GVnotifier: A Simple Google Voice Client [Windows]

gvnotifier 300   GVnotifier: A Simple Google Voice Client [Windows]Use Google Voice from your Windows desktop without leaving your browser open. With its chat-like interface and instant notifications, GVNotifier is the best way to send free SMS messages in Windows – assuming, of course, you live in the USA.

Google Voice is a free service that gives you one number for all of your phones. The phone call features are cool, but for many, the best part of Google Voice is the ability to send free text messages to anyone in the USA or Canada. You can do this from your web browser, or using the Google Voice extension for Chrome, but there is no official Google Voice desktop client at this time.

GVNotifer is unofficial – it’s made by Dave Amenta, a Microsoft employee – but it’s easy to use and works well.  If you’re both a Google Voice user and a Windows user there’s no reason not to install GVNotifier.

If you’re not a Google Voice user, you probably should be – you can do awesome things with it.

Using GVNotifier

Start up GVNotifier and you’ll need to log in, using your Google email address and password. Once you do you’ll see a complete list of all your contacts with phone numbers.

gvnotifier contacts    GVnotifier: A Simple Google Voice Client [Windows]

If someone doesn’t show up here don’t worry: you just need to log into Google Voice and add their phone number. There is currently no way to add a contact from within GVNotifier, so head to Google Voice if you need to do that.

To start a conversation simply click any contact.

gvnotifier conversation PHOTOSHOP   GVnotifier: A Simple Google Voice Client [Windows]

Beyond texting you can also view your complete call history, if you want. You can also view all of your voicemails by reading a transcription or listening to the actual message.

If you’re using Windows 7 you have quick access to GVnotifier’s features: simply right-click the icon and you can access the preferences, refresh your messages or go straight to Google Voice’s website.

gvnotifier icon   GVnotifier: A Simple Google Voice Client [Windows]

There are a few settings you can change, depending on how you wish to use the program.

gvnotifier settings   GVnotifier: A Simple Google Voice Client [Windows]

I couldn’t get the icon to show up in the notification area, but that’s okay: the application works without it. Let me know if I’m missing something in the comments below. Explore, experiment and use this application the way you want to.

Alternatives

I found GVnotifier while writing about Voice Mac, a Google Voice client for OS X. There are other programs out there for Google Voice fans, though; here are just a few.

  • Mac users willing to pay $5 should check out GrowlVoice, which runs from the Mac system tray. BigPhone is another paid Mac option.
  • Linux users should check out Google Voice Notifier. It’s not as complete as GVnotifier or the Mac options – it merely tells you when a new message arrives – but it’s better than nothing.

Do you know of any other alternatives I’m missing, Windows-based or otherwise? Let me know in the comments below.

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13 Comments -

Paul Forbing

Google Voice is my primary. I don’t even know what my mobile number is without looking it up. I will try this client out. I’m currently using a Chrome plugin.

Justin Pot

The Chrome plugin is great, but I prefer this. Let me know what you prefer.

IamAshMcLean

Oh No!! Are They Copying or trying to copy Facebook Messenger?? I really think so!!

Justin Pot

Facebook Messenger can’t send messages to phones, so this wins.

IamAshMcLean

You’re right… I will try it! :)

Mark LaFlamme

I like the Chrome extension, but I haven’t found an equivalent for Firefox. This might be the answer.

Mark LaFlamme

Eh. Seems all right. It keeps a call log but not a log of text messages. Although, if you click a contact with whom you’ve been chatting, it will show that chat. Might be decent. I’m going to try it out for a little while. My first experience with it was a little dubious. Installed it, set my preferences and then shut it down. The program disappeared altogether. Nothing in my notification area, nothing in my programs list. Had to reinstall. The program hides in a folder named for the developer. A little confusing.

Justin Pot

Let us know how your extended try-out goes.

Mark LaFlamme

I also wish it would indicate a new message with with a number on the icon (like the Chrome extension) rather then by popping up the message. It’s highly intrustive and it could be troublesome in some circumstances. If you get my drift.

Nikhil Pandey

i use icall for voice calls to us…..

Kao Vang

I’m a voice user myself so i will give this a shot.

LaFlamme

Uninstalled. Started my computer this morning and there was no sign of the notifier. Again, no trace of it in the start menu or in the results of a search. Apparently, the “start with windows” setting doesn’t stick. The first time this happened, I reinstalled. Second time, I got rid of the program. Nice idea but buggy as hell. I’ll check back down the road to see if there have been improvements. In the meantime, the search continues for a Voice notifier for Firefox.

Pam

GVnotifier gives me a popup the instant I receive a txt message, but not when I receive calls or miss calls. I have the settings checked to receive an alert when a call is received or missed. It takes a long time for a received call or voicemail to show up under the call history and voicemail tabs. I am using windows 7. Anyone else having this problem?