Google Voice offers “One Number” to ring all of your phones, and to send text messages to all of your phones.
The free tool is one of my favorite services, but it falls short of being the only number you need to give people.
Currently you can make and receive calls and send and receive text messages, but Google Voice doesn’t support picture or video messages unless you have Sprint.
(Read: Google Voice 101)
Google Voice currently delivers blank messages when you get a picture message, or includes the text from the picture message, but does not send the photo to your phone or put it in your online Google Voice Inbox.
When I was using Google Voice only for business, the lack of photo messages wasn’t a problem, but now that I have switched my family members and everyone over to Google Voice, it only complicates things.
Instead of using the “One Number” I told them to use when they want to call or text, they have to remember to use a second or third number depending where they want to reach me.
Often I don’t know that messages haven’t come through until long after they were sent. I found out after CES that I missed out on many picture messages, I’m missing out on photos from my dad and just this week I missed out on a picture from my sister which I need to order a replacement battery for her computer.
The lack of picture messaging may be a cost issue, but I would definitely be willing to pay for a premium Google Voice service if that’s what it takes to make picture messaging a part of Google Voice.
Apple’s iMessage service only works between iPhones, iPads and the Mac, but it supports photos and videos for free, so perhaps Google will feel the pressure and add in support for MMS in a future Google Voice update.
What is Google Voice? Check out the video below for an introduction.