Moving Everything from Skype to Google Voice?

Last November, I wrote about the configuration for voice calls that I’ve been using at my office. That setup involved using a headset on my MacBook Pro along with Skype – with a Skype-In number being used to receive calls I’ve forwarded from my iPhone.

This way, if somebody calls me on my iPhone number (different from my “public” number which is Google Voice-based), it rings through to Skype and I take the call in my headset.

I also have been much preferring doing conference calls etc. using my headset and Skype. In fact, I don’t even have a traditional landline phone in my office – just my iPhone and Skype on my MacBook Pro.

Skype has been setup to show my iPhone number on caller ID – so folks know that it’s me calling – even when using Skype.

Recently Google announced the addition of voice call in Gmail – including an integration with Google Voice for receiving calls to your Google Voice number in your browser. Instead of call forwarding my iPhone to a Skype-In number (that I have to pay an annual fee for), I can now just forward the iPhone to my Google Voice number and have it passed through to Gmail where I can answer it on the same headset I’ve been using. If I don’t answer, Google Voice takes the voice mail, emails me a transcript and sends an SMS to my iPhone.

What’s missing from this setup is an ability to selectively set outbound callerID on Google Voice to my iPhone number. Skype provides that capability – but near as I can tell Google Voice doesn’t. I can understand why they might not want to allow that – and I’m not sure it actually matters. Folks that know me by my “private” iPhone number won’t see it when I call via Google Voice – instead, they’ll see my Google Voice caller ID – which is exactly 1 digit different. If I care about it, I can call them using Skype where I can set my caller ID – assuming I renew my outbound calling subscription. On the other hand, maybe I’d just prefer that everyone (beyond family) just call my Google Voice number anyway – so if they store that one away I’ll be just fine.

Bottom line: seems like I no longer need the Skype In online number. Skype’s fees for that number are something like 50 Euros for 12 months. With Google Voice, I also now don’t need Skype’s unlimited minutes subscription to the US and Canada – which costs about 20 Euros for 12 months but is free (at least until year end) with Google. So, for now, it looks like roughly a 70 Euro savings moving my voice configuration from Skype to Google Voice.

Is there any reason I should be paying Skype anything at this point? The only reason this is interesting is that my Skype annual subscriptions are up in about 10 days!

One reply on “Moving Everything from Skype to Google Voice?”

One factor to consider is the call quality of Skype vs Google Voice.
Another is how the GV forwarding works in practice. I’ve just recently starting using GV as a key number I give out. I’ve noticed a couple of times that when someone called, from their side, the phone rang and I didn’t pick up, then they went into voicemail. But it never rang on my end until after they had begun to leave the voicemail (so I heard them leaving the vm when I picked up). It was a little confusing to the caller and me.
I haven’t used it enough to make a determination if there’s a problem or it’s cockpit error.
Also, I heard some chatter recently that GV is having some issuer keeping up with the huge traffic increase with the new Gmail capability.
I’m interested to hear about your experiences with Google Voice, so keep us posted.

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