Remember about a year or two back, Google bought a small online telephone company called GrandCentral… Google Voice is the matured version of it, and stress-tested for large scale usage (hopefully).
Google Voice is an interesting service, very much in the territory of Telecom domain, so we will have to see how it impacts/ complements/ competes with the Telecoms of today.
Just FYI, Telecoms like AT&T, Verizon, Orange, etc are among the largest online advertisers, because they have a lot of money at stake in the face of VOIP, etc, and they are taking anything lightly today, though in the long-run, solutions with better economics will prevail, like we have seen with other technologies in the previous decades.
How does Google Voice work? You get a new Google assigned phone number. Then, you route all of your other phone numbers through that number. So, your office phone, your work phone, your home phone – whatever. Google voice will allow your calls to selectively ring to any of the destination phones you choose. It is a practical and useful concept, which is will be liked by many.
In addition, Google Voice offers bonus features like:
– You can selectively ring calls to multiple destinations.
– You can selectively block and screen calls
– You can send, receive forward and store SMS text messages
– Check your voicemail online, read it via email or text (you can even forward it)
– You can create personalized voicemail messages per contact
– You can group your contacts and manage their preferences on a group level
– Conference calling, call recording, call switching, 411 info