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Making Calls and Using Features with Google Voice

written by: Daniel Brecht•edited by: J. F. Amprimoz•updated: 9/1/2011

Are you a new Google Voice user, or someone who needs help to make calls? And are you wondering how to receive calls, forward calls, or even block calls?

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    Getting Started

    Google voice logo Just follow these 4 simple steps to get started:

    1. Sign in to Google Voice. This is required for a user to make a call.
    2. Obtain a phone number. This can an assigned numer or a custom one. (See the note below.)
    3. Setup account.
    4. Try it!

    Note: A user can choose whether or not to have a custom number from Google. Users who would rather use the number assigned to them by their mobile carrier can do so by selecting that option during setup. This, however, will leave users with limited Google Voice functions. Users that receive a Google number will have only one number for all their phones.

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    Reach Out and Voice Someone

    Making calls: Using the Dialer Application makes calling as easy as dialing directly from your cell phone. Note: As of now, users are not able to select an international Google number or forward their calls to an international number.

    Note: Users need to be signed in to Chat and have the voice and video chat plug-in installed.

    Step 1: Click the Call phone link at the top of your Chat roster to open up the Call window. From the Call window, you can dial a phone number, view your call history, or add credit if you'd like to place an international call.

    Step 2: In the chat window, click the camera icon to make a video call or the phone icon to make a voice call.

    Receiving calls: A user is able to get all their calls through a single number. All that is required by the user is to click the Settings link on the right side of the page, and click the Phones tab to change the phone settings. Here, users will be able to add the numbers they want to forward from.

    Note: In the Phones tab, click the check box next to Google Chat.

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    Hello? Oh You. I'm Sorry I'm Not Here Right Now

    All that is required to take a call is to Press 1 (to accept it), Press 2 (to send it to voicemail, or Press 1 then 4 (to accept and record a call).

    Alternatively, a user has the option to turn off call presentation from the settings menu. To do so, just click Settings and select the Calls tab. Select the "Off" radio button option in the "Call Presentation" section. Then, Save Changes.

    Note: By removing call presentation, phone calls will no longer be sent to voicemail, and users are not able to record a call.

    Tip: To answer the call, simply click the Answer button.

    Note: Calls received in Gmail can be screened by clicking the screen button.

    Tip: To end chatting, the voice or video call, just click the hang up button.

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    Make All Your Phones Ring

    To forward calls, click the Settings link and click the Phones tab to change the phone settings and add the numbers to forward calls to. This can set up your Google number to get all your calls to different phones, through a single number.

    Note: You can enable Google Chat as a forwarding phone and receive calls in Gmail.

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    Make Them Not Ring

    To block unwanted calls, click the Edit Google Voice Settings and select the second radio button under the "When this contact calls you" section, next to the drop-down menu. Choose one of the following options from the drop-down menu:

    • Send to Voicemail. A caller will be prompted to leave a message.
    • Treat as Spam. The call will be marked in a user's inbox as Spam, and he/she won't receive a notification.
    • Block Caller. The call will be marked as "Blocked" under "History" and "Missed." The caller will hear a "Number not in service" message when calling the user's Google number.
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    Customizing Greetings

    To be able to set up a custom voicemail greeting, click Settings and select the Voicemail & SMS tab; then, in the Voicemail Greeting section, click Add. From here, enter the name for the greeting and click OK. Then, when the Record Greeting box appears, select the phone from the Phone to ring drop-down menu and click Connect. Thereafter, pick up the call and record a voicemail greeting. Once the voicemail greeting has been recorded, you can either save changes or not.

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    Ways to Access Google Voice

    Google Voice has these options:

    • Available for Mobile devices like the Blackberry. (Downloadable application from m.google.com/voice.)
    • Available on Android, which helps make it easier to send free texts. (Get application from m.google.com/voice.)
    • Available on an iPhone. A user just needs to install the official Google Voice app. (Downloadable application from iTunes.)

    Note: The Google Voice application allows users to send and receive text messages for free.

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    References Section

    Getting Started: Account Options: http://www.google.com/support/voice/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=164819

    Making & Receiving Calls: http://www.google.com/support/voice/bin/topic.py?topic=29348

    Mobile Access: http://www.google.com/mobile/voice/

    Image: Google - Google Voice