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GrandCentral Becomes Google Voice

By Luke Anderson

I don’t know if any of you got on the GrandCentral bandwagon back when they were still handing out numbers, but it’s one of my favorite Google services (next to my Gmail). Basically I have one number that I give out to everyone, I then have it ring both my house phone and my iPhone when someone calls it. If my cell phone or house number changes, I just log into my GrandCentral account and update it, and no one has to memorize a new number for me. If I want someone to stop calling, I just click a little button and when they call, GrandCentral tells them that my number has been disconnected. Pretty sweet, no? The big downside is that Google hasn’t been sending out any invites, and honestly they haven’t made any real changes to it in a very long time, making people wonder if it might get axed. Finally yesterday they announced Google Voice, which is essentially the new face of GrandCentral.

Google Voice doesn’t appear to just be a makeover for the GrandCentral site, new features are being added as well. One of my favorites is the ability to not only have your voicemails transcribed, but they can be forwarded to you via email or SMS. The transcription process is fully automated, which is really handy since there aren’t a lot of good ways to check my voicemails via the iPhone.  Other cool features include the ability to archive and search SMS text messages you have sent and received, as well as integration of the GOOG-411 service.

My account hasn’t been updated yet, but according to the site it should be in just a few days. For those that didn’t get a GrandCentral number when they were available, Google says that they will be sending out invitations to the new Google Voice service soon. You can sign up for an invitation here.

VIA [ Google Blog ]