Google Voice for iPhone has been a long time coming, and we couldn't be happier that it's finally here. As fervent Google Voice users, we find the app provides mostly easy and straightforward management access for Google Voice, much more conveniently than did the Web app that preceded it.
Four screens display a menu, a dialer, your contact list, and the application settings. Fittingly, the menu is the base camp for sorting and managing your voice mail by in-box, texts, and various other filters. The in-box displays your list of voice mails and text messages. From here, you can view a voice mail transcription or play back your contact's recorded message. Tap the contact's name to call, text, add to quick dial, or show the contact's details. Pull the entire page down with your finger to manually refresh the list.
You'll be able to reach out to contacts from the dialer and the contacts list, either by searching for a contact's name or by entering a number. The dialer helpfully lets you choose to call or text a number. Unfortunately, an icon in the Dialer that looks like it should cause your contact search list to pop up didn't work on several iPhone 4s we had in-house.
The Contacts list has an interesting feature that's unique to the iPhone version of Google Voice; it's called Quick Dial. Google has made it easier to prioritize your favorite contacts by letting you assign some to Quick Dial--these buddies surface to the top of a list, just above another list of recently used numbers. You can tap over to another screen to select from your full list of contacts.
The Quick Dial feature does a good job of surfacing frequently dialed buddies, and push notifications of missed calls, incoming texts, and new voice mails are key.
That said, Google Voice for iPhone still shows signs of being a first-generation app. We received duplicate texts to our iPhone's native message in-box and to Google Voice's texting in-box. Exposed routing numbers that Google uses as the pathways of its VoIP Voice empire were also confusing. Other niggles frustrated, too, like a broken icon in the Dialer that appears as if it should open the address book, but doesn't do anything.
We would unquestionably recommend the app to Google Voice users, but beware, there are still some loose ends that could be better tied.