Google Voice: Flawed but still awesome

by admin March 13, 2009 at 5:40 pm

Google’s new Google Voice has a few rough edges but for many users, it could be a life-changing experience.

The service, a relaunch of GrandCentral, which Google bought in 2007, allows you to choose a local number, which will simultaneously ring up to six phones such as your cell phone, home phone, office phone, and the phone at that vacation home that most of us can only dream about.

In addition to forwarding your calls, it also takes voice messages that you can listen to on the Web, from a phone, or read, thanks to a new feature that transcribes voice messages and sends them as e-mail and text messages.

If you have multiple phones, having a single number to reach them all can make you and your callers’ lives a bit easier, and it can save space on your business card by not having to list separate numbers. The concept is simple: people are trying to reach you–not one of your phones–and Google Voice lets you decide how to route the calls.

The simultaneous ring feature can also be used by groups. Team HOPE, a support network for families of missing children, gives callers a GrandCentral number that rings the phones of several staff members to ensure that calls are always answered.

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