Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Google Voice

Today I had a nice surprise in my inbox: I got an invite for Google Voice! To be honest, I don't even remember when I signed up for it, I'm sure its been many, many months!
I haven't reallly been following the full capability of Google Voice (since I didn't imagine I'd ever have a chance to use it) but I remember Dave Ciccone (mobilitytoday.com) mentioning on a podcast that he had Google Voice (or GrandCentral) ringing all his various phones that he was testing. With that in mind I decided to see if I could find a useful way to use GrandCentral.
Surprisingly, the thing I've found most useful is the SMS function in Google Voice. On the desktop it has a nice threaded chat view and backs up the conversation. It took me a while to figure out but once someone sends a text to your Google Voice number, it also comes to your cell phone with a mask return number which will allow you to reply without exposing your cell phone number. Once I sent texts to all my friends telling them I had a new number most replied and I was able to add the mask return number to their address book entry. (I'm hoping that the number is always the same and not dynamically assigned for each day/week/month).
I also figured I could ditch YouMail by forwarding my Blackberry to Google Voice. I did it by forwarding calls when there is no answer; my cell rings the bounces the call to Google Voice (which somehow doesn't ring my cell again) then to the voicemail. Excellent!
If you haven't signed up for Google Voice, I highly recommend it. I'm sure that after checking it out you'll be able to come up with your own use. For me, its a way to have more of my life in the cloud.

Sent via BlackBerry Bold

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