Google Invites Sprint Customers to try Google Voice for their Voicemail Needs
On Friday, Google started rolling out early invites for the enhanced Google Voice service coming to all Sprint users on Tuesday the 26th. If you haven't heard yet, Sprint is teaming up with Google to allow you to use Google Voice in place of the Sprint voicemail and SMS messaging services. It seems that those that entered their email address for notification of availability have mostly gotten this early invitation to enroll.
Who the Google Invite is meant for
You will use this special implementation of Google Voice in the same fashion as a user that elects to use Google Voice with their current phone number. In this case you don't get a separate Google Voice number with all calls and texts going through your phone's number.
Why you would use Google Voice instead of Sprint Voicemail
Google Voice provides a lot of features and benefits that you aren't getting right now from Sprint. You get a searchable inbox for your voice messages. You also get free (and quite often hilarious) voicemail transcripts, personalized greetings, SMS to email, call blocking, call screening and far cheaper international calling from your mobile phone.
Why you might pass on this option
I've been a Grand Central/Google Voice user since 2007 and I use the service the way that it was designed when released. I have my real cell phone number that only my family and closest friends have. Everyone else, and I mean everyone, has my Google Voice number. I can turn on Do Not Disturb yet still get the calls that I want to receive regardless of what I am doing.
Using this special Sprint/Google Voice option you will not have a second phone number so if you turn on Do Not Disturb you aren't getting any calls or messages. You can still decide to use the traditional Google Voice option of getting the second phone number if you want to, you will not be tied to this one option if you are a Sprint customer.
Why this Sprint version of Google Voice is better
Normally, when you elect to bypass getting a Google Voice number, you miss out on a few features. You don't get the benefit of one number that rings multiple phones, call screening, call recording or listen in. This special deal will add all of these features in to the service and it will give you the option of choosing to use your current mobile number as your Google Voice number, or making your Google Voice number your mobile number. No muss, no fuss and no $20 port in fee.
In addition, Google Voice currently does not support sending or receiving MMS messages, but under this plan MMS messages sent or received will be handled by the Sprint service.
Google Voice is one of my absolute killer features of Android and starting Tuesday, Sprint users can opt in to a new, deeper integration with their device. It is important to mention that all of this it totally optional. You can continue to use Google Voice as you are, or maintain your current Sprint services if Google Voice doesn't interest you.