By Alok Saboo on May 23rd, 2009
If you are convinced that you should start using VoIP on Mobile, using Google Voice on your mobiles is one way to start. If you are not aware of what we are talking about, find out the power of Google Voice/ Grandcentral accounts. With more than a few options available to use Google Voice (erstwhile Grandcentral) on your latest mobile phone, how do you make the choice. Today we are reviewing three leading applications that enable you to use your Google Voice account on your iPhone: GVdialer, GV Mobile, and VoiceCentral. Please note that, at the time of writing only GVdialer supports phones other than iPhone. So, if you are using a smart phone other than iPhone (e.g. Blackberry, Nokia, Android or Windows Mobile based devices) then GVdialer is the only option But the other options should soon be available on other platforms.
VS VS VS
Pricing: The most important question, how much do these apps cost. The standard editions of all the three apps cost $2.99, so there is no clear winner. However, GV Mobile has a FREE edition, yes you can try GV Mobile for no charges. So, for the purpose of this article we will compare the four options that we have, the three paid options and the GV Mobile free edition. GVdialer offers free trial for 30 days to evaluate the product. No such option is available for VoiceCentral.
Verdict – 1) GV Mobile Free, 2) GVdialer, 3) GV Mobile and VoiceCentral
Installation: All the apps installed without any problems. You could install the apps either from iTunes or directly from your iPhones. So there is no clear winner here.
Verdict – No winner
Setup: In terms of options, all the apps provided the basic options of entering the Google Voice authentication details. The apps provide an option to enter the number on which you want to take the call. Other than GVdialer, all the apps were able to pull the numbers that you have already entered on your Google Voice account. VoiceCentral provides a host of additional options, including the number of history items to be downloaded, number of voicemails to be downloaded, and the startup screen. Further, VoiceCentral was the only app that supported Grandcentral (although it is of little importance). Thus, VoiceCentral seems to provide you with a greater control over your account and seems to be the winner in this category.
|GV Mobile Settings Tab||GVdialer Settings Tab|
|VoiceCentral Setting Tabs||VoiceCentral Setting Tabs|
Verdict – 1) VoiceCentral, 2) GV Mobile and GV Mobile Free, 4) GVdialer
Features and User Interface: All the three apps do well in their core operation, making calls using Google Voice. There was nothing major to choose from. However, the crucial distinction between the 4 apps was in the SMS feature. Only GV Mobile and VoiceCentral had the feature to send SMS using the Google Voice account. This feature is missing in the GV Mobile Free edition and also (rather strangely) in GVdialer. We would expect at least the paid apps should use the Google Voice’s SMS capabilities, so this feature was sorely missed in GVdialer. To emphasize the importance of this feature, it allows you to send unlimited free text messages (SMS) to any USA mobile.
|GV Mobile Dialer||GVdialer Dialer||VoiceCentral Dialer|
|GV Mobile SMS feature||VoiceCentral SMS Feature|
Another small feature, is the history tab. While both GV Mobile and the GVdialer provide call history, only VoiceCentral seems to be providing SMS histories as well.
|GV Mobile History||GVdialer History||VoiceCentral History|
Verdict – 1) GV Mobile, 2)VoiceCentral, 3) GV Mobile Free, and 4) GVdialer
Conclusion: Before I make the final evaluation, let me qualify by saying that the results are based on what is available at this point of time. Looks like at this point of time, the decision is fairly easy to make. If you are likely to use the SMS feature then GV Mobile is the winner. But if you are not likely to use SMS, then you can use the GV Mobile Free edition. VoiceCentral is fairly new in the game, but has few tricks up its sleeves. It has fairly advanced options, good voicemail support, etc. VoiceCentral is the app to keep an eye on. I would assume that in the next update, VoiceCentral will iron out a lot of these quirks and would emerge are a viable alternative.
If you are using any of the above (or any other app), please share your experience.