The Voice of Google

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In 2007 Google bought a company called GrandCentral, then appeared to ignore its new toy.

GrandCentral allowed consumers to sign up for a new, free phone number. Users could then choose to have the number ring to their cell phone, work number, or home phone, or all of them simultaneously. Users could easily record calls, and listen to their voice mail on the GrandCentral Web site.

Google put no marketing muscle behind GrandCentral and in fact closed down the service to new users. Turns out, though, that Google was quietly remaking GrandCentral into Google Voice, which should be available to the public in a matter of weeks.

Google Voice includes some important new features: It automatically transcribes voice mail messages into text; delivers SMS messages into a users’ inboxes; and allows people to make cheap international calls.

Guest: Dwight Silverman

One Response to “The Voice of Google”

  1. billw says:

    Interesting market for google, especially with Android. I recently switched to Vonage for “landline” service and they provide the same features, manageable online. I especially like VM being sent directly to my email as a recording or text.

    Another cool service I tried was Jott, which allows you to transcribe, send and reply to email hands free. A great service if you have a blackberry and a long commute.