Hands-On: GV Connect Returns to the App Store

In some ways, GV Connect’s (the mobile client for Google Voice) re-appearance in the iPhone App Store (s aapl) was somewhat anticlimactic. After what felt like months of “he said, she said,” along with an FCC inquiry (holy cow, has it really been a year?), I heard the news via a retweet. While the Google (s goog) web app for Google Voice worked just fine, it’s nice having a truly native version; the web app was a tad slow, and it was a pain when the account timed out, requiring you to login again.

My Google Voice needs are somewhat modest. For me, it’s the number I give out when someone wants to get in touch, but I don’t want to give them the Super Top Secret Cell Phone Number. So, PR people, headhunters, bill collectors, etc. all get the Google Voice number. Most of the time, I even turn forwarding off so it goes straight to voice mail.

Given my limited usage, I found GV Connect does as advertised. However, if you’re the person that uses their Google Voice number as your regular number, the lack of push of notifications might be a deal breaker. The lack of such notifications for voice mail isn’t that big of a deal for me, since I get an e-mail alert when a message is left. I’m not also not a big user of text messages in general, so I’m not going to mourn the loss of that, either.

GV Connect uses your iPhone’s contacts, not your Google Voice contacts. This isn’t going to be a problem if your iPhone gets its contacts from Google. If you sync to a different service, you’ll need to add contacts manually, or set up your iPhone to also grab your Google contacts.

GV Connect seems like a fine way to manage your outgoing Google Voice calls. Forwarded calls still work the same way; the app isn’t a factor. If this is most of what you’re using GV for, the app is a great way to do it.

For $3, GV Connect is a great way to eliminate the somewhat-slow Google Voice web app and use a native solution. Even though I’m not a huge Google Voice user, I feel like I’m getting my latte’s worth out of this app.

Side note: there are people mentioning connection errors on the app reviews. I didn’t personally experience any connection issues, but the developer has announced a fix for that is waiting on Apple to approve. It looks like it could be limited to international users, so if that’s you, wait for the update.

Related GigaOM Pro Research:
Report: Google’s Voice Possibilities