Growth5 Blog

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Google Voice App Available for Android & Blackberry

Google Voice (previously Grand Central) just released their mobile app for Android & Blackberry phones with the iPhone on the way.

The new app allows users to make calls directly from the address book of their cell phone but have the recipient see their Google Voice number instead of their cell phone number. This option has not been available to-date.

This is important because the idea of Google Voice is to allow you to have one phone number that when people call you, it rings all of your phones. The complication was that when you call back from your house (do people still have house phones?), office or cell the recipient would see and store those 3 separate phone numbers under your name. This app solves that issue for your mobile phone.

Google Voice has some cool features for visual voicemail and in-call options that we wrote about awhile back. Say you're in the car on your cell on the way to the office, when you get to your desk you could switch the call to your office phone and put your cell on the charger.

So what is Google after with Google Voice? Some suggest they are marginalizing the carriers as just "dumb pipes" that deliver the data to Google Voice and Google takes it from there. Google is great at getting in the middle and profiting. See their success in search.

Om Malik of GigaOm thinks Google wants to become your phone company:
"I have been playing around with the Android App for about an hour or so and I can see the broader implications. When I was setting up the app, one of the options I was given: to make all calls through Google Voice. And that’s when I thought to myself: Oh! OH!"
Screen grab of Google Voice from GigaOm

Source info & related:
-Washington Post
-NY Times
-PCMag: Telcentris Takes on Google Voice with VoxOx 2

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