Google purchased a company many years ago called Grand Central, an aptly named company that gives you a new phone number, performs a few tricks and goes a long way to making your choice of phone company irrelevant.
Not available in Canada (yet) and available in an invitation only mode in the US, Google Voice has made your phone service (be it landline or wireless) a commodity.
Most people who have a phone also have a computer. So why is it that the only integration that exists between your phone and your computer is the fact you can get an email with your monthly bill along with some online account maintenance?
Where’s my Rogers or AT&T voice mail delivered to my email box? It’s 2009 folks!
Why can’t I send an SMS from my computer as if it came from my phone? (I sure can type a LOT faster on my computer than my phone.)
Why can’t I auto-magically send certain callers to voice mail, or certain callers to ring my phone at home?
Google Voice does all of that. For free (for now).
It seamlessly integrates your voice mail, your SMS ‘life’, your address book, the multiple phone lines in your life between your computer and your phone and makes the actual phone companies you use nothing more than a carrier of bits.
The sad part is that the the big wireless customers had the ability to implement many similar services but failed to take advantage of the opportunity.
The cat’s out of the bag. Google Voice — it just works.