02-15-2010 09:41 AM
02-16-2010 10:22 AM
Wow, lots of views and no replies? I guess I'm in over my head.
I've done some more exploring and ACT! does indeed have this feature built-in, though it is not on the toolbar by default. It does exactly what I want. It launches a dialer, dials the target number and opens a window to record the call history. This is all great, Except this does not integrate with google voice. :-(
However, it does make use of all the communications options that are available on the PC, so if/when google makes a plugin for the windows OS hopefully this feature may work.
02-16-2010 11:57 AM
I'm not familiar with Google Voice, or I should say I don't have an account, and I've just requested an invite. I'm interested in seeing whether you could add a simple URL link to the Web Info Tab in ACT! 2010 (prior versions did not have the Web Info Tab) that would launch a web dialer to dial the number from the contact record.
You're probably aware of this, but you can add your own Links to the Web Info Tab along with the ones that are included - I've added jigsaw, piple, yelp and Manta links - it's easy and it's fun AND it's productive.
02-16-2010 12:33 PM
I'm not sure if that would work, but I'd be willing to take a look at it. I'm not sure where I would point the link to?
As you've already found out, Google voice is invitation-only at this time. I could issue you an invitation if you need it.
02-17-2010 02:36 PM - last edited on 02-18-2010 08:06 AM by ghollister
We currently offer a similar solution which integrates with Skype, and hosted business phone systems. I looked at Google Voice in the past, but thier Terms of Service state:
"GRANT OF RIGHTS TO USE SERVICES. Effective upon acceptance of this Agreement, Google Voice hereby grants to Subscriber a personal, nonexclusive, nontransferable, revocable license to access and use the Services (as defined below), for Subscriber's non-commercial use."
The non-commercial use part leads me to assume you can't wrap a service around it and offer it commercially. Also, since Google voice formerly Grand Central, a different company which also stated:
"The GrandCentral Services are for personal, non-commercial usage. GrandCentral reserves the right to immediately disconnect or modify a Subscriber's Service if GrandCentral determines, in its sole discretion, that Subscriber's use of the Service is, or at any time was, inconsistent with normal personal, non-commercial usage patterns."
Also, Google Voice currently doesn't offer a developer's API which could be used to leverage the service.. Most cutting edge services like this need some time to evolve and mature before they can become commerically viable. There has been a big fight over making Google Voice work on an iPhone for example: http://www.thestandard.com/news/2009/07/28/google-voice-apps-removed-and-rejected-app-store The FCC is currently invloved: http://techcrunch.com/2009/07/31/fcc-takes-on-apple-and-att-over-google-voice-rejection/
Google has since bypassed Apple by making it work with a browser: http://www.ciol.com/Developer/News-Reports/Google-bypasses-Apple-with-Voice-for-iPhone/27110130536/0...
All that being said, it's rumored Google may release an official API as part of Google Apps sometime this year
Once that happens, it may be easier to integrate this stuff with ACT! and we'll definately be the first addon developer to do it..
[Edit: third-party links removed from body of post]
02-17-2010 04:36 PM
Thanks Gavin, I appreciate your reply. I've pretty familiar with traditional and VOIP technologies and understand how your offering works today. I also understand the EULA restrictions and can see why anyone would hesitate to invest in coding with no available API and potential a closed business model from the googlites. I currently initiate calls from my blackberry and understand that this is also available on windows mobile. I naturally assumed this was available for the desktop OS as well. I suppose now that I found the native ACT! dialer, all one would need is a "google modem" defined as a communication option within the OS. Then Act could send dialing instructions to via the dialer and the google modem would be able to handle all the rest. I know I've over simplified that but it is what it is.
Anyway, for the short term I have ordered a little USB modem to add to my workstation. My understanding is that with the modem installed the ACT dialer will commandeer the line via the modem to initiate a call, and then I can just take the receiver off-hook and join the call? Since I work from home, if this works, it'll suffice for now. and I'll get my faxing abilities back too ;-)
02-17-2010 06:15 PM - edited 02-17-2010 07:40 PM
The google modem approach would work, in essence you need a TAPI based driver that could interface with the phone provider. While this would provide you with the ability to dial you would lose alot in the translation. TAPI (the interface modem drivers use) is an old technology, it was introduced in 1993 long before VoIP existed.
Using SIP and VoIP you gain alot in the interaction. Using these technologies adds in conferencing, multi-line support through SIP trunking, presence technologies built into the SIP stack and more. Skype and any of our hosted phone system carriers utilize these newer technologies and allow many more features to be built into ACT! than just dialing a contact.
Our Skype app for example allows:
and more.. sorry for the feature list, but comparing to TAPI you get (dial, hangup, caller id) quite the difference..