By now, you’ve probably read about today’s biggest news – Google Voice, or what was previously known as GrandCentral which was acquired by Google in 2007. It took Google two years before finally relaunching the service. For such a long time, we like all the others who have written about it expect Google Voice to be as good as it can get. Expectations are running high right now and everybody seems to be expecting Google to deliver the goods to Google.First what is Google Voice and what can it do for us? Google Voice is said to be a service that would give users one number for all their phones, voicemail, and other enhanced calling features such as call blocking and screening, voicemail transcripts, call conferencing, international calls and more. And lest we forget, Google Voice will be a free service.
Google Voice is available now but only for existing GrandCentral users. Google promises to accept new users soon. But in the meantime let it be known that Google Voice will have the following cool features:
- 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
- GOOG-411 - Check directory assistance
- Manage groups - Set preferences by group
From the looks of it, Google is poised to make waves in the telephoning market. Although the idea of having a single phone number to deal voice, sms, and other mobile communication functions, the challenge is still up ahead of Google Voice. Things such as how to build membership among friends and business contacts who will in turn make full use of the Google Voice service. Another things is whether users who would opt-in to the program are willing to give up their existing phone number in favor of the Google Voice number?
But since this is a free service, it is expected that Google will gain good traction on membership building. And besides it already has a good number of members coming from the old GrandCentral service.
People are asking, will Google Voice be as strong as the other Google products and services? The way I see it, nothing would seem to be hindering Google from achieving a strong usage among users.