Google Voice and Motorcycles
Over the last few years I have been getting more and more into riding motorcycles. They are quite a lot of fun to zip around on in the nice weather. Last year I went out and bought a pair of ScalaRider Pro’s which allow me to attach it to my helmet and have Bluetooth connectivity so that I can make and receive calls all by pressing one button and using my voice to dial. Having a setup like this is amazing, I no longer have to pull off the road and take off my helmet and gloves to find out who is calling me. I can press one button and say hello and carry on with my ride.
I am also an avid Google Voice user. I have been using it for the last few years and love the service they provide. I will not be going into all of the details of what Google Voice has to offer but will touch on the features I found need improvement.
There is an option in Google Voice where you can turn on call screening. When call screening is enabled and someone new calls your phone they are asked to state their name. Google saves this recording and associates it with the callers number so that on any future calls they will not be bothered with saying their name again. Google Voice will use the recorded version. When I answer the phone Google politely tells me I have a call from “Someone” <-- the callers recorded message. It tells me to press 1 to accept the call. Wait I am on a motorcycle with the phone in my pocket this will just not work.
However Call Screening is a great feature that I must have enabled. Good news, Google allows you to assign contacts to groups and then enable or disable the call screening for each group. Seems like a great idea. I could then have all my family members in one group and turn off call screening so that when they call i answer and we are immediately talking.
The one thing I found last season while riding is there is a flaw in Google’s system. Even though call screening was turned off for my family group it would still require them to state their name, or it would use the pre-recorded messages from when call screening was globally enabled. This was a failure in my eyes and led me to have to turn off call screening all together.
Now I am getting calls from irritating people every day and I have no way to ignore the call. I cannot see the caller id as the phone is in my pocket, the speakers in my helmet are ringing, I answer and say hello. Just then someone starts to try to sell me some product, etc. I am not a rude person so I try to be nice and end the call, I know it would be easier to just hang up but I am not that kind of guy!
All I hope is that Google will fix the call screening feature where you can turn it on/off based on groups and actually have it work!