Saturday, May 23, 2015

How to Get A Second Phone Number For Free

I've talked before about using Google Voice to contact parents, volunteers, substitutes, etc. instead of using my personal cell phone number, but there's a new guy on the block that may give Google Voice a run for their money: Convoi.

What is it?

Convoi is an app that is installed onto your iPhone (their website says an Android app is coming soon) and connects to your cell phone. You can use it just like you would a regular phone number: for calls, texts, and voice messages. The beauty of it is that your "real" cell phone number is never revealed, so you get to keep your privacy while still having a professional connection on your mobile device. 

  • No Google account needed -- just a cell phone number (unlike Google Voice)
  • Free to download and sign up
  • 30-second sign up
  • Choose your area code (but not your phone number)
  • Automatic transcription of voicemails
  • Access all your contacts via your phone, but make the call from within the Convoi app to use your "business phone number."
  • Free conference calling
  • Option to call over Wifi or using your phone's data plan
  • Individual and group text messaging
  • "Do not disturb" feature lets you ignore communication during non-business hours

Any cons?
  • Once you choose a phone number, it can only be changed once (so phone numbers are not disposable like Google Voice numbers are)
  • If your mobile plan does not support long-distance calling (or has limited long-distance calling minutes) and you choose an area code different than that of your mobile phone number, you will be charged for calls as if they are long distance

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