Thursday, March 12, 2009

Google Voice, the new Grand Central

Finally Grand Central finds its way out. We were all wondering what would happen to Grand Central after Google acquire them July 2007. Earlier Google canned some of the other products that it acquired. It’s a smart move from the giant not to trash Grand Central, Which, in my opinion, is a great product. Google just release a preview of Google Voice , an application that helps you better manage your voice communication. The downside is it’s available only to the currently subscribed users. I’m one of the lucky early users of Grand Central. Though, lately I have not logged into my Grand Central account.

Here are some of the features of Google Voice:

• Call screening - Announce and screen callers
• Listen in - Listen before taking a call . It’s cool that u can listen to the voice mail being recorded and a chance to talk to the caller while he is recording his voice message.
• Block calls - Keep unwanted callers at bay . I love this feature. Now you have a way to block all those annoying telemarketers and spam calls. Lately, I have been getting so many spam calls.
• SMS - Send, receive, and store SMS
• Place calls - Call US numbers for free . Enjoy the free calls.
• Taking calls - Answer on any of your phones
• Phone routing - Phones ring based on who calls
• Forwarding phones - Add phones and decide which ring
• Conference calling - Join people into a single call
• Call record - Record calls and store them online
• Call switch - Switch phones during a call
• Mobile site - View your inbox from your mobile
• Personalize greeting - Vary greetings by caller
• Listen to voicemail - Check online or from your phone

I love some of the features like the ability to send, receive and store SMS messages. Also, listen in is awesome. Based on the message somebody is leaving, I have a way to connect back to them right away. More like an answering machine. The service is going to be free. For international calls, users can purchase credits( similar to skype,gizmo etc). More to come. Stay tuned!

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