Nov 2, 2009

Google Voice

Google has entered the telecommunications realm with its introduction of Google Voice, a service created by Google's addition last year of Grand Central, a nifty feature that transcribes voicemail messages and cloaks all your phones and telecommunication devices under the umbrella of one number: a Google number. So you can give out one number to all your buddies, colleagues, friends or whomever and all your phones can be connected seamlessly. Also, you can send free SMS and have voicemails transcribed for you (also, available by other services, such as Callwave).

I had read about the service at least a year ago when Google first acquired Grand Central, but was only giving the service to customers by invitation only. Alas, I was not one of the chosen few. Ugh.

So, I was happy to discover one day, a message in my Gmail inbox that Google Voice was now available for me to sign-up.

I would love to use the full functionality of Google Voice but, because of a move by Apple to pull the plug on Google Voice on the iPhone, I can only use the service through my computer. I am a loyal Apple fan, but here, Apple has sold itself to AT&T. Google had created a Google Voice app for the iPhone, but Apple deleted it from the Apple store.

Personally, I think Apple's move was a bit draconian. It would be like if Microsoft did not allow you to download Firefox onto your computer and forced you to use Internet Explorer.

But don't worry, in a recent blog post David Pogue assures us that Google will eventually develop a web app to counteract Apple's icksnay of it newest FREE gadget. Now, you can only use Google Voice on its android phone or on a blackberry, on your home computer, or on a web app compatible device. But the web app does not work yet on iPhone. Just a matter of time.

But, why is Google Voice so cool?

Well, it is like having CallWave, Skype and Gmail all rolled up into one. I hate listening to voicemails and would just rather read them. Also, I am an addict when it comes to new digital features. Also, I am a proponent for Open Source. Apple should not decided how I access information and what platform I use to do so.

In the meantime you can call me through your computer until I get Google Voice, fully.

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