The Bottom Line
Google Voice has a lot of potential, and it is worth it to reserve a free phone number just for use with your home and cell phones.
- Give everyone a single phone number
- Customize actions based on the caller
- Check voicemail online
- Get email notification of voice messages
- Transcribes voice messages
- Available by invitation only
- Cannot dial phone numbers with extensions
- Beta software which may contain bugs
- You can only sign up with a US phone number
- Voice mail transcription is not always accurate
- Use a single phone number for all inbound calls.
- Customize actions for phone calls based on who is calling or the time of day.
- "Click2Call" to initiate a call from the Web.
- Search for your Google Voice phone number by word, area code, numbers, or any combination.
- Can be used to screen calls like an answering machine.
- Offers visual voice mail access for Web-enabled cell phones.
Guide Review - Google Voice - Internet Service to Manage Phones and Numbers
If someone calls your Google Voice number, you can specify that all or some of your phone numbers can ring. For example, you could say that your cell phone will ring during business hours, and your home phone will ring in the evening. You could say that some callers will ring your office phone and particularly annoying callers will hear a "this number is not in service" message.
Google Voice also provides a central voice mail box that can be accessed from your computer or Web-enabled phone. You can even listen to voice mail as it's being recorded and decide whether or not to answer the phone. Google Voice will send you an email notification that you've received a message, so you don't have to log into your account to check if you've missed any calls.
Google Voice is such a convenient service that the only major drawback for US customers is the inability to dial numbers with extensions.