First off let me remind everyone that when I created Best App Site my goal was to focus on what I considered to be the "Best Apps". In other words this is not a typical App Review site that reviews all Apps. Nor do we do very many comparisons on the site. It's simple, we want to help you by telling you which App to get so that you can go on with your day. That's it! There are thousands and thousands of Apps out there and rather than waste energy on telling you about bad Apps or the Apps that are so so, we want to tell you which ones are BEST. With that said I'm kinda torn in writing this review of the long awaited Google Voice App. As a fan of Google Voice and having watched the saga between Google and Apple over this App, I'm very happy to see it hit the App Store. I'm also an advocate of companies developing their own Apps as opposed to leaving it to 3rd parties (not contracted by the company) to do it. Don't get me wrong, I want 3rd party developers to be successful, it's just that usually a company has better access to their own technologies than an outsider. TiVo is a prime example. There isn't a "TiVo" branded App yet. Although there are some nice Apps by 3rd party developers that access many of the TiVo features and scheduling, there are a lot of things that these Apps will never be able to do because the developer doesn't have access to TiVo's internal technologies.
The Google Voice App is "OK"
I had already been using both GV Connect (my new favorite) and GV Mobile +. I figured that an App directly from Google would make me immediately delete these other two Apps. I figured that the Native Google Voice App would have it all! Access to all the features of Google Voice. Access to all the Settings. Push notifications and more. The sad reality is that the FREE Google Voice App is VERY BASIC in terms of functionality. The first thing that people are up in arms about is that it requires an iPhone. In other words it won't work on an iPod touch????? It's probably because in order to make calls Google Voice still does it via Phone, not the internet. Nonetheless, it doesn't work on a touch. I have an iPhone 4 and that's where I use the App the most anyway so that's not a big deal for me. What is a big deal is that there is virtually no access to the account settings from within the App. You can't use the Do Not Disturb feature. You cant' switch any of the other forwarding settings beyond the phones. While there is push notifications for new SMS and Voicemails (yay!), you have no way to have a "Quiet Time" schedule. In other words, don't push between the hours of midnight and 6 AM. Now in all fairness the other two Apps don't allow this either, but since Push is there In Google's App I wanted more options. Hopefully it will improve over time.
What should I get?
Let's get back to my primary objective and that is to tell you which is the "Best App" to get. I would have to start by saying that Google's Google Voice App is FREE and it's hard to beat FREE. However, my recommendation would be if you want the MOST features/options, go with GV Connect. It's the one that I recently switched to and I switched to it from GV Mobile + because the latest update added so many things I wanted. What about Push Notifications. Currently Google Voice is the only App with built-in Push Notifications. However, I find that with the FREE Boxcar App and GV Connect I have the best of both worlds. Boxcar is a FREE App that let's you configure Push Notifications from MULTIPLE services including Google Voice. It also has two features that I love. 1) you can set a quiet time schedule so that you won't get any notifications between those hours and 2) you can configure the push pop-ups to be PRIVATE. Just like the built in iPhone Messages App you can set the option not to display the actual text on the screen to keep prying eyes from seeing your business 🙂 So my recommendation is GV Connect and Boxcar for the ultimate Google Voice App experience.