GrowlVoice - Google Voice Client
By Eric Horacek
Open the Mac App Store to buy and download apps.
GrowlVoice is an intuitive and fully-featured Google Voice client that brings the power of Google Voice to your Mac's menu bar.
• Send texts and initiate calls in seconds flat
• Quickly read and reply to text messages
• Listen to voicemails while you read their transcripts
• Manage and search your inbox
• Receive instant and unobtrusive notifications of new messages
• Match any desktop with beautiful light and dark themes
• Keep GrowlVoice hidden in your menu bar until you need it
• Add multiple Google Voice accounts
• Use Google Contacts or your Mac's Address Book
• Configure as you desire with dozens of preferences
• Call and text even faster with custom keyboard shortcuts
"GrowlVoice takes things even further by letting you actually use many of Google Voice’s features." "★★★★½"—MacWorld Magazine
While Google Voice already has a solid webapp, you can only do so much from the browser. Sending texts and placing calls isn't easy—you shouldn't have to shift your focus to send a quick text or initiate a call through your Google Voice number. GrowlVoice fixes that.
GrowlVoice notifies you of new messages and provides a simple and intuitive interface for replying to and reading them. You can initiate calls, send texts, and read voicemails all within a couple of clicks. You'll never have to fumble with texting on your phone's tiny keyboard or constantly check the Google Voice website while you're at your Mac again.
GrowlVoice empowers you with a vast set of features that allow you to use Google Voice in the way that best suits you. Add multiple accounts, search your inbox, employ one-key inbox or customizable global shortcuts, archive and star messages, and see your contact's pictures next their messages as you communicate with them. Threaded texts provide a simple and beautiful way to have a conversation. Inbox management and searching couldn't be easier. Have all of this and more—just one click away in your menu bar—with GrowlVoice.
• A free Google Voice account is required to use this app—see http://www.google.com/voice.
• To ensure that GrowlVoice is able to alert you of missed calls, enable "Place missed calls in the inbox" in the "Calls" tab in your Google Voice settings on the Google Voice website.
• GrowlVoice does not function as a VOIP phone. It initiates calls through your Google Voice connected phones with your Google Voice number.
What's New in Version 2.0.3
- Added a short welcome process to easily add an account on first launch
- Small visual interface updates
- Various Snow Leopard bugfixes
- Small visual updates to the GrowlVoice icon
- Pressing a global shortcut with the corresponding GrowlVoice window already open now properly dismisses it
- Fixed a bug caused by automatic text replacement that could cause strange characters to show up in received messages
- Fixed a bug that could cause the GrowlVoice preferences window to open when clicking a Growl notification
- Fixed a bug that caused a jarring "pop-in" of the GrowlVoice preferences window
- Fixed a bug that could cause the cursor to start in the compose text message field instead of the number field
- Various small crash fixes
- Text messages can be populated via the GrowlVoice URL scheme with the new message argument (growlvoice:123456790?text&message=message)
Great App. Great Addition to my Workflow
For me personally I vastly prefer simple native apps that do one thing well rather than doing EVERYTHING in a browser window. I also LOVE keyboard shortcuts for repeatable tasks I am doing all day long.
For a "REGULAR Google account user" as I am, GrowlVoice, based on the above requirements, is simply amazing.
When I see that I have a new text or voicemail I can simply hit a user defined hotkey to hope to the inbox (for me it's control-option-command-v [mash 3 keys and hit v]) and fly through my texts and voicemails with ease. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND ticking the "Use Google Voice Shortcuts" option as that allows jk up/down navigation and # for delete. Also enter and escape will take you into messages and back to the inbox for quickly reading, listening, replying and then back to the inbox.
I understand the frustration of the google apps users but I'm not in that camp and that's not my use case, so that does not affect my rating.
At the end of the day… this is my FAVORITE app of the week, probably month; and is a great addtion to my workflow. /hattip Brett Terpstra's blog for pointing me to it.
Have not had any problems
The warnings that appear at the top of all these reviews almost put me off this app, but I started with the free trial. I got completely addicted to the app, and bought it the instant the trial expired. It's fantastic, Google Voice in your menu bar, easy to write texts and check voicemails, easy to make calls (on those rare occasions when you want to make a call using your Mac). Highly recommended. and a good price.
UPDATE: I've been using the app daily for a month now, and like it more and more. It's got an elegant and clean UI, and works as advertised. The people who bought it expecting a VOIP app clearly didn't read the description or the FAQ on the developer's website. There is a free trial available. It's unfair to give a developer poor reviews because you are too lazy to find out what the app is designed to do!
What this app does beautifully is: send and receive text messages with Google Voice, listen to voicemails and view transcriptions, and initiate calls to a linked telephone. It does NOT DO VOIP. The Devs make this really clear. In lots of places.
This is not a Google Talk Client
If you are looking to make calls using your Google Voice/Google Talk phone number from your Mac, this may not the app you need. I failed to note the last bullet in the description stating that this will not so VoIP. Otherwise, this applicaiton is a very good Google Voice client. From their own FAQ:
Wait, so why doesn't GrowlVoice make calls then? Isn't that what Google Voice is?
Nope, you're thinking of Google Talk, specifically its "Call Phones from Gmail" feature. From Google's official description of Google Voice:
Google Voice allows users to unify all of their telephones with a single number, gives them more control over all of their phone and voice-based communications, and makes it easy for them to access this information from anywhere on the web -- by phone or by email.
Google Voice is simply a telephone management system. It doesn't actually function as a phone, it just routes calls and texts from your Google Voice number to your Google Voice connected phones. Google Talk can just be used as one of those phones.