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Google Voice – Your Universal Phone Solution?

March 13, 2009

Before you are too excited about this service, Google Voice is currently available only for GrandCentral users (GrandCentral was bought by Google in 2007). According to this article in New York Times, Google said the general public will be able to use it in the coming weeks.

Weeks? Does that mean soon? If you’re eager to try this out, you can send Google your email address for the future notification.

OK, so, what’s good about this service? David Pogue from New York Times called it, “One Number to Ring Them All“. But, this service is not just to unify all your phone numbers (landline, cell phone, office phone etc). The ways how this service handle these calls are quite revolutionary.

Even though I’m not a heavy phone user, I find that some of features are quite cool:

  • Four ways to handle the call: 1. accept, 2. send to voice mail, 3. listen in on voice mail, or 4. accept & record the call.
  • Different voice mail greeting for each contact.
  • Specifying phone for each contact
  • Phone switch during a call

There are other features. For instance, here is the screencast of free voice mail transcriptions

As you can see, Google Voice no doubts will challenge the exiting players in the phone services, e.g. Skype (cheap international calls), and Spinvox and PhoneTag (voice mail transcriptions) etc. Moreover, this probably also scares of people who already have fears that Google is too big.

Well, it probably won’t be avaible soon outside US. So, we’ll see.. :|

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