26/01/2010

Getting Google Voice in the UK

Well in theory it's not possible to get a Google Voice account in the UK. Even if you get an invite, which you respond to, Google comes back with "Sorry Google Voice is not yet available in your country".

So Google know where you are and do sensible things, or do they?

If you happen to have bought an unlocked Google Nexus One phone which has been dutifully shipped to the UK, then it comes with an Android (obviously) version of Google Voice pre-installed. Ensure all the Google settings have been set-up (i.e. your Google Mail address and all the other nice info Google wants from you) then just run the Google Voice app.

The app does all the magic and sets the account up and then tries to configure voicemail, which instead of being your normal network's voicemai, sends calls to your Google Voice account. This fails as the UK networks don't like sending voicemail to a US number, but no worry at least the Google Voice side of things is set-up and you get a US number (which you can change to a nicer one for $10 if you wish).

Going back to the web and trying to configure personalised greetings then doesn't work, as normally Google does this sort of thing by phoning the registered phone (the Google Voice app nicely passes all the phone info to Google) and it wont phone a UK number (unsurprisingly).

So though you now have a Google Voice account, it's almost useless. It does give you a US number where people can leave you messages which will then get transcribed and sent as email (which also can have an attachment of the recording), but not much else.
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