Early Tuesday morning, Google announced the launching of a revamped Google Voice mobile site. This web app allows Google to circumvent restrictive factors like Apple’s App Store. It also makes the app relatively device agnostic. Though it is only currently supported by the Palm Pre and iPhones with OS 3.0 or higher, the app would work for any phone supporting HTML 5 in its browser app.
This web app has most of the functionality of native app you would download and install on your phone except it doesn’t have access to your contacts, though you can easily store your contacts inside Google Contacts. Being web-based, this also means you won’t take up any space on your phone with the app’s installation footprint.
When you first visit the new Google Voice mobile page, you’ll land on the dialer after signing in. You can easily tap the numbers on your phone to build the phone number you want to call. You can also look up individuals through the Google Contacts in your account. After you enter a number or select a name, you have the choice of text messaging the person or calling them. When you call somebody, Google Voice will dial the individual and your phone and connect them. The outgoing number will appear to be your Google Voice number, so any call backs should also go to your Google Voice account.
You can switch to your Inbox to see any transcripts of voice mails or you can press a button to have the phone number to Google Voice automatically entered into your phone app so you can easily listen to voice mails, just in case those transcripts don’t get it quite right.
Unlike the last version of Google Voice’s mobile site, you have full access to the settings for your account, phone forwarding, call screening, and the rest. This is a big improvement over the initial mobile site. The link between mobile phones and Google Voice dictated that this was only a moment of time and I’m glad that time has come now.
Palm Pre Specifics
To make the Google Voice site easier to use on the Palm Pre, you might want to add a bookmark or add the page to the launcher. If you click on Web in the top-left, you’ll get a menu that looks like the image below. If you just want to Add a Bookmark, click Add Bookmark. If you’d like to create a shortcut on the launcher, click Page and then Add to Launcher.
Creating either a bookmark or an item on the launcher will take you to a screen like that below. You can give the shortcut a title and change the URL, if desired but if you’re viewing the page changing the latter shouldn’t be necessary.
If you’d like to check out the new site on your phone, just visit http://m.google.com/voice in your browser. If you’re looking for a more traditional app to interact with Google Voice on the Palm Pre, check out gDial Pro.