Up until June 22nd, Google Voice was one of those mysterious Google Applications that was available by invitation only. As happens with many of the Google acquisitions, once the company GrandCentral was purchased (2007), it went into the void that holds dozens of other acquired technologies and ideas. It is now available to anyone in the US.
Here is a short video highlight of the core features:
Google Voice fits neatly into the Google family of practical web tools that can improve your results and productivity. As I wrote a short time ago, this is another example of why having a Gmail account will be a big help now when you want to sign up for Google Voice. For over a year now, I have been enjoying my Google Voice account in various ways.
Many of you have noticed, and some have used the Call Me graphic located on the right hand side of this blog, which is a part of the Google Voice service. By clicking on the Call Me graphic, you are asked to enter your name and phone number. Once you do that, the call is put through to me wherever I might be located. It is the absolute easiest way to track me down.
There are quite a few features contained within the application including the ability to ring you at different phone numbers at different times, or to ring from one phone to another until you answer.
- Voicemail Transcription
- One number rings on all your phones
- Block callers with one click
- Forward SMS to your eMail
- Personalized Greetings
- Conference Calls for free
- Cheap International rates
There is a also a very handy Google Chrome extension if you are a fan of that browser (I am), and the SMS service works well. You create an entirely new phone number for this account, and it is pretty much a set it and forget it application after that. If you have an Android phone, you will be very happy with the integration, but iPhone, not so much.
So give it a try. Click my Call Me button on the right and see if it finds me. What are you waiting for? Share what you are going to use your new Google Voice account for in the comments below.