Google Voice

How can I make Google Voice my default text messaging app?

Episode 1445

Nathan from Grand Rapids, MI
Google Hangouts

Nathan made "the switch" from the iPhone to the Google Pixel 2. He couldn't be happier. Leo says it's a great phone. Nathan ported his number to Google Voice, and it works great on his old number. But can he make Google Voice the default messaging app? Leo says no. He can make Google Hangouts his default messenger, and it'll show up in Google Voice. It'll even work on iOS.

Why am I missing text messages in Google Voice?

Episode 1444

Phil from Concord, CA
Google Hangouts

Phil is having issues with Google Voice, missing text messages, and voicemails. Leo says that Google has let Voice fall in quality since it bought it and may be moving away from it as a viable service. Even Hangouts isn't what it used to be. Leo used it when it was originally called Grand Central and it was great. But over the last year or so, it's really gotten hit or miss. Nowadays, Leo just uses it as a call forwarding service. But it may not be Google's fault. It may also be phone carriers who are engaging in anti-competitive behavior.

Can the Amazon Echo make phone calls?

Episode 1418

Cindy from California
Amazon Echo

Cindy wants to know if the Echo can work as an intercom all around the house. Leo says it can, but the Echo Dot requires external speakers, while the Echo has its own speaker. There's also the Echo Show, which also has video. She heard that it can make phone calls. Leo says it doesn't make phone calls, but it can make Echo to Echo calls to anyone in her network. If she wants to make phone calls, then Google Home is the way to go. It uses Google Voice.

Can I use WhatsApp without a phone?

Episode 1413

Jane from Oregon
WhatsApp

Jane wants to know if it's WhatApp or WhatsApp. Leo says there's an "S," so it's WhatsApp. A clever way of saying "what's up?"

Jane is thinking of getting her first smart phone so she can use WhatsApp to make phone calls. Leo says that WhatsApp identifies users by their phone numbers, not their names. So when people ask to use WhatsApp to make a call, that means they want not only their phone number, but also their contact list. Facebook is doing that to cross reference contacts with Facebook contacts, but you can opt out of it when you sign up.

How does Google Voice work?

Episode 1364

Gary from San Diego, CA
Google Voice

Gary wants to know about Google Voice with the Pixel phone. Leo says that Google Voice started as GrandCentral, which he used to use for his office. Then Google bought it and created a central phone hub for everyone. It gives you a new universal number and then rings different phones until it finds you. It also has custom voicemail boxes for people in your contact list, strangers, close friends, and unknown. It also sends you a text message with the voicemail. And it's free to use.

Should I use Google Voice on my iPhone for texting?

Episode 1363

David from Little Rock, AR
Google Voice

David is an iPhone user and he wants to start using Google Voice, but he doesn't know if it's better than trying Allo or the other messenger programs. Leo says that iPhone users should just stick with iMessage. All SMS messages will go to iMessage anyway, because Apple doesn't let users change the default messenger app. iMessages will be color coded blue, while regular SMS messages will be color coded green.