Growth5 Blog

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Google Voice For All

From the Google Blog:
"A little over a year ago, we released an early preview of Google Voice, our web-based platform for managing your communications. We introduced one number to ring all your phones, voicemail that works like email, free calls and text messages to the U.S. and Canada, low-priced international calls and more—the only catch was you had to request and receive an invite to try it out. Today, after lots of testing and tweaking, we’re excited to open up Google Voice to the public, no invitation required."
What does Google Voice have to offer?

From ars technica:
"For those just now getting acquainted with Google Voice, it essentially lets you set up a new phone number that can ring multiple phones. You can also set up personalized greetings per-caller or per-group, screen your calls, listen in on voicemails as they're being left, access your voicemails (and their text transcripts) online, and more. You can also block individual numbers on your own—no more begging your phone company to block your crazy ex—send free SMSs, make cheap international calls, and even port your existing number if you don't want to sign up for a new one. (It should be noted that if you're going to use Google Voice to make calls on your cell phone, you're still using cell minutes.)"
We covered the features of Google Voice awhile back.
Google number - One number for all your calls and SMS
  • Call screening - Announce and screen callers
  • Listen in - Listen before taking a call
  • Block calls - Keep unwanted callers at bay
  • SMS - Send, receive, and store SMS
  • Place calls - Call US numbers for free
  • Taking calls - Answer on any of your phones
  • Phone routing - Phones ring based on who calls
  • Forwarding phones - Add phones and decide which ring
Google voicemail - Voicemail as easy as email, with transcripts
  • Voicemail transcripts - Read what your voicemail says
  • Listen to voicemail - Check online or from your phone
  • Notifications - Receive voicemails via email or SMS
  • Personalize greeting - Vary greetings by caller
  • Share voicemail - Forward or download voicemails
Voice features - More cool things you can do with Google Voice
  • Conference calling - Join people into a single call
  • Call record - Record calls and store them online
  • Call switch - Switch phones during a call
  • Mobile site - View your inbox from your mobile
  • GOOG-411 - Check directory assistance
  • Manage groups - Set preferences by group
Here's a short video from Google about Google Voice. Also embedded just below.

Currently, I have a system that uses "twinning" so my office phone will simultaneously ring my Vonage numbers that then "simulring" my cell phone. I may try Google Voice just to clean up the daisy chain mess of my current system. For example, if I'm not at any of the primary office/house phones I have to answer my cell phone on the first ring because it is actually ring five or six of total rings the caller has waited through.

I also like the voicemail functionality and will be interested to see how switching phones during a call works. I often wish I had started calls on my mobile phone so I can leave the office / my house without being tied to those phones.

Will let you know how it goes!

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