Google Voice

September 8, 2009

Sometime in the next few weeks, Google will be releasing a new service called Google Voice. It’s a free service that many people may find very useful.

Here’s how it works. When you sign up, you get your own special Google phone number. This is a real phone number that people can call. If you move, your Google phone number stays the same. But unlike a regular phone number, this one is powerful.

Unlike your standard phone line you get from your local phone company, this phone number comes with voice mail and has a lot of features. Here are just a few of the features.

You can have your voice mail e-mailed to your or sent as a text message to your phone in addition to being able to call a phone number and get your voice mail messages with any phone.

You can set your Google phone number up so that when anyone calls it, every phone you have will ring and you can answer the call at any of these phones. Or you can set it up so that when a certain person calls, it only rings at home, but when a different person calls, it will ring on your home phone and your cell phone.

Here’s an example of that. You could set it up so that if a call comes in from your parents house, it would ring at all of your phones (home, cell, work). At the same time, you could set it up so that if an acquaintance calls, it just rings at home or goes straight to voice mail.

What I like best about this is how you could handle solicitation calls. I could put all of the people I know into Google Voice and specify which phones will ring when they call. I could then specify that when anyone else calls, it goes straight to voice mail. This won’t eliminate solicitation calls, but should dramatically reduce them.

Another cool feature is call screening. With the traditional answering machine, you could screen calls by listening as a caller left a message. You can still do that with Google Voice, but you can do more too. You can specify that anyone who calls who is not in your address book must record their name the first time they call. That recording will then be played to you so you will know who is calling and if their caller id is blocked or not. If they don’t record their name, their call doesn’t get through.

When you block a call, the caller will get a message that sounds like the phone company message notifying them that the number is no longer in service.

People can even send text messages to your Google phone number. You can have text messages sent to your Google phone number sent to your cell phone.

The list of features goes on and on. For more information, take a look at


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