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Google Voice lets you check your voicemail and send text messages online – for free.
It’s a great service to stay connected if you have to turn off your cell phone in court. Plus, it’s probably more professional to be typing on a tablet computer while waiting for your case to be called than texting like my teenage sister (her thumbs will fall off someday).
Here is how you can get started with Google Voice for the iPad.
Sign-Up for Google Voice
There are a number of great features in Google Voice. You can make and receive free phone calls, send free text messages, and receive transcribed voicemail in your inbox:
It is an amazing service. Here is an overview:
Phone Number – This is your phone number when someone calls you “on the Internet.” It will ring your computer and your iPad. Either port an existing number, such as your cell phone number, or select a new number.
Voicemail – Your voicemail is transcribed, stored as an .mp3, and sent to your email.
Call Forwarding – You can also forward calls to other phones, such as work or home, so that other phones will ring when someone calls your Google Voice number. To add a forwarding number, go to Google Voice > Settings > Add a Phone.
I recently switched to Google Voice and gave my new number to friends. For emergencies, I keep an old cell phone that I threw into my briefcase. When someone calls me on Google Voice, it rings (1)Skype on my iPad, (2) my computer, and (3) my cell phone, which is attached as a forwarding number.
My phone bill went from $95/month to $10/month. When I am at my computer, I can make free phone calls through Google Voice, which connects to the Google Talk feature in Gmail to dial a phone number online.
Send Text Messages on Your iPad
You can access your Google Voice account through GV Connect ($2.99) to send free and retrieve text messages. There is also a native app by Google for Google Voice (Free), but it crashes constantly. I would recommend checking out a third-party app.
When you send a text message, your friends will see your Google Voice number. Any replies are sent directly to the app. All conversations are saved, just as if you had typed a text message on your phone.
Check Voicemail on Your iPad
You can check voicemail in GV Connect, too, for any of the phone numbers that you add to your account. Your voicemail is saved as an .mp3 audio file, which you can upload and save to Dropbox or GoodReader, perhaps to save messages from clients.
The messages are never transcribed perfectly, and many times, the transcription is quite humorous. Once, I received a voicemail from my wife, and it said she had “forgotten Darth Vadar by the door.” She meant something different (I hope).
Generally, the transcription works well. It’s nice to check your voicemail in court without calling your phone. You can see someone called and forward the email to the office.
For questions, comments, or help using the Apple iPad at work, please contact me at email@example.com.
Upcoming EventsRoanoke Valley Paralegals Association
May 9, 2013
Topic: "iPad Presentation at Trial: Presenting Your Case with TrialPad, Keynote, and Exhibit View"