When original applications for Google Voice were released, they were more than a little controversial. As with other voice services, the Google app could potentially be used to call for free – avoiding the need for anything but the most bare-bones minute plan from the provider. This was eventually resolved by limiting features, and Google’s relationship with carrier was solidified by the popularity of Android devices. As proof of this point, Google Voice is now “ready for inttegration” with Sprint devices.
The possibility for integration, originally announced in March, is now available for Sprint phones at the discretion of the user. Users can either set up a new Google Voice account or can use their existing account. Additionally, users can choose to either use their Sprint number as their Google Voice number – automatically having all connected phones ring when the number is called – or use their Google Voice number as their Sprint number.
In either case, users will have access to a number of important Voice features, including:
- Google Voicemail, including features such as the personalized voicemail greetings (which you can set based on who’s calling), voicemail transcription (which can be sent in an email or text), and online voicemail access.
- The ability to connect multiple phones to receive the call (i.e., ring) when your number is dialed.
- All the features of the Google Voice app, but integrated with your Sprint number if you so desire.
- International calling at Google Voice’s rates. Calls made to international numbers will now automatically be connected by Google Voice, which has lower rates than most carriers offer without a special plan.
Setting up the Google Voice connection is fairly simple. Simply visit the dedicated Voice-Sprint integration site, choose which number you want to use, and verify that you’re the owner of the phone by having the automated system give you a call and inputting the appropriate verification code. Sprint is the first, and currently only announced, carrier to team with Google, but Google has indicated that they may seek additional partnerships in the future.
[via the Google Voice blog]