I switched to Google Voice when I upgraded my old Blackberry to the MyTouch 3g Slide. So at this point, I've been running it for several months, and I have mixed feelings about the product.
It should be known that I switched to Google from YouMail’s free version which I really loved. Considering Google Voice as only a visual voicemail tool, it is great. But WOW the transcribing is just plain bad, not even on the cusp. I’m actually quite surprised, because when I think of Google, I just can’t equate them to a half-quality product. I will show you some samples, as well as link the actual voicemail so you can see the transcribe feature struggling for yourself.
There is one main feature(besides a complete transcribing overhaul) that could help Google Voice right now, and that is customized greetings for their callers. That is the #1 reason I loved YouMail. You simply linked your email contacts with YouMail and a very sexy female voice would automatically greet your callers with their own name based on your contact list in a wonderful British accent. My friends loved it, and they always wanted to meet my ficticious secretary. I would be satisfied if Google simply added that feature right now and fixed their transcribing later. Trust me, you’d love it. Custom greetings by name is far better than rudely greeting your callers with music they don’t enjoy like a few friends of mine use.
Yes, Google’s voicemail system integrates very well ( auto setup ) with my Android, and I love that I can listen to voicemails online, I have to give credit. So if that’s what you care most about, then sign up with confidence. If you roll with the stock voicemail from your Cell Provider, then I recommend giving Voice a trial run for sure. The voice transcriptions are indeed terrible, but they are good for determining whether or not you should even listen to the voicemail and that is the major benefit. However, the fact that I have to “dig” for a benefit is not good. Some of my callers transcribe very well, and others, like myself with a deep raspy voice get translated to text terribly. I even have some computer-to-computer examples for you to sift through.
I like Google Voice a lot, just wish they would ”Google It” and make it the best product out there. I’m trying to say that the poor quality of the transcription is just not Google’s style. The transcribing is so bad, it is indeed a half worthless feature. Deep down, I have confidence that Google will fix this. As a Documentary lover, I know for a fact that the technology to transcribe voice is out there since the government is using it for sure. Because the transcribing is so sketchy, I am unfortunately, considering a switch back to YouMail because the reactions from the custom greetings is more valuable than the transcriptions at this time. I’ll give it a few more months before giving up. Without a 75% increase in transcribing accuracy Google Voice is no different than any other free Voicemail product out there.
Here are some samples for your own evaluation:( featuring calls from Booya Mom )
Caller: My Mom 1
Subject: Driving between Butte and Missoula Montana, telling me where she is.
- Google Transcription: Hey, it’s your mom. I’m between result was a lesson. You too, alright. Talk to you Later. Bye Bye.
- Real Transcription: “ Hey Aaron it’s your Mom. I’m between Missoula and Butte. Alright, talk to you later. Bye Bye.”
- Booya Accuracy Scale: ”Forced me to listen to the Voicemail”
Caller: My Mom 2
Subject: I never call or write
- Google Transcription: Hey Aaron, You don’t write you don’t call you don’t respond what I’m gonna do it. You need to talk to you later. Bye. Yeah.
- Real Transcription: ”Aaron, you don’t write you don’t call, you don’t respond. I don’t know what I’m gonna do witchu. Talk to you later, Bye. ”
- Booya Accuracy Scale: ”I definitely got the message.”
Caller: Booya TRJ
Subject: Booya Gadget update and random stuff
- Google Transcription: Jlight Yeah, hey what’s good likes Negroes. Hey, ingestion to logo for the holiday and like catching that. All the students or CT and I will close it out a free one later.
- Real Transcription: ”Hey, it looks good. I’m likin’ the post. I made an adjustment to the logo. for the holiday. And uh, I like catchin’ that holiday theme ??? especially that we’ll probably put out the free one. Later.”
- Booya Accuracy Scale: ”Brutal. Nobody says Negroes anymore.. Not even Google Voice !.”
Caller: Allied Waste ( Courtesy message from Garbage and Recycling company)
Subject: Possible service interruption
- Google Transcription: Hello, this is a message from Allied Waste your garbage recycling and yard waste service provider, didn’t clinic. Whether On Monday, November 22nd or trucks will not be able to complete the work. If you did not receive service today. Please place up double your normal amount on your next regularly scheduled pick up. Thank you, to repeat this message, press the star key
- Real Transcription: ”Hello, this is a message from Allied Waste your garbage recycling and yard waste service provider. Due to inclimate weather on Monday, November 22nd our trucks will not be able to complete their routes. If you did not receive service today, please place out double your normal amount on your next regularly scheduled pickup. Thank you! to repeat this message, press the star key.”
- Booya Accuracy Scale: ”Surprisingly accurate! I understood the gist but still needed to listen in this particular case. You’ll be happy to know that despite the Snow Storm, my garbage had already been picked up.”
Subject: Returning my call about a project.
- Google Transcription: So you kids crane calling my phone all night long. I start 6 find. I got you, that’s okay. Anyways, just call me back. I’m still working on for gansey hoping that you call me with. But anyways, I just finished it. Alright then it but yes.
- Real Transcription: ”I’m tired of you kids crank calling my phone ALL NIGHT LONG. I star six-nined and I got YOU ! Hey what’s up Aaron HeeHeeHaa. Uhhh, anyways. I’m just callin to hit you back. I’m still working on that friggin SQL thing you helped me with, but anyways I just finished it. A’ight, later man. Bye “
- Booya Accuracy Scale: ”Not Even Close”