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I don’t like voicemail. It’s a chore to navigate through the menus and listen to messages. I dislike jotting down message details. Sometimes I need to play the message a few times to transcribe it. Wouldn’t it be easier if voicemails were transcribed to text? That’s what visual voicemail does. It also provides a visual inbox, making it easier to browse voicemail messages.
There are numerous apps and services that provide visual voicemail. Most of these charge a monthly fee. Some of them are quite expensive, charging $20 per month for 100 messages. There’s no need to pay for this service. You can get free visual voicemail with Google Voice. These techniques will work with an iPhone or any phone. You don’t even need a smart phone to get free visual voicemail. You can even use it with your land line.
The first step is to create a Google Voice account. Google Voice will only work in the United States. You must have a valid U.S. phone number for verification purposes. First, go to http://voice.google.com. If you already have a Google account, this process is simple. Log in to your Google account and follow the setup process. If you do not have a Google account, click the “sign up” button on the top right corner of the web page to create one.
Once you have finished creating your Google account, you can create your Google Voice account.
When you sign up for Google Voice, you can use your existing mobile number or a get a new number. For the purposes of this tutorial, get a new number. If you use your existing mobile number, you will need to pay $20 to port your mobile phone number to Google Voice. Beyond the cost, your mobile plan will be terminated, which may subject you to an early termination fee. Since Google Voice is not a mobile plan, you will need to sign up with a carrier for a new plan and a new number. Basically, Google Voice takes over your mobile phone number, so you need to get a new phone number for your mobile phone.
This is actually handy if you want to use Google Voice as the hub for all of your calls. When someone calls your Google Voice number, it will dispatch your call to as many phone numbers as you like. It can also forward calls to Google chat. If this is solution is ideal for you, go for it. If you just want visual voice mail and don’t want to go through the expense and effort of obtaining a new mobile phone number, click the “I want a new number” button. (continue…)