Finally! There’s still life in what used to be called GrandCentral! I haven’t looked much at the phone service since Google (s GOOG) purchased it, but it’s now called Google Voice. GrandCentral had been closed to new participants for some time, so hopefully the service opens up the floodgates. Om took a look and likes what he sees. Here’s a short list from Om of some Google Voice features:
- Use your GrandCentral number to send and receive SMS messages.
- Make phone calls using the web or your mobile/landline phone.
- Get transcripts for voicemails left on Google Voice via SMS.
- Free calls to all U.S. numbers.
Here’s an interesting tidbit that plays into yesterday’s chat with Todd Jackson over at Gmail. Om says: “…the GrandCentral web site has been redesigned to resemble Gmail…” That reduces the learning curve and gets back to Todd’s comment that it’s not about the number of users, but about the usage. Why not make it familiar and easy to use?
I thought my GrandCentral account was disabled, but after requesting a password reset from a very old e-mail address I don’t use any more, I did get signed in again. The change is a rolling upgrade, so at the moment, I’ll have to wait for it before kicking the tires. I recently moved my contacts into Google and that’s a lucky break: Google Voice uses the Gmail Contact list. (I actually would love to see this whole Google Voice service integrated in Gmail, but that’s just me.) Om warns that you’ll lose your GrandCentral contacts with the upgrade, so if you don’t see the upgrade yet, you might want to click that Export button in GrandCentral.