How To Make A Google Voice Call With iCal
I have a conference call every morning – same number, same access code. I’d like to set up iCal so that as one of the “reminders” Google Voice calls my phone and connects me to the conference call automatically. This should be possible… Can you figure it out?
That’s a bit beyond me, but fortunately I have friends! I asked my good friend Michael Sitarzewski and he came up with an ingenious solution for you…
There are a couple of ways to make this happen, but the most elegant solution by far is to buy Phone Amego ($20) from Sustainable Softworks. Phone Amego is a software phone dialer that connects to a Bluetooth phone, a USB dialer, or (and this is where the fun comes in) Google Voice. Yes, you can dial numbers and contacts directly from your Mac, and because it’s a Mac app, it supports AppleScripting.
Using iCal’s event alerts and AppleScript, you can tell Phone Amego to dial a conference call number using Google Voice a minute before the call is set to begin.
The AppleScript required to hook Phone Amego to iCal is about as basic as it gets:
tell application “Phone Amego”
Open the AppleScript Editor (in the “Utilities” folder ), copy and paste the above AppleScript, and save it to your Documents Folder. Don’t forget to change the number!
If you’re savvy, you can add the control codes (like a comma for pause) to get directly to your conference call.
Note: Google Voice blocks access to some of the “free” conference calling systems. You’ll be able to call the main number automatically, but getting into the call automatically won’t work.
Back to the project. Once you create and save the script above, open your meeting in iCal. Choose Alarm > Run Script. A dialog box will open, asking you to find the script to run. Find the AppleScript you created above and click “Select.” Change the time to alert you to a few minutes before the call (being prompt is important!). I set this example to three minutes before. If you’re on the right track, your meeting will something like the following:
I’d encourage you to play with the settings, and do some local testing, but this solution will accomplish your needs: an automated call to your conference call using Google Voice.
If you’d rather not buy the software above, I’ve also created a shell based (Umm, that’s Terminal.app on the Mac) solution using Mac OS X’s built in PHP scripting engine. If you’re geeky (and/or cost conscious like me) let me know and I’ll post that version.