Ask LH: Are There Any Google Voice Equivalents In Australia?

Dear Lifehacker, Is there any equivalent/substitute for a fully optioned Google Voice service available in Australia? I would like to be able to use an app on my phone to send and receive texts and calls from an Australian mobile number.

This isn’t for nefarious purposes — I’m a counsellor and deal with clients that I want to be available for, but also do not want to share my actual personal mobile number with. Any suggestions? Thanks, Cautious Counsellor

Phone picture from Shutterstock

Dear CC,

We’ve long lamented the absence of Google Voice in Australia, and to be honest it seems less and less likely we’ll ever see it. Much of the development effort Google once put into Voice is now concentrated on Google+, Android and Hangouts, so the odds of it expanding outside the US, always minimal, now seem essentially non-existent.

The most obvious way to achieve a separate number in Australia is to purchase a dual-SIM phone (Kogan sells one, and ALDI regularly has specials) and then use one number for “work” and the other for your personal life. This isn’t as cheap or flexible as the potential Google Voice solution — you’ll have to pay for both SIMs and it isn’t an option for iOS — but it will give you the option of clearly distinguishing between call types. If readers know of alternative approaches, we’d love to hear about them in the comments.


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