Today is the day that many of you have probably been waiting for since you’ve first bought your first iPhone. Today is the day that the Google Voice app officially entered the Apple App Store. I’ve only been on my iPhone 4 for less than 2 months and the Google Voice app was definitely an app that I wanted especially since I came off a Blackberry and that had an official Google Voice app on it. I used it mainly for free text messages because I’m currently on the lowest tier plan on AT&T. As soon as I heard about the official release, I knew I had to download it straight away.
Feature wise, you can do anything in the Google Voice app that you can do on the website, except for changing account settings; that still has to go through the main Google Voice site. There are 4 tabs at the bottom of the app. You’ll most likely only be using 3 of them which are the Inbox, Dialer, and Contacts. The settings tab you really won’t be touching much unless you are checking your current balance or want to sign out of your account.
The Inbox tab is just that, your inbox. It looks pretty much exactly like the menu you see on the Voice website with all the same folders except for the trash folder. You’ll probably want to keep it on the main Inbox folder so that you can see all your recent items quickly.
The Dialer tab is where you’ll be making your calls. It looks very similar to the default iPhone dialer except it’s got Google’s default color pallet and it has the extra “Text” button. All you do here is dial numbers to call. There is however one bug I’ve found where if dial a number, press the add contact button, then press cancel, the whole bottom row of the dialer will disappear from view. The only way to get it back is to switch to another tab and then switch back to the dialer tab again. It’s a minor bug that doesn’t really affect any of the functions.
The Contacts tab brings up all your contacts that you have saved in the iPhone’s default contacts app. These show up in the All Contacts section on the tab. There is a Quick Dial section that shows all your recent numbers as well as any contacts you want to add to the quick dial section. If a number is added to the Quick Dial from your contacts, it also gets added to your Google account. One thing about the contacts on here. If you have a custom ringtone set for someone in your regular contacts, it also shows up here, but only uses the iPhone’s default ringtones. It doesn’t recognize custom ringtones for some reason.
As you can see, the official Google Voice app does everything you need it to do. The app is very clean and easy to use and looks very crisp on the iPhone 4’s Retina Display. The app does have a few quirks to it, but nothing that interferes with its function. The only gripe I have with the app is that it only seems to function over carrier data only. It will not work over WiFi which kills any chance of iPod Touch users using it to make VoIP calls. That’s sad. That also kills any chance of me using Google Voice overseas on a WiFi signal if I want to save myself some money. Despite some short-comings, the Google Voice app is still very good and FREE. Unlike other Google Voice solutions in the App Store, the official App is free which is a huge plus.
In order to get a perfect score, Google really needs to allow Google Voice to function over WiFi as well.