Thursday, March 12, 2009

Google Voice

Google just unveiled Google Voice and it looks pretty sweet. It allows you to have one phone number and then link all your other phone numbers (home, work, cell) with it. You can set up different rules for which phone should ring, or which voice mail recording should answer based on who is calling.

Beyond that, David Pogue lists some cool additional features:

FREE VOICE MAIL TRANSCRIPTIONS From now on, you don’t have to listen to your messages in order; you don’t have to listen to them at all. In seconds, these recordings are converted into typed text. They show up as e-mail messages or text messages on your cellphone.

This is huge. It means that you can search, sort, save, forward, copy and paste voice mail messages.

FREE CONFERENCE CALLING Never again will you pay for a conference call, or require a special dial-in number, or mess around with access codes. All you do is tell your friends to call your GrandCentral at the specified time — and boom, you can conference them in as they call you. No charge.

DIRT-CHEAP INTERNATIONAL CALLS If you dial your own Google Voice number from one of your phones, you’re offered an option to call overseas at rates even lower than Skype’s (and much lower than your cellphone company’s): 2 cents a minute to France or China, 3 cents to Chile or the Czech Republic. Sweet.

TEXT MESSAGE ORGANIZATION Google Voice sends text messages to whichever cellphones you want — even multiple phones simultaneously.

Even more important, it collects them in your Web in-box just like e-mail. You can file them, search them and, for the first time in cellphone history, keep them. They don’t vanish forever once your cellphone gets full.

You can also reply to them with a click, either with a call or another text; your back-and-forths appear online as a conversation.

Sounds good. And best yet it is free. Can't wait to check this out when it gets out of beta. For additional information, check out TechCrunch's review.

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