I’ve already written one post about how much I love Google Voice. Since coming to Japan, I’ve grown to love it even more. Here’s why: I can make calls, send and receive texts, and listen to voice mails from my iPhone. The great thing is that My US contacts can still directly contact me through my US phone number as if I never left. This is convenient for everybody! Of course it’s super easy to keep in touch with friends through any of the hundreds of social networks like Twitter and Facebook, but there’s something about a text message and a phone call that brings us much closer.
If you live abroad and would like to use Google Voice, here is a quick guide!
1. Get an iPhone or Android-based phone. You will need to run the official Google Voice app and at least one other.
2. Sign up for Google Voice. If you are still in the US, this is cake. Just visit google.com/voice and follow the steps. If you are abroad, however, you must have someone login to you google account or create one from a US IP address. The website will not let you create a Google Voice phone number from abroad. There is of course the option to connect to a US IP via VPN, but that could get difficult just for a quick registration.
3. Download the Google Voice App here and install. The google voice app will let you do everything but make a phone call. You will even receive missed call alerts. Use this app to send text messages listen to voice mail and everything else. With alerts turned on, you will have nice real time alerts of text messages, including the name of the contact.
4. For making calls, you will have to use the phone function of web version gmail. They recently banned any 3rd party access to the calls.
If you are not completely familiar with Google Voice, you can check out my previous post.