Blog Post

Adobe AIR App Breathes Cross-Platform Life into Google Voice

gvoiceNow that I have two mobile phones and no landline, Google Voice is part of my daily life. The service helps me manage my calls, regardless of which number people use to reach me. On my iPhone 3GS, I simply use the mobile Google Voice site to manage devices or listen to voicemails — pressing play on a voicemail opens up the Apple Quicktime app so I can hear it. I use the free gDial Pro on my Palm Pre, which is nearly as good as the native Google (s goog) Voice software on an Android device. It’s not perfect, but it meets my needs well enough.

Up to now, I’d access Google Voice on my Mac or netbook right through my web browser. But over the weekend, I started using a nice Adobe (s adbe) AIR implementation of Google Voice called GVoice. Even cooler is the fact that one of our own readers created it! RStoeber is a regular here at jkOnTheRun, and he pinged me to share the app. I’ve been running it nonstop ever since he told me about it — you can find it here, along with a few other projects.

In this early version, the app is exactly like the mobile version I see on my iPhone. Voicemails even play within GVoice — I tested it with a message James left me because Google’s translation went awry in a few spots. Since GVoice runs on Adobe AIR, it’s cross-platform so I can run it on either my Mac, my PC or a Linux box. While I could just leave a tab open in my browser for Google Voice, I like this standalone implementation better. It refreshes the Inbox every minute, so I’m always up to date on my voicemails and text messages without having to look at my phone. Of course, I can send texts from it or initiate a call to a contact from one of my two phones, as well. Developers started to add Growl support to Adobe AIR last November, so a future version of GVoice could support instant notifications of messages, too.

9 Responses to “Adobe AIR App Breathes Cross-Platform Life into Google Voice”

  1. Hey everyone,

    Thanks for the great feedback here and the e-mails we’ve received already today. We do have bigger plans for this little app. As I mentioned to Kevin, this was really just something we were doing as a favor for our consulting clients and didn’t intend broader distribution. But I liked using it so much that we decided to give it out to more people.

    I personally like having this as a separate app running on a secondary desktop display, but then again I also tend to use the mouse and never missed the keyboard shortcuts, so what do I know.

    Now that we have the ball rolling on this we will have keyboard shortcuts in a day or two, and Growl/toast notifications shortly after that. Beyond that we have a lot of other ideas so we’ll just keep going. The app will automatically check for new versions so you should get new features as we post them.

    Keep the feedback coming and we’ll keep working on this.

  2. Curtis Carmack

    Kevin, you might try using a web app (either with FF or Chrome) created from a browser tab. It nets you the full website functionality (which this app doesn’t offer) and also allows you to customize the size and placement of the app window. I find this to be very functional.

    • Certainly a good suggestion and one I’ve leveraged in the past with Chrome. It may just be personal preference, but I like how this early version refreshes each minute and takes up little in terms of resources. If the developer can get Growl notifications implemented, I’d definitely lean towards this standalone AIR app, but again: different strokes for different folks. ;)

    • Great suggestion, Curtis. I just created a standalone Google Voice webapp using Google Chrome and it works great. I haven’t used it long enough to know how often it refreshes, but all the expected GV UI behavior is there!

  3. I’ve been using this – for a while and while it’s not perfect the one thing I do like about it is that you can just double click on a ph# in a FF web page much like you can do with an email addy and this will bring up a small popup confirmation asking if you wanted to dial this # with you GV (click OK and you are engaging GV to call you then the #), and that’s handy *for me*.

  4. I installed this on my Linux netbook. It’s pretty cool. If I had my druthers, I’d like the Quick Call and SMS text fields to automatically-search recipients by name; right now you have to explicitly type in recipients phone numbers into those fields. I’d also like to see standard GV keyboard shortcuts: C for call and M for SMS.

    Thanks for the heads up!

  5. I’m going to look into this app, Kevin. Thanks!

    I’ve been having problems getting voice mail on my jailbroken iPhone. Rather than rebuild it, I hunted up AT&T’s instructions on how to forward my unanswered calls to my GVoice number. Now I get my voice mail and I absolutely love that I get text and email notifications of the voicemail.

    Technology is so cool!