Rumors are this – Google Voice is going to be released very soon. Keep your eye out – possibly get yourself on the waiting list. Currently a visit to http://www.google.com/voice will do that for you. I recommend this strongly.
First of all Google Voice matters so much that I'd dare even say that the pricing doesn't matter. Google will probably make it free – so that means a lot of people will “pick it up.” Be smart and be one of them.
Yes, I have an account and yes, it is that good.
7 reasons it matters:
- Phone number for life. The days of strategically picking your phone company (cell or landline) will come to an end very soon. Hand over your Google Voice number to everyone and have it forward to the plan of your choice on the platform of your choice. Expect a rise in month to month contracts.
- SMS without silly fees. The cell phone companies will have to follow if they want anyone to sign a long term contract.
- Groups and greetings based on caller id. Knowing Mom can call at 2am in an emergency but the character you gave your business card to at a meeting can't changes everything.
- Listen in on voicemail. Words can't describe the freedom this brings until you've tried it.
- Transcripts of voice mail messages sent via sms. We once took calls because we didn't know if they were important or not. Groups and greeting and this feature means we can choose to act a minute or two later based on what we've just found out. We're in control again.
- A searchable library/archive of SMS and voice messages. Letting someone else handle that archive means you'll be less likely to keep a queue of 97 messages just in case. It happened with Gmail search of webmail and it will happen here again.
Rumor is – it's coming soon. Get yours asap. Someone who logically thinks this process through will realize Google can't give them out the way they give Web mail accounts away. Stay on top of whatever system they use and you'll have a very powerful tool to add to your inventory.