App Review: GV Mobile +

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Category: Productivity
Price: $2.99
TiP Rating: 4/5 stars
Version: 1.0.2 (iOS 4.0 tested)
Languages: English
Seller: Sean Kovacs
Requirements: Compatible with all versions of iPhone (iOS 3.1.3 or later) and iPod Touch. (Microphone needed for calling on the iPod Touch)

Link to the app in iTunes/iTunes Connect.

App Store Description: The ORIGINAL Google Voice app is back and better than ever!… GV Mobile + brings the power of Google Voice to your iPhone. GV Mobile+ allows users of Google Voice to do the following with ease:

  • dial numbers via the iPhone address book, entering on the keypad, or choosing from the internal favorites
  • send, retrieve, and delete SMS messages
  • retrieve and delete recent call history
  • playback and delete voicemails
  • take calls from different phones other than your iPhone
  • enable, disable, add, or delete the phones that Google Voice forwards calls to

Summary: The GV Mobile + is an app that allows you to access your Google Voice account to send SMS messages, check voicemail, and make calls easily and efficiently. It also allows you to receive phone calls that were directed to phones other than your iPhone.

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Click to view in App Store

Review: The GV Mobile + plus is the app I never knew I needed. It makes sending a quick text message from my iPod Touch a snap, and unlike other texting apps, I have a real “callable” number. I also have configured it so I can receive and make phone calls from my iPod Touch 4 anywhere there is Wi-Fi. This app is definitely bridging the gap between the iTouch and the iPhone.

Before I continue, some of you may be wondering what Google Voice is. Well, it’s a service from Google that lets you forward all of your work, home, cell, and VoIP numbers to one convenient number. It also lets you set up a personalized voice mailbox and it transcribes your voicemail messages into text. The text isn’t always accurate but it can produce some funny results. Along with the text, you also get the actual voice message, so you don’t have to worry about getting the wrong information.

The GV Mobile + app is organized very nicely. Across the bottom, you get the choices: Dial, SMS, History Voicemail, and Settings. Under call, you get the standard dial pad in portrait orientation only, with an added contacts button and back button. In contacts, you can search or scroll through them like your music. There is also a convenient tab for your favorites. When dialing, the numbers automatically format to the standard form: (XXX) XXX-XXXX which makes it clear what number you are dialing. With iPhone applications, sometimes it’s the little things that make an app great. Right now, the numerical keypad has been a bit buggy. When the numbers are pressed they do not always make the key tone, which is not a huge issue but is something I would like to see corrected soon. Also, the addition of a clear all would be nice, instead of having to hold the backspace key.

The SMS feature is really nice. It gives you a list of the last 20 or so messages that you have received along with a preview of what the message contains. There is the standard swipe to delete functionality and an arrow to add to contacts or call back. When you click on the message it displays the message in the standard iPhone style and you can scroll back through the conversation. It works in landscape or portrait mode, so you can text anyway you want. When creating a new message, you can either type in a phone number or choose from your contacts, making texting a friend or client easy and timely.

The Call History tab shows all past incoming calls and lets you dial them back, send an SMS, or add them to your contacts. The voicemail section shows you who left the message and a snippet of the message in text format. You can hit translate to see the whole message in text form or hit play to listen to it.

In the settings menu there are standard features such as “Do Not Disturb”, “Call Screening” and “Call Presentation” that makes your callers identify themselves before your phone rings. You can also add more than one account and choose which phone you want to ring when you make a call.

The sound quality is decent. It is nothing to call home about, but it is what you would expect for an app like this. There is a little bit of a delay but once again, it’s not awful. The only real problem for the time being is the fact that there are no push notifications. Sean promises that this feature is in the works, but he wants it working out of the box. (It is for this reason that it did not get a 4.5)

Overall, this is a solid app perfect for anyone with more than one number they need to manage. The clean style makes it usable and enjoyable. Without the push notifications however, this application is only half as good as it could be. After all, what is the point of a phone and SMS app, if you have to have it open to see if you have a new message?

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  • http://braindungeon.com/blog Dustin

    Great article, but a few points that are misleading that I think you should clarify so others less familiar with Google Voice don’t pay $3 for an app and expect something they’re not going to get.

    1) GV Mobile+ (and, subsequently, Google Voice) does NOT allow you to accept calls on your iPhone that were directed to other phones. Google Voice will forward calls to many numbers at once (including your iPhone, if you choose) and you can answer on your cell if you want. If you receive a call on Google Voice, you can transfer the call from one phone to another, but that’s a function of Google Voice, not GV Mobile+.

    2) You should indicate that there are other steps involved to make wifi calls from your iPhone or iPod touch. At this time GV Mobile+ does not do that on it’s own.

    3) Call quality has nothing to do with the app. It’s a phone call you’re making on your Google Voice number and it’s either being handled by your mobile carrier or your voip provider and ISP. The calls are not actually routes through Google Voice.

    Other than that, I agree with pretty much all your points. Good read.

  • tida

    so the sms is free?

    • Bryce Daniel

      Yes. You can sign up for a number and send text for free wherever you have data service.

  • mbwd

    Bryce, if you have your touch set up to make/receive calls using GV Moble + and Google Voice, please post those instructions. That is what a lot of folks are dying to do!!!

    • Bryce Daniel

      I was going to, but the I use Gizmo 5. That service has been bought by google and is no longer accepting members. I could post a tutorial and you would have to substitute in your own VoIP/sip provider.