Google Voice: Turn-ons and Hang-ups

19 July 2009

Among the latest buzz on the Internet is Google Voice, Google's newest service that's still in the labs- Google Labs, to be exact. (http://google.com/voice for more information). As of right now, the service is still invite-only and invites can be requested from Google. I recieved my invite recently and attached my cell phone to the service and am very satisfied as it comes with a lot of features that, in the opinion of a few friends of mine, should be features of cell phones by default (and to be honest I'm in agreement with them). I should add, however, that Google Voice does NOT replace a phone company as all it does is call-routing so don't run out and cancel your current phone service.

The biggest turn-ons are some really great features with the service:

Of course, there are more features than just those I listed here. These are the ones that have probably had the most impact on my phone usage (and that I've actually used). Amazingly, using Google Voice I've been using less airtime on my phone than before which is a huge advantage for those who pay for airtime on prepaid or other plans. I personally have a TracFone.

As with anything though, there are the obvious hang-ups. However, since Google is actively developing Google Voice (or so I gather) some of these may change as time goes on. In any case, here they are:

For me, at least, Google Voice is a great and very useful service that allows me to manage my phone and messages more efficiently despite a few minor bugs. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to test out switching phones during a conversation or having multiple phones on my account as I currently only have a TracFone and my family wouldn't appreciate me experimenting with the home phone. GV seems to me like a service worth trying, and after I told a few friends about it myself, they rushed off to get invites. The best part is, as with most Google services, is that it's free (though there is a charge for international calling). Therefore, if you don't like it, there's no money lost.

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