For many iphone users, ridiculously
poor reception is almost enough to
switch carriers…almost. Fortunately, for those who make many calls within the
range of a wifi connection, we can marry Google Voice and Skype to reproduce
the reliable phone connection we once enjoyed.
How it works: Google Voice is a free service that allows users to
forward incoming calls to any number of devices, full customizable by time of
the week. During times when I’m in the office or at home (and get no
reception), I have Google Voice forward calls to my Skype number. The rest of
the time, while I’m running errands, calls go to my iphone.
The Good: I have multiple phones, so Google gives me one convenient
number to tell everyone about. Additionally, there’s a host of services that
Google has that I love: SMS transcribed voicemails, call recording, an online archive of my calls, and call screening.
The Bad: It costs money: I have to purchase an incoming Skype number,
which is roughly $30—plus per minute call charges. However, Skype monthly rates are very cheap and these costs
probably more than makes up for the amount of money I’ve lost due to dropped
calls and poor reception. For those of you with high-minute
monthly plans, it might mean you can downgrade to a cheaper plan. Additionally,
sometimes I have to remember to set the Google Voice settings correctly, or
it’ll ring the wrong phone.
Despite the downsides, I no longer
have to schedule my day around whether or not I get reception. I always get
reception – and that’s priceless.