-voice-search At Google I/O this week Google introduced spoken search results, which mimic Siri's functionality on the iPhone. Siri had been a major point of differentiation between Android handsets and the iPhone, despite Google's preexisting voice search. The new Google female voice actually sounds less like a machine and more natural than Siri. And there are already a number of video demos favorably comparing Google's "Voice Assistant" to Siri (see below). Since Google didn't give her a name (or not one that we've heard yet), I'll call her "JB" for Jelly Bean. The following side-by-side video belo [...]

Google Enables Call Tracking From Mobile Landing Pages

Screen shot 2011-10-06 at 8.28.52 AM Google's Click to Call program has been a huge success. About a year ago Google reported that it had 500,000 advertisers using Click to Call. (That number was repeated again today in a blog post.) And last year former Google Product SVP Jonathan Rosenberg said "Click-to-Call ads are generating millions of calls every month." Calls and call metrics are increasingly important to Google because they're a form of "offline" conversion tracking that provides more visibility on the true efficacy of keywords and campaigns. Selling calls also enables Google to drive phone-based leads, which are mor [...]

Sprint Integration Of Google Voice Start Of Something Bigger?

google-sprint-featured You no doubt read on Monday that Sprint and Google Voice have done a deep integration. This now enables a Sprint subscriber to either a) make Google Voice into her Sprint mobile number or b) use an existing Sprint number as the Google Voice number. Those who choose to do this get all the benefits of Google Voice including low-cost intentional calls, call forwarding, blocking, screening and so on. Google Voice Goes Mainstream It's really the first "mainstream" implementation of Google Voice. It remains to be seen how many "ordinary users" take advantage of it. Sprint has about 50 million s [...]

My Life With Google Voice Number Porting, Six Months In

Finally, anyone can port their mobile phone number to Google Voice. I've been doing so for the past six months. Thinking about making the jump? Here's my experience, which is largely good. Plus, some thoughts on how this gives Android an added boost ahead of Verizon's iPhone launch. I moved my cell phone number to Google Voice back in August. Similar to Mike Arrington, this was something special Google did for me, so that I could test out the service ahead of the public launch. Google Voice & Your Virtual Phone Number Google Voice gives you a virtual number that's not locked to any [...]

Google Voice Number Porting Now Available

We discussed it last week and today you can officially port your mobile number to Google voice. The blog post announcing Google Voice number porting says it takes 24 hours and costs $20. It probably will also count as a termination of your wireless account, triggering early termination fees if applicable. To make it work with your existing carrier you need to get another number and then put that in as one of the devices to ring from your Google Voice number. There's no mention of porting landlines but that will be in high demand I suspect when/if it becomes available. To initiate numb [...]

Google Voice Tests Number Porting: Turning Point For The Service?

Long awaited, it was first spotted by Engadget yesterday: Google Voice number porting. Though it's only available in a limited test to a limited number of users, number porting is coming very soon to everyone with a Google Voice account. Currently that porting option only pertains to wireless numbers and not landlines. [caption id="attachment_61829" align="alignnone" width="500" caption="Credit: Engadget"][/caption] Gone Now, But Coming Back "Soon" How about some Q&A on the feature? OK! Who gets it? Only a lucky few who spotted the option when it was enabled for some accounts b [...]

How Cool Would It Be If Google Became A Carrier?

The end of the year is the time when people feel more free to make wacky statements and dubious predictions. Whether it's the season, too many rich desserts or the additional alcohol people consume it's not clear. But one such prediction is that Google might seek to become a full-fledged phone company in 2011. Having just gotten off one of those dreary customer service calls with my mobile carrier (seeking to remove some bogus charges from my bill) I'd actually love to see Google really shake things up in carrierland. It would be a bit of the old Google. But it's unlikely to happen. The [...]

Google Voice iPhone App Finally Available

iPhone & iPod Touch users have been eagerly awaiting the release of the Google Voice iPhone App. That day has come today and you can download Google Voice for iPhone right now in the iTunes Store for free. Google Voice for Android has been available for well over a year. There was a lot of rumors on tension between Apple and Google and possibly AT&T in regards to releasing Google Voice on the iPhone. Well, now it is available. The features include: Cheap rates for international calls Free text messaging to U.S. numbers Voicemail transcription Display your Google Voice number as [...]

Inside The Google Voice Phone Booths

Over the coming weeks, UK-style phone booths will pop-up around the US in airports and at universities, allowing anyone to make free calls to anywhere in the world. The promotion is designed to spread awareness of the Google Voice service. Below, a look inside the booth, including a video of it in action. Google's actually had one of these booths on its campus in Mountain View for some time. They look like old British phone boxes. There's double irony in that. The UK doesn't actually use this style of phone booth any longer (you'll still see old ones in various places, however), and Google [...]

Google Voice + Gmail = Free Voice Calls For Those In US

Google's holding a small press gathering today at 9:30am in its San Francisco offices. Topic? The ability to place phone calls using Google Voice integrated within Gmail. Anyone with a US Gmail account will get this rolling out today and over the next few days, along with the ability to make free calls to numbers in the US and Canada. Here's the live blogging. We're going. There's a British phone box that says Google Voice on it. Gonna be related to those Gmail & Google Voice news rumor that broke today. New features that Todd Jackson is telling us about. Gmail related, and so [...]

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