September 13, 2011, 3:00 pm
This summer I wrote about using Google Voice to avoid hefty international data fees while abroad. Just recently, I discovered another use for the service: making calls in “dead zones” for mobile phones.
A few weeks ago my wife and I spent several days in one of the big hospitals here in town while welcoming our new son into the world. The hospital was very modern and well-appointed, but somehow built in the one place in Green Bay that no cell phone tower reaches. My wife and I had no connection just when we most wanted one—family and friends were anxiously awaiting news. There was a landline in the hospital room, but those family and friends all live outside of our local calling area.
Once upon a time I would have purchased a phone card for this kind of situation. Instead, however, I logged into Google Voice (the hospital did have wifi) and added our room phone to my phones list. Then …
June 21, 2011, 11:00 am
Last week I attended the Digital Humanities Summer Institute at the University of Victoria. Julie wrote about DHSI last summer—if you’re interested in beefing up your DH skills quickly, DHSI is the place to do so. This post isn’t about DHSI per sa, but the next entry in ProfHacker’s long-standing travel series. While in British Columbia, I was able to stay connected with my family—and avoid hefty international voice and data fees—using my iPhone, Google Voice, and Apple’s Facetime. As soon as my ferry left the pier in Seattle, headed for Victoria, I put my phone in airplane mode, but enabled WiFi. Until I was preparing for this trip, I didn’t realize that such a combination was possible, but doing this allowed me to avoid using any expensive international data while still using services that work via wifi.
Almost exactly one year ago I wrote an introduction to Google Voice, Google’s…
June 8, 2010, 3:00 pm
Two weeks ago Google announced that users with .edu email addresses will now get priority access to Google Voice. Educational users still must request an invitation to the service’s closed beta, but Google promises that .edu users will receive their invitations within 24 hours of requesting them (rather than the indeterminate time that other users must wait). Though this promotion is aimed primarily at students, it’s also very good news for most readers of ProfHacker.
[NOTE: All of the images below are linked to larger versions.]
So what is Google Voice (GV)? It’s not a VOIP service like Skype, meaning you can’t use GV directly to make calls over the internet. You can send free text messages through GV,
and make cheap international calls by dialing through GV’s web interface (which then connects to one of your own phones):
But GV is better used as a personal switchboard and…