When Google announced Google Voice for iPhone earlier today, we wasted no time putting the telephony app through its paces. Google Voice for iPhone (download) delivers much of what we expect from a native Google Voice app. In an absolute sense, it's a terrific app because it brings much-needed native Google Voice management to the iPhone. However, considering it took a year and a half of idle time and an FCC investigation to gain Apple's approval, we're also wondering why the Google Voice engineering team couldn't have designed a more seamless integration with the iPhone.
Setup and layout
Thankfully, setup is hurdle-free. First, log into the app with your Google credentials. Then, select the mobile number from a list of numbers you may have associated as forwarding numbers for your Google Voice account. (If you haven't yet associated any, go to your Google Voice account and add the number in the Voice Settings menu.)
The Google Voice app itself appears straightforward. Four screens display a menu, a dialer, your contact list, and the application settings. Fittingly, the menu is the base camp for sorting and managing your voice mail by inbox, texts, and various other filters. The inbox displays your list of voice mails and text messages. From here, you can view a voice mail transcription or play back your contact's recorded message. Tap their name to call, text, add to quick dial, or show the contact's details. Pull the entire page down with your finger to manually refresh the list.
You'll be able to reach out to contacts from the dialer and the contacts list, either by searching for a contact's name or by entering a number. The dialer helpfully lets you choose to call or text a number. An icon in the Dialer that looks like it should pop up your contact search list will in fact add a new contact to your address book, if you press it after dialing a number. … Read more