Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Google Launches Free Phone Service

This is a service I've been excited about since they announced it a little more than a week ago...and one I think many people will actually have a use for. While on one hand, it's just another step toward Google taking over the world, you do have to admit that life in Google world is...pretty good.

Whether it's this service or something similar, I do think they've caught a vision as to what the future of phone usage may be. This service allows you to tie all your phone numbers together under a single new (free) local number...when someone calls your Google number, all your phones ring, and you can pick it up anywhere. Unless you've set up exceptions based on who is calling or what time it is, etc...then anything you specify can happen. Or put your number into "do not disturb" mode and nothing will ring. Have your voicemails texted to you, or delete them online without even listening to them. And the list goes on.

A short synopsis from wininformant.com is below, but check out google.com/voice to learn all about the service. I'll let you know what I think once I get my grubby little hands on it :)

Google Launches Free Phone Service:
- Google Number. You receive a single local phone number from Google and can use it for all of your phone calls and SMS messages. This number can simultaneously ring multiple phones, including landlines, cell phones, and other numbers. Google number includes call screening, 'listen in' (for listening before taking a call), call blocking, SMS, free US phone calling, phone routing, and phone forwarding.
- Google Voicemail. Google Voice can optionally make text transcripts of your voice mail and send notifications via SMS or email. You can listen to voicemail online or from your phone, and forward or download voicemail. It also supports personalized greetings.
- Voice features. Google Voice also provides conference calling functionality, call recording, on-the-fly phone switching, a mobile inbox that's available from your mobile device, GOOG-411 directory assistance integration, and group management.

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