Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the lights on at MakeUseOf. Read more.
Google Voice, in case you weren’t aware, is also awesome. You’re given one phone number that, when called, causes all your phones to ring. Combine this with online transcribed email you can have SMSed to your cell and you’ve got a pretty incredible free service.
Browse our collection of recent Google Voice articles to find out more, but remember: this service currently works only in the United States of America.
Google Voice plugs nicely into Skype, particularly if you’ve purchased a SkypeIn number for Google Voice to forward to. But even if you only ever use Skype for outgoing calls you can now set up your Google Voice number to be your internet call display number. The process is simple.
The Process to Establish Your Internet Call ID Display
Head over to Skype.com and log into your account. You’ll be presented with your main page, showing off all the features you have/could have if you paid for them. The icon you’re looking for is the one on the far right: caller ID.
Click this and you’ll be presented with the number currently displayed as your Skype call display number, assuming you have one. Click the “Change Number” link underneath this number and you’ll be presented with all of your currently approved numbers for displaying. Your Google Voice number isn’t there yet, so go ahead and click “Enter A New Number.”
Pick your country, then enter your phone number. Then click “Verify Number” to start the verification process. Note that this process will cost you two text messages at Skype’s standard rates, but it’s worth it.
Once you’ve clicked to verify you’ll see a box asking for a confirmation code; the code is in a text message Skype sent to your Google Voice number. Head over to your Google Voice account and you should see a text like this:
Go ahead and copy that code and head back to your Skype account. Paste the code into the box provided and you’ll be told your new caller ID should take effect within 24 hours. When it does, you’ll receive a confirmation text message. Done.
The obvious use for this trick of course is for those who haven’t paid for a Skype online number to avoid having their friends not pick up their calls: an actual number displayed on their phones lends respect.
It should be noted, however, that this trick isn’t just for people looking to avoid paying for a Skype online number: I’ve got an online number and I’m still really excited about it. Why? I use my Google Voice number for everything, and it is the primary phone number I give out to business contacts. For outgoing calls, however, I mostly use Skype. To people who rely on call display for everything, my entire setup can seem needlessly complicated.
“What number is this you’re calling from?”
“Never mind, this is my Skype number. You can just call me at the Google Voice number.”
“It’s simple. Google Voice forwards to Skype and my cell, and I pick it up with either phone. But now I’m calling you from Skype, so you’re seeing my Skype number.”
“Oh. So I should call you at this number from now on?”
“What? No, you should call me at my Google Voice number.”
“Call me at my Google Voice number.”
“But you never use that number to call me; you always call from this sky number.”
I’m sick of this conversation, so I’m glad my Google Voice number is now my Skype call display number.
So why is this possible now, when before it wasn’t? Simple: Google Voice can now receive text messages from web services from Skype, whereas previously this was impossible. This change makes it possible to get the verification email, and thus to make use of your Google Voice number as your Skype Internet call display number.
Well guys, did this guide work for you? Will having Skype display your Google Voice number change your life, or do you not really care? Is the very idea a needless complication of a technology as formally simple as the telephone? Or are you still waiting for a Google Voice invite?
Share your thoughts, passions and pains in the comments below – or someone else will.