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Google Voice Gets More MMS

by @ 3:21 pm
Filed under: google — Tags: ,

google-voiceI have been a Google Voice (GV) user for years. It's been an indispensible product for me. I have the app on my Android phone, the plugin on my Chrome browser, and text/voicemail forwarding on Gmail. I don't even know my own cell phone number by heart because GV is my main number.

The only problem over the years has been the inability to send or receive MMS messages. MMS is like SMS, only much richer. It's used to send photos or carry on group texting. In case of GV most MMS messages to/from a variety of carriers would just go into a black hole without even a warning. That's been an annoying fact over the years and I have never known who is at fault there. My assumption is that carriers have refused to work with GV because of some competitive paranoia.

There have always been some rumors that GV is relegated to some corner office, perhaps much like Google Reader before its eventual demise or Feedburner. Although the latter product is still very much alive, albeit unloved.

Now comes the news that GV has been given MMS capability with pretty much all carriers, save unfortunately the biggest one, Verizon. Still, it's a shot of confidence for people like me who appreciate GV and have been long-time users.

I tested GV MMS via AT&T and indeed it works well. And yes, the Verizon test failed. Think it's time for Verizon to shake the irrational fear and get on with this.

Google Voice Transcription

by @ 9:46 pm
Filed under: google,technology — Tags: ,

Google VoiceOne of the features of Google Voice that I really like is the transcription service. Anytime a message is left on my number an email with the transcript of the message is shot out to me. That lets me quickly determine the nature of the message and take action.

As good as the service's speech recognition is, it's not perfect, so sometimes it generates hilarious or incoherent ramblings, like this one I received recently:

Hi Larry King, I don't know Michelle about it, but she I'm concerned it be a member of the panel initial back you cat and then they handle the hike so I don't have to do so if you got it. I don't know I said If you look. I think if you gimme a call some time with you and I think it's about. I don't really know close contact, we'll get to know that the back fish. I just got back and I will be at a short of message. Mostly across Hunting with a panic, but I don't know even.

Thankfully a player is also included with the transcript so one could listen to the actual message. Imagine my surprise when I clicked "Play" and heard my mother's voice speaking in Persian. Obviously the transcription service isn't tuned for the Persian language. My mother might get forgetful at times, but I'm pretty certain she wouldn't address me as Larry King 🙂

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