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Summary:

In a comment on a post here on WWD, David Pogue told us that change was coming soon to GrandCentral, and of course he was right. GrandCentral is FINALLY relaunching as Google Voice. Om has details about the back-from-the-sleeping service over on GigaOM. In addition to […]

voice-logoIn a comment on a post here on WWD, David Pogue told us that change was coming soon to GrandCentral, and of course he was right. GrandCentral is FINALLY relaunching as Google Voice.

Om has details about the back-from-the-sleeping service over on GigaOM.

In addition to opening the service up to new users, Om reports that Google Voice will host a suite of new VoIP features:

  1. You can use your GrandCentral number to send and receive SMS messages, and have them forwarded to your current wireless phone. You can send messages from the mobile or from the landline phone.
  2. Make phone calls using the web or your mobile/landline phone.
  3. You can get transcripts for voicemails left on Google Voice. These transcripts, based on internal Google technology currently being used by GOOG-411 service, can be sent to you via SMS.
  4. Create conference calls by dragging phone numbers onto existing calls. This will be useful for small businesses and web workers.
  5. Free calls to all U.S. numbers. You can make international calls but that will cost you, depending on the country you are dialing.

Google Voice will also integrate with Google contacts, which will be a very welcome change.

None of these new features are groundbreaking. There are a number of startups that can do what Google Voice does and more. But with Google Voice we can likely expect a simple, straightforward interface and low barrier to entry, with only a Google Account required to sign up.

We’ll have a more in-depth look at Google Voice once it’s widely available.

  1. What are some good alternatives for Google Voice? I have been searching but unable to find them. I use Skype but it has it limitations.

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  2. Is there a specific part of Google Voice you’re interested in? There are various startups that have the functionality mentioned here, but none are an exact like-for-like alternative, I believe.

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  3. Thanks Judi – I think it was your post that finally got them moving on this.

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  4. @Scott much as I would like that to be true, it’s probably not very likely. As noted by TechCruch Google often takes a very long time – a year or more – to integrate new acquisitions with its existing infrastructure – hence the delay.

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  5. I just started using this – and I have to say the voicemail transcripts are very nice.

    Also you can set what time of day you want calls to go to voicemail and which phones to ring at certain times etc.

    Setup Verizon friends and family line to link your google voice number for free calls – then you can have calls sent to your cell for free (if you check the option for caller id to show only your google voice number and not the callers number).

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  6. [...] Voice germinated after Google acquired GrandCentral almost two years ago. The service was relaunched earlier this year as a private beta for GrandCentral users. I’ve been using it for a while, and am generally [...]

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  7. [...] your favorite web app?” Xobni, a favorite tool of ours, moved out of beta; GrandCentral was finally relaunched as Google Voice; and Scott wrote about the Small Business Web, a collaborative effort that would lead to greater [...]

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