After over a year of being invitation-only, Google has finally opened up Voice for signups. If you haven’t heard of or used Google Voice, it’s an interesting service that has a lot potential. The general idea is: you sign up, and Google gives you a new phone number. This number then becomes a sort of relay, forwarding calls to any number of other phones simultaneously. For instance, if someone calls my Google Voice number, it rings my Work phone and my Cell phone at the same time, and I just pick up whichever is more convenient.
That’s just the tip of the iceberg, though…Voice also gives you a ton of control over how incoming calls are dealt with. It uses your Google Contacts as one source for logical rules, and you can set up things like “If anyone in my Friends list calls me, send that to my Cell phone and don’t go to Voicemail”. On the other hand, you can easily say something like “If anyone on my “Do Not Call” list calls, don’t ring my phone and send them to Voicemail.” Or even block them completely!
Voice also does voicemail speech-to-text transcription, will txt you when you get a voicemail, and integrates seamlessly with Android phones. It’s an incredible service…if you haven’t tried it, and you hate the phone as much as I do, Google Voice will change the way you deal with the phone.