Silicon Valley News

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Editor's Choice: Google Voice adds Web-enhanced voicemail feature

A new, free Google Voice service provides extensive  Web enhancements, including transcripts of your voicemail and the ability to search text messages. The service includes discount international calling and access to Google-411 directory assistance. The simplified phone communications means you don't have to worry about which number you hand out to people. Google Voice includes a single number to ring your home, work and cell phones, an inbox that you can access on the internet, and a  screen call option that asks if you want to accept an incoming call or send the person to voicemail. If you have your mobile phone with you at home or work, you can choose which to answer.

Google Voice is a new version of the GrandCentral service it acquired in 2007. Exisiting GrandCentral users now have access to the service. Google plans to offer it to the public in the near future.

The transcription feature is an advantage when checking your messages. Google Voice emails the transcripted text messages and makes it easy to search. The caller's number is spotlighted. On the Apple iPhone or T-Mobile G1, the phone number is highlighted in the email so you can click it to call back.