Google Voice + Gmail Calling?

Internets! I need your help!
I use Gmail a lot, and just signed up for a Google Voice account, which has me thinking: I’m currently paying somewhere around $70-80 a month for my cell phone (which I use for home internet  as well), and I’m wondering if it would be worth dumping AT&T entirely and going over to Google, putting some of the money into getting internet at home (which is becoming increasingly needed) and getting a cheaper pay-as-you-go cell phone or jailbreaking my iPhone to do something similar.
A couple of questions for those who’ve used / done this sort of thing.
– How is Google Voice, and how do people use it? As a hub for any number of phones that you might have, or as a dedicated phone line? How’s the quality?
– Can Google Voice be linked to Gmail?
– Can I concivebly jailbreak my phone and get a cheaper phone plan (small number of minutes, no data) with another phone company, or would it be worth buying a cheap pay-as-you-go phone and keep the iPhone as an iPod with a couple of apps on it?
– Security-wise, what are the concerns?
Currently, I spend around a thousand a year on my phone. It’s been a good investment for me since I got it about a year ago, but at the same time, if I can consolidate bills down to something much lower (or down to nothing, as Google Voice is free) that would be much more preferable, especially if I have wireless that can replace it? Given that my iPad and laptop would be a far more preferrable web browser than the tiny screen on my phone.
With the introduction of my iPad to the household, I’ve been using my phone differently – fewer games, more productivity and reminder applications (shopping lists, writing log, dictionary check book, etc, in addition to the text messages and phone calls that I get. The iPad has begun to handle most of the heavy duty writing (not that I did much writing on my phone), games, newspaper reading and when I can, web browsing.
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3 thoughts on “Google Voice + Gmail Calling?

  1. How is Google Voice, and how do people use it? As a hub for any number of phones that you might have, or as a dedicated phone line? How’s the quality?

    Up to now, I’ve used Voice as a means of sending free text messages — which can even be forwarded to my email, making it ultra convenient — and as a filter for when I have to give someone my phone number and I’d rather not give my direct line.

    I’ve only had a couple conversations with people with Voice interceding. The call quality was pretty much indistinguishable from a normal cell call.

    The biggest issue is when I receive a call via the Google number, it begins with a recording asking if I want to accept it. Sometimes my finger slips — or Google doesn’t acknowledge the key press — and the call goes to voice mail.

    Has Google’s selection of local 802 numbers expanded at all? When I signed up, the only exchanges available up based up in the north end of the state. I think my number is geographically attached to Enosburg, of all places.

    • I like the idea of forwarding texts to e-mails, although with the phone I have now, I get both, so that doesn’t make as much sense. I also like the idea of being able to have a phone number that masks my own number.

      Donno about the VT numbers. I got a 555 one, and it didn’t look like there were too many available, just 10 or so. I’ve heard good things about the call quality, and I like that I could potentially move anywhere and not have to worry about a phone line, or changing over a whole lot.

  2. Pingback: Google Voice + Gmail Calling? « worlds in a grain of sand | Cell Call World

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