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GV Connect: Use Google Voice From The Mac Dashboard

By Justin Pot2012-06-02

google voice mac dashboardSend text messages from your OS X dashboard, and see Growl notifications for incoming messages. If you use Google Voice, this is one of earth’s only useful dashboard widgets.

Once a marque feature of OS X, the dashboard is today a frequently forgotten feature. In some ways widgets are a victim of their own success. The concept translated nicely to Apple’s phone platform, eventually evolving into the apps we know and love today. With smartphones always on hand, fewer people see the point of widgets on the desktop.

There are a few exceptions, however, with a few of them built into OS X. The weather, for example, works very well as a widget: in one glance you get an overview. Clocks are useful, particularly if you work in multiple timezones.

Along with these staples, GV Connect is among the only dashboard widgets I find useful, mainly because it gives me the ability to quickly send a text message directly from my Mac. Growl notifications of incoming messages is even better: I can read incoming messages without any interruption to my workflow.

Using GV Connect

The widget features three main screens: “Place Call”, “Send SMS” and “Account.” On the call screen you can, logically enough, place a call:

google voice mac dashboard

It’s important to note that this is not a VoIP app: entering a number and clicking “call” will cause your chosen phone to ring the same way using the Google Voice website does.

The second screen, “Send SMS“, works exactly as you’d expect. Enter a contact’s name or number and you can send a message to them. Click the Google Voice icon to send the message.

google voice for mac

You’ll see all incoming SMS messages via Growl notifications.

google voice for mac

Messages will stay on your screen until you close them, ensuring that you won’t miss any. There is, unfortunately, no “Conversation View“, so you may want to open the Google Voice website for anything longer than a quick exchange.

The “Account” page allows you to pick which of your phones Google Voice can forward to, or to turn off forwarding altogether.

google voice for mac

It’s a quick and easy way to access these settings. There are a few widget settings you can configure:

google voice mac dashboard

Choose whether you want to use your Google or Mac contacts, or both. You can also turn off the Growl notifications and set the refresh rate.

Download GV Connect

Do you want to try this out? Download GV Connect from Andreas Amann. Dashboard widgets are easy to install, if you didn’t know. Just download the file and then open it.


Q. Dude, this is old-school awesome.. Are there any other articles on this site about Mac Dashboard widgets? They should preferably be three or four years old.

A. Shockingly specific question! Here you go:

  • How to place your widgets on the desktop [Mac]
  • 10 fun dashboard widget games for Mac
  • Dashboard widgets you can’t live without [Mac]
  • Display the amount of new mail on your Mac dashboard

Q. Why wouldn’t I just look at my messages on my phone?

A. It’s not a bad question, but I have always preferred typing on a full keyboard than on a phone. I also like to limit the number of devices I’m interacting with during my workflow.

Wow, that was a wholly uninteresting and unsatisfactory answer. Oh well.

Q. Why do you add FAQs to your articles?

A. I like to, and no one has told me to stop.

Q. Can I leave a comment?

A. You sure can! Find the comment box below.

Q. Do you read every comment?

A. I sure do, and I respond as much as possible. Talk to you below!


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