For those of who might not have heard, Google Voice went out of beta last week–geek speak that means it’s open to the public at large. What is Google Voice, and why should you care?
What it is:
Basically, it’s a service that either replaces all your phones with one number, or enhances your current phone.
- Replace all phones with one number–this option allows you to give people a number that automatically rings all of your phones at once. Cell, work, home–it doesn’t matter. Better yet, it sends all of those numbers to a single voice mail place, so you can get all your messages in one fell swoop. I honestly don’t know that much about this option, since Google Voice doesn’t have phone numbers available for my area yet. If some of you know more about it and care to add observations in the comments, I’d love to hear your input.
- Enhance your current phone–This is how I use Google Voice right now. When people call my cell, they get taken to Google’s voice mail now instead of Verizon. This voice mail is much more customizable–and it has the killer feature of being able to transcribe the phone calls and email and text me the text of the messages. So I know who called and generally what they were calling about (the text is often fairly garbled–Google’s working on making it better.) Better yet, I can listen to messages online from any computer, and I can store messages as long as I want. And if I leave my phone carrier, my messages come with me. You’re also supposedly able to use this account to make really cheap international calls, though I haven’t put this to the test yet.
I’ve been using Voice for about eight months now. I absolutely adore it–I even have Denisa using it now, too. It’s free and easy to use. What’s not to like? Find out more about the service here.