3/21/2009

Can You Hear Me Now?

Google rules the information superhighway. What started out as a no-frills search engine has blossomed into a dominate online software company. Their latest tool is Google Voice. Here's how it works:

With Google Voice, you get all your calls through a single number. Just add your other numbers to Google Voice and then make your own rules for how your phones ring. Click the Settings link on the right side of the page and click the Phones tab to change your phone settings and add the numbers you want to forward your calls to.

You can access and make calls from the phone and the Web, block annoying callers at will, and record custom greetings for different callers or groups of callers.

With Google Voice, you'll get all your voicemails in one place, saved for as long as you want. If you don't answer a call to your Google number, your callers will be sent to your Google voicemail. You can check messages by calling your Google number, by signing in to Google Voice, or by opting in to receive notifications.

You'll also get more handy features that work across all your phones:

-ListenIn as callers leave you a message
-Record calls on the fly so you never have to fumble for a pen again
-Switch phones mid-call without your caller knowing
Google bought out GrandCentral over a year and a half ago. I've had a GC phone number for a couple of years now. After the buyout, nobody heard from GrandCentral again. Google wasn't promoting it. GrandCentral users thought that Google had abandoned GC and left it for dead in March 2008, when the GC blog went dark. But a year later, here comes Google Voice. After Google rebranded GrandCentral into Google Voice, the existing GC users were offered to convert to Google Voice and be the first beta testers, before it is offered to other Google users. So far, so good.