One of the hardest things for me to deal with since I made the decision to diversify my online tool bag is what to do about Google Voice. The service is extremely useful and I definitely like everything the tool has to offer but it really feels like there’s just too much riding on this one tool. My biggest issue is that if you don’t have a data connection you can’t make a call – yes, I still make a phone call with my phone believe it or not.
So, after much consideration I decided to split the difference and move my texting away from Google Voice and move the family and close friends back to my direct phone number. I still have Google Voice for my non-family contacts and still use the service for voice mail. Remember this exercise isn’t about leaving Google, just diversifying the tool box.
The one thing I really liked about Google Voice for texting is that I could keep and archive of my text messages. I’ve frequently have had to look back to find a piece of information like an account number or a phone number I needed to call. I didn’t want to loose that functionality and after looking at the different options I settled on mySMS.
The service has been working without issue for me for almost three months now. Like Google Voice instead of selecting the native texting app on my Razr I select the mySMS app and text away and the system either uses the mySMS system, if the recipient uses it or, as the case so far, my providers network (not an issue given my unlimited texting package). It’s seamless to me and the best part is that I have it set up to archive my text messages to my Evernote account so I have them available to me no matter where I am and they are fully searchable.
I also have to mention that there is a web interface so, like when I used Google Voice, I can have a window up on my screen and be sending and receiving messages without the need to pull my phone out. A handy option when you’re sitting in meetings most of the day!
At this point I’ve shifted my browser, my primary search engine, and now my texting tool, not all have been without growing pains but I have to admit it does feel nice to not have everything tied to the same provider. I’m not sure what else I’m going to move away from Google, if anything, but I’m definitely going to keep my mind open to other tools.
Do you use Google Voice or mySMS for text messaging? What about voice mail? Why not sound off in the comments below?