Saturday, December 05, 2009

Google Voice - formerly Grand Central

Sometime ago I signed up for Grand Central.  That service is now known as Google Voice.  It is quite an interesting application.  When you sign up, you get assigned a telephone number for the city of your choice.  You then associate all of your telephones, cell and land based, with your account.  When someone calls your Google Voice number, their service will ring all of your phones trying to locate you.

It has one feature that I really like - voice mail with transcription.  When someone leaves you a voice mail, Google will transcribe that voice mail into text and email you the message.  You can go on-line and hear the message or just read the text.  (They say that I can use their voice mail instead of my cell phone voice mail.  I have not tried this yet, but it would be great.)

It has a number of nice features.  If I want to call my friend in New Mexico, I go to the website, enter his number and tell it my phone number.  It will call me first and then my friend.  No long distance!

They also have a gadget that you can post on a website or blog that will allow others to call you at no charge.  I have played with that feature with a couple of my Weather Message customers.  I give them a link, they enter their telephone number, Google calls them and then rings my home phone, office phone, business cell and personal cell.  If I don't answer Google routes it to voice mail, then sends me a short message on my cell phone.

Now that is what I call number portability.  I have one number that follows me everywhere.  No more hiding.  You just have to get that number.

I am considering using this capability for telephone support for users.

Oh - I forgot to mention that it is free....

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