Google Voice Conference Calling

Start a Group Call to Get Lots of People Talking

Women in conference call
Morsa Images/Getty Images

It is very easy to configure and manage an audio conference call with Google Voice. In fact, you don't even have to intend on starting a conference because even one-on-one calls can be made into conference calls on a whim.

Your Google Voice number can be combined with Google Hangouts to get the full conferencing effect.

What Is Required

All that's needed to make a Google Voice conference call is a Google account and a computer, phone or tablet that has the app installed.

You can get the Google Voice app for AndroidsiOS devices and through the web on a computer. The same is true for Hangouts - iOS, Android and web users can use it.

If you already have a Gmail or YouTube account, you can start using Google Voice in no time. Otherwise, create a new Google account to get started.

How to Make the Conference Call

Prior to the call, you need to inform all your participants to call you on your Google Voice number at the agreed time. You first need to enter into a phone conversation with one of them, by either having them call you or you call them, through Google Voice.

Once you're on the call, you can add the other participants when they dial in. To accept other calls during a current call, press after hearing a message about starting a conference call.

The Limitations

Google Voice is not primarily a conferencing service but instead a really helpful way to use your phone number on all of your devices.

With that being said, you should not expect too much from it. You should instead use it as a simple and easy way to make a group phone call. This is why we see limitations with the service.

For starters, a group conference call should support dozens of people but that's not allowed with Google Voice.

Including yourself, you are limited to having 10 people on the call at once (or 25 with a paid account).

Unlike full-fledged conference tools, there aren't any tools with Google Voice that are intended to manage the conference call and its participants. This means there isn't a facility to schedule the conference call and have the participants invited in advance through email or some other way.

In addition, you can not record a conference call with Google Voice. Although it's possible with normal one-on-one calls made through the service, group calls lack this feature.

There are so many interesting and useful features in other conference calling tools that Google Voice's conferencing features shines more through their absence than through the service itself. Since it integrates with your smartphone and lets you use many kinds of devices, it's reason enough to use it as a central calling service.

Skype is one example of a service with better options for conference calling.