February 23, 2012 | by Andrew Kameka
Google+ is trickling into all aspects of Google’s products, including a new feature in Voice that lets users apply custom settings to their Circles. Software engineer Tom Ford made the announcement earlier today, saying that users can now automatically set some groups straight to voicemail and play a custom greeting for another group.
“Circles give you more control over how you manage your callers; for example, calls from your “Creepers” circle can be sent straight to Voicemail, only your “College Buddies” circle will hear you rap your voicemail greeting, or you can set your “Family” circle to only ring your mobile phone.”
The Android app doesn’t yet support custom settings, but changes made on the desktop will enable circle management. To make the changes, take these steps:
- Login to Google Voice on a computer and click the “Settings” icon in the right corner
- Click the “Groups & Circles” tab
- Click the “Edit” button for a particular circle and then make changes
On the following screen, users will be able to select a different phone or number to ring, record a new custom greeting available just for that group, and apply screening settings. Voice has enabled these features for default contact groups, but for users who sync their Google+ circles with their Android contacts, Google Voice will support mass settings for those circles.
I’m not sure how useful this will be to me. Of the 4,000-plus people I’ve circled, I probably speak with about 5 on the phone. But I’d imagine that there are people who communicate with enough people for circle management within Google Voice to make sense.