I’ve been using Google Voice since it was owned by Grand Central. It is a great platform for managing free calls, SMS, and contacts with intelligence. Now Google Voice lets you port your mobile number from your carrier to Google as well. This way, your voicemail is accessible from the cloud. By allowing Google Voice to manage my voicemail, it solves my issue with AT&T which prevents me from receiving voicemail notifications. Once you receive a voicemail, you can be alerted a number of ways by transcribed email or SMS text messages.
Google Voice can let you have a single phone number that automatically rings to your mobile, work, home and other phones based on rules and settings. For example, calls from your kids will ring all numbers while office related contacts only ring your work number.
The process to move your carrier number to Google Voice requires a few steps. However, it is very worth it in the end.
New in GMail fresh from the mad scientists at Google Labs – you can now activate a feature that allows you to play your Google Voice messages in your GMail account. Furthermore, the playback syncs with your GVoice account and causes them to be marked as no longer new. Slowly but surely Google is tying together all their services into a supermegamonstercloud application set. Though it still pisses me off that the same features they activate in Google Tasks in GMail aren’t immediately available in Google Calendar. And that Tasks still doesn’t have an API that some coder in a dark room can use to sync my To Do’s with my iPhone. C’mon you lazy Googlers – get at it!
As everyone in the tech world knows, the FCC is poking into why exactly Apple decided to reject the Google Voice application from the App Store. The investigation has dragged in Google and AT&T as well, with the FCC asking some hard questions about what exactly happened. Today, all three companies delivered their responses. I strongly urge you to read their responses via TechCrunch, because of the flurry of commentary that’s popped up on the web since the release, it’s my opinion that TechCrunch has gotten to the heart of the matter in Michael Arrington’s unique style.
Mr. Arrington points out something that didn’t even occur to me until I read his post – aside from the email app and the phone, most of what I do with my iPhone does indeed revolve around Google-provided services. I use Safari to access Google Reader. I use third party apps that get me to POI’s via Google’s mapping app. I use Google’s mapping app as a poor man’s GPS when I am too lazy to fire up my Mio. I’ve already swapped out Apple’s Contacts and To-Do apps with an app that sync Google Calendar to my iPhone (and, god willing, will allow Tasks syncing in the near future). As Google improves the Safari version of gMail, I’ll probably start moving over to using that more than I use the Apple mail client, especially because Apple seems incapable of providing a universal inbox a la the Palm Pre. He’s absolutely right that the iPhone is a very pretty shell around a bunch of Google services, with Google Voice supplanting yet more iPhone functionality.
Dammit I never should have sold my Google stock. At this rate, AT&T will be a dumb (albeit expensive) pipe to an Apple manufactured platform that provides a pretty (non-Android) version of the Google OS.