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Best App to use Google Voice on your iPhone [Tools]

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.

GV Mobile Logo VSGV Mobile Free Logo VS GVdialer Logo VS VoiceCentral Logo

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.

To install GV Mobile standard edition, click here; the free edition can be installed from here. To install VoiceCentral, click here. To install GVdialer, click 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
GV Mobile Settings tab GVDialer Settings tab
VoiceCentral Setting Tabs VoiceCentral Setting Tabs
VoiceCentral Settings Tab VoiceCentral Settings Tab

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.

In terms of User Interface, all the apps had similar navigation (barring a few changes). VoiceCentral keypad looked a little clunky, otherwise they were all fairly decent in UI.

GV Mobile Dialer GVdialer Dialer VoiceCentral Dialer
GV Mobile Dialer GVdialer Dialer VoiceCentral Dialer
GV Mobile SMS feature VoiceCentral SMS Feature
GV Mobile SMS 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
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.

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  • http://truvoipbuzz.com Alok Saboo

    Thanks Kevin for the note…will have a look at it again!!

  • Kevin Duerr

    Voicecentral was recently updated and might be worth another look: http://www.riverturn.com/blog

  • Counsel

    I am confused. You say GV Mobile and VoiceCentral are tied in Pricing.

    You state VoiceCentral beats GV Mobile in Setup.

    You say GV Moible wins in features/UI, but you note that VoiceCentral does provide a history of SMS that GV Mobile does not provide. So the “clunky” UI trumps the lack of SMS history to make GV Mobile beat VoiceCentral in Features/UI? I don't get it.. Perhaps a tie?

    Then you say GV Mobile is the winner… I see tie, Voice Central, GV Mobile (assuming your results don't change in Features/UI). How is GV Mobile better?

  • http://truvoipbuzz.com Alok Saboo

    Thanks for your comment, you are right in pointing it out.

    The VoiceCentral app looks rather clunky and crashed a couple of times on me. For the same price, I would choose GV Mobile over VoiceCentral as of this review, however, I have tried to provide the complete information and if SMS history is more important, then VoiceCentral may be the way to go.

    As Kevin mentioned in the comment, Voicecentral has been recently updated…so look out for the latest review.

  • http://truvoipbuzz.com Alok Saboo

    I cannot agree more with you…Google Voice is integrated in a much better way on Android. Both being from the same company helps a lot :)

    Google is working on an iPhone app to integrate Google Voice into the iPhone. However, I still feel it will not be as tightly integrated as in case of Android, partly because of AT&T's stupid policies. AT&T will do anything to prevent competition (other than improving its services).

    I hope Apple realizes all this and ties up with other carriers to give consumers some choice.

  • http://twitter.com/eYeks Indra Singhal

    The iPhone implementations for each of these seems to lack a level of integration I recall having when I was using the G1 Android phone.

    Primarily, I recall, the apps were able to use the '2' option to dial out using DTMF tones from your cell phone so a call back was not required when making outbound calls. I admit, with the introduction of GV security code prior to allowing outbound calling, the direct call capability became unreliable.

    I have the GVMobile (paid) version – but don't end up using it. I wish, there was a way to make GVMobile the default out bound calling method.

    I eagerly await Google's own solution on the iPhone, I hear their BBerry and Android apps are well designed and just work!

  • http://truvoipbuzz.com Alok Saboo

    I cannot agree more with you…Google Voice is integrated in a much better way on Android. Both being from the same company helps a lot :)

    Google is working on an iPhone app to integrate Google Voice into the iPhone. However, I still feel it will not be as tightly integrated as in case of Android, partly because of AT&T's stupid policies. AT&T will do anything to prevent competition (other than improving its services).

    I hope Apple realizes all this and ties up with other carriers to give consumers some choice.

  • http://twitter.com/eYeks Indra Singhal

    The iPhone implementations for each of these seems to lack a level of integration I recall having when I was using the G1 Android phone.

    Primarily, I recall, the apps were able to use the '2' option to dial out using DTMF tones from your cell phone so a call back was not required when making outbound calls. I admit, with the introduction of GV security code prior to allowing outbound calling, the direct call capability became unreliable.

    I have the GVMobile (paid) version – but don't end up using it. I wish, there was a way to make GVMobile the default out bound calling method.

    I eagerly await Google's own solution on the iPhone, I hear their BBerry and Android apps are well designed and just work!

  • timej31

    I love having the ability to screen calls or to reject them.

  • http://truvoipbuzz.com Alok Saboo

    That indeed is a nice feature, gives you complete control of who can/can't call you!!

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