Google Voice, call me!

Ben Ellison

Ben Ellison

Panbo editor, publisher & chief bottlewasher from 4/2005 until 8/2018, and now excited to have Ben Stein as very able publisher, webmaster, and editing colleague. Panbo is going to the next level in 2019 and beyond.

8 Responses

  1. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    So cool! Wasn’t it just ‘yesterday’ that voice to text was a serious software challenge? I recall that the programs were expensive and required you to teach them about how you talked before they would do much at all.
    Well, Google Voice is not bad, especially for free. I’ve had several calls now (thanks!) and the only one that wasn’t fairly understandable in text was from an Irishman with a somewhat warpy cell connection (I think). He said:
    “Hi. I love your blog and we’ll see if Google can handle an Irish accent. Thank you very much; this is Jerry.”
    Which GV translated as: “i i love your blog i wanna see if goes and how it goes on our sections thank you very much this is cherry”
    But GV colored most that text light gray indicating that it wasn’t sure of itself, and also provides “Transcript useful?” yes/no buttons suggesting that it wants to learn how to do better voice-to-text translations.
    Come to think of it, Google is about to the best voice-to-text learning tool on the planet!
    At any rate, I modified my voice greeting to suggest that you talk somewhat slowly and that you say “period” at the end of a sentence, as though you were sending a telegram in an old movie. Let’s try some more…

  2. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    I knew this could get funny. When William B. said “I really enjoy your Panbo” Google Voice thought he said “your bimbo”.
    Meanwhile, Google has also come up with automatic email replies:
    http://mail.google.com/mail/help/autopilot/index.html
    (remember what day it is)

  3. Gerry says:

    Hi, I’m the Irish guy who left the message and Google did as well at understanding my accent as most Americans. I may try another message after a few drinks. Slainte!

  4. yachtvalhalla says:

    Doesn’t seem to work for me.
    I get blank boxes asking for Name and number.
    I don’t want to call myself and don’t know yours.

  5. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    Terry (yachtvalhalla), the way it works is that you put your phone number in that box and then Google Voice calls you and connects you to my GS number, for free.
    However, it won’t work for numbers outside the USA. If you do have an inexpensive way to call the State, my Google # is 347-744-9196. I’ll call you back if you leave me a number. I’m not sure where you are right now, but I can call Thailand for 3 cents a minute using Google Voice. Actually, I have something I’d like to discuss with you privately.

  6. boatingrob says:

    I signed up for GrandCentral back in the day as well but never used it. I’ve read about the switch but still haven’t done anything. What I don’t understand is what happens if someone calls my GV # and I don’t have them as a contact? What phone will it call? I have 2 #s in there, 1 for my cell, 1 for my wife.

  7. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    Rob, Google Voice has a default setting for phones to ring, voicemail greeting, etc. The business of setting up different responses by contact group is just an optional feature. Also, if you do set up such options, there’s still a “Do not disturb” command that puts all calls to voice mail. They’ve tried to think of everything.

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