My Communications Infrastructure is led by Google Voice (with teammates the iPhone and Ooma)

In the last month I have completely revamped my communications infrastructure, hopefully for the better.

Here are the before and after pictures.

Before


After


Yep. I am using Google Voice as a hub for phone communications. My Google Voice number will be a primary number for people to contact me. Depending on the person calling, Google Voice will forward to my iPhone, my home phone, my spouse's mobile phone or any combination of the three. (With Google Voice, you can actually get so granular that you can forward to different numbers based on the person calling, have a different greeting for any person, and a different voicemail message for any person or group of people). And I can add or remove phones from the forwarding mechanism at my leisure because my Google Voice number will shield anyone who calls from the black box that is now my web of communication facilities.

Sure people will still call my iPhone directly. And I expect some people to do that as it is my primary line for business discussions, etc. But for a majority of people, calling the Google Voice number will be all that is needed.

And, as what I am seeing as a huge money saver, I have left Vonage (where I was paying $20-25/mo) and came to Ooma. I paid $199+tax at Costco for free U.S. calls for life. Ooma has premium services that you can pay for, but at this point, since I have Google Voice, I don't see the need just yet. (Note: I had no real negative issues with Vonage. The service was actually very good for the time I had it. But, you can't blame someone for trying to save some money).

What if Ooma goes out of business? Well, that's the beauty of Google Voice. I can remove Ooma and add something else to the infrastructure and no one would be the wiser. People know the Google Voice number and don't really care how (and with what device) I answer the phone on the other side. I am actually considering adding a Skype phone number to my account to see if I can forward numbers to the Skype number for the times I am away from my home and online.

Here are my assumptions about using Google Voice as a communications hub:

  1. Google is not going out of business anytime soon. Thus, my Google Voice number can be my number for life.
  2. Google Voice will continue to be free (or ad supported), or some reasonable charge if it comes to that.
  3. Google Voice will keep my privacy just as well as the government does with respect to my phone calls ;-)

We'll see how this all plays out; but right now I feel excited with my new setup.

Google Voice is in beta right now, but you can sign up for an invitation and these invitations are going out daily.


Save 35% on an Apple iPhone Using Microsoft Bing??

[Note: This deal could stop working at anytime. But it was working as of June 10, 2009 2:50 PM]

Well, I would say this is quasi ironic.

Check out the results of the top of this link: http://www.bing.com/search?q=att

Notice how it has a "Bing Cashback" logo at the very top result which is the AT&T Official Wireless Site.

So apparently, if you use Microsoft Bing to buy a phone at AT&T, including the Apple iPhone 3GS, you will get 35% off your purchase!

Microsoft and Apple are "partners" here. Like I said, quasi-ironic.

There is a noted stipulation that this is for new subscribers; that could be true, but I can't verify it.

Check out these links for more info on this:

FatWallet Forums
MacRumors Forums

And as always, your mileage may vary (YMMV) :-)


Apple Will Allow 3rd Party Applications for the iPhone

This is good news! Why? Well, 2 reasons:

  1. Customers and developers alike have demanded this functionality, and Apple has seen the light. Applications that just run in the iPhone version of Safari was not going to cut it.
  2. My new business can make use of this wonderful news in product development :-)

More details need to emerge before I get super-excited, like what will the developer limitations, if any, be? But I am a bit excited.

Some discussion has been going on everywhere in the blog-o-sphere. Example: Robert Scoble discussed this.