We are big fans of Google Voice. As a matter of fact, we were using it (and already had four numbers!) back when it was still called GrandCentral, long before it was bought by Google. All of our friends have GV numbers and use them in place of their main cell numbers; in all honesty, we don't even remember their cell numbers anymore.
If you recall, iPhone had a GV Mobile app developed independently. Google then tried to get their GV app approved, but were denied.
Even though we are power users of the GV service, we have not used GV Mobile iPhone app as frequently as we would have liked to. The whole inability to run the app in a background, and the fact that you have to launch it separately from the phone app, breaks the work flow.
When we got the Nexus One, it was something of a breath of fresh air: the "same" GV app that iTunes blacklisted is integrated into the Nexus' Android 2.1 OS.
Set up is a breeze. If the Google account you used to configure your Nexus One has GV associated with it, you are pretty much done. Make sure to launch the Google Voice app, go to the settings, and decide how you would like to handle calls on your phone.
Feeling a bit adventurous — remember, we're using this unlocked Nexus on the AT&T network with only EDGE support for Internet – we selected "Use Google Voice to make all calls."
FREEDOM AT LAST! BWAHAHAHAHA!
No kidding. We really felt liberated, because we use GV service every day, but couldn't take full advantage of the service's benefits while on iPhone.
Let's go back 12-15 years, before VOIP technologies emerged. Do you remember paying crazy money for your long distance calls? Heck, you even had to select a price plan for your home phone based on which area code and number combination you are planning to call more often. In less than 10 years, all that has vanished, and we look at the whole telephony thing as a mere commodity.
After using nothing but a Google Voice/Nexus One/ATT EDGE combination with favorable results, we can understand why the Death Star should be afraid — very afraid — of Google Voice or similar services. While the phone call quality on GV via EDGE wasn't stellar, it was still good enough for us to continue using the service.
After this type of experience, you start thinking: if access to Internet becomes ubiquitous (let's assume at least in major Metro areas), why would we even bother to get Telco cell service? We would prefer to buy an unlocked device/phone with Internet access and be done with it. No more minutes to worry about, no more paying crazy money for SMS, etc., etc.
We would like to make a point that Google Voice integration on the Nexus One is a killer feature for us. Mind you, we use service frequently, so access to GV via a cell phone in an uninterrupted manner is important to us.
Folks who don't use Google Voice, or don't rely on it as much, may not understand our enthusiasm – but over time, they will. The future is here.
We will continue our Nexus One review with intermittent break, Nexus One goes on vacation.