Google Voice Meets MagicJack
The internet search giant Google has offered a free telephony service called Google Voice since March of 2009. They have committed to keeping the service free through 2013, and many believe that the service will remain very inexpensive even if Google begins to charge for it.
Why am I mentioning Google on a website devoted to Magic Jack? Simply put, you can now make use of a new app called GVJack which allows you to make use of new, used, or expired Magic Jack dongles to make free phone calls to US and Canadian phone numbers – with no annual phone charge! The plugin allows you to switch easily between Google Voice and MagicJack as a phone service, so there’s no worry about burning the MagicJack bridge behind you when you experiment with Google Voice. GVJack works with Windows based machines, but sadly won’t work with Intel based Macs.
GVJack provides some additional benefits which are not available to users of MagicJack’s phone service. For example, MagicJack users cannot call anywhere in the state of Alaska due to high termination fees associated with those calls. Similarly, MagicJack users cannot call many rural numbers in the US mainland – for the same reason. Those using GVJack do not have similar limitations – they are able to make calls to nearly any US or Canadian phone number for free (including calls to Alaska). GVJack also lets you make a conventional 3-way phone call, which MagicJack customers are able to do – but they have to struggle a bit to do so.
Don’t get me wrong – GVJack isn’t free. It costs $19.95, but it is a one time purchase – not an annual fee. As long as Google Voice remains free, your phone calls are also free – completely free! Once you’ve installed it, it provides you with a variety of additional benefits, including:
Caller ID with Name / Location
The caller’s name and number is sent to your phone after the first ring. The app will attempt a reverse phone lookup to furnish you with the caller’s name as well (if the name isn’t in your phone book), and will give you the caller’s location if their name isn’t available.
Talking Caller ID
The caller’s name and number will be verbally announced on your computer’s default audio device.
7 Digit Local Area Dialing
Only 7 digits need to be dialed for calls in the same area code as your phone number.
Voice Mail waiting indicator (dial *98 for quick access to voice mail)
GVJack will flash a light on your phone to indicate you have voice mail waiting (if your phone is so equipped), and will give you a ‘broken’ dial tone when you pick up the phone to let you know you have voice mail.
Stop VoIP Call Beeps
During VoIP calls parts of a caller’s speech can be picked up as a phone keypad dialed PIN digit resulting in a call “beep” heard by the other party. This feature automatically turns off PIN dialing except for calls to Voice Mail.
Call Alert Window
When this feature is enabled a small window will appear on your computer screen to notify you that a new call has arrived. Right mouse clicking on the call alert window will just close it.
When this feature is enabled a balloon message will open to notify you that a new voice mail message or SMS text message has arrived. The message will automatically close a few seconds after mouse movement is detected on your computer.
Automatically Minimize Browser
If you have the browser minimized to the GVJackApp traybar icon it will remain closed during calls. If you have the browser already open when placing calls it will remain open when you hang up.
When the Automatic Redial feature is enabled calls that do not connect will automatically be redialed until they are successfully connected as long as you remain off-hook. This feature can be enabled in the Features Dashboard.
Dial a Speed Dial number (dial 0 to 9999, followed by #) and you’ll be connected to the phone number you’ve associated with that number. This feature can accommodate dialing of extensions as well as the area code and phone number.
Last Number Redial (Dial *66)
Redials the last phone number you called.
Dial 69 to return the call to the last caller that called your phone number. A busy tone will be received if the caller was anonymous.
Call Waiting (Dial 70 to disable)
GVJack alerts you to a second incoming call with a short beep every 10 seconds if you are already on the phone. If you would prefer not to be disturbed during a particular call, dial 70 and when you hear a dial tone again enter the number you wish to call. Call waiting will be restored after you hang up. You can also turn off call waiting for all calls by using the Features dashboard for GVJack.
Call Waiting Caller ID
If your phone has the capability, a second caller’s name and number will be displayed for waiting calls.
Dial *72 followed by the number where you’d like your calls forwarded (to enable call forwarding), and dial *73 to disable it.
Do Not Disturb
Dial *77 to block all incoming calls and sen them to voice mail, and dial *79 to restore normal phone service.
Anonymous Call Block
Dial *77 to block calls arriving without caller identification information, and dial *87 to accept those calls.
Priority Calls Only (Dial 64/84)
Dial *64 to accept only calls from specified numbers – all others will be routed to voice mail. Dial *84 to restore normal service.
Priority Call Ringing
Calls arriving from telephone numbers in the Priority Call Table in the Features Dashboard will be given a unique ringing cadence.
Priority Call Waiting
Calls arriving from telephone numbers in the Priority Call Table in the Features Dashboard will be given a double call waiting tone beep.
Selective Call Rejection
Enter the telephone numbers you want to block, and you’ll not hear from them again.
Per Call Screening
When this feature is enabled you will be prompted to enter “1” to accept an incoming call or “2” to send it to voice mail when you go offhook. You may also enter “*” to join a caller after listening in to the voice mail message being left. This feature can be enabled in the Features Dashboard. This feature is not supported for call waiting calls.
I do think this little app is cheap at twice the price, but I do want to disclose that I’m an affiliate seller for GVJack and earn $3 or $4 on each sale. If you feel the app can make your life a little simpler, click on this GVJack link and you’ll be able to download the little beauty and begin using it to brighten your day too.