InformationWeek.com posted a great article: Google Voice Rises To Replace GrandCentral.
The most exciting line of the entire article is the second sentence.
The service will remain in private beta for existing GrandCentral users for a few more weeks. But after that, Google expects to open Google Voice to the general public.
As someone who applied for Beta access to Grand Central but never got through, I am uber excited. The feature list of Google’s expanded offering is also cause for even greater excitement.
The Feature List:
- A single phone number that routes incoming calls to six of the user’s phones at once
- A single online in-box for voice-mail messages
- Ability to receive SMS text messages sent to your Google Voice number on a mobile device
- Sending SMS messages from your Web-based Google Voice inbox
- The ability to screen calls as if in a room with an answering machine
- Record calls and access those recordings online
- Block unwanted callers
- Receive notifications of voice mail via e-mail or SMS
- The ability to set how calls to one’s Google Voice number are routed, based on time or caller.
- Personalized greetings, per user or group
- Personalize the ringing sound that callers hear while waiting for you to answer
- WebCall Button, for connecting a would-be callers phone to yours using a Web-based button
- Initiate a call from your online address book
- Visual voice mail
- Automated transcriptions of voice-mail messages
- Place free domestic calls in the United States
- Place low-rate international calls to select countries
- Easy conference calling
“Now that voice mail is text, everything is searchable.” Now voice-mail recordings can evem be embedded in any Web page
While I may never have gotten a Grand Central Beta Invite, I will certainly be a Google Talk user when they publicly launch the service!
Phone numbers, Web Site URL’s and Email Addresses all need to be finally handled equally.
Its easy to forward several email accounts or website URL’s to one location.
Gmail allows anyone to send email using any email account they own.
And so much more!
Now we need the same freedom with our phones and phone numbers.
Having a consistent, never-changing phone number is just as important as your website address!
Once again, Thanks Google!