Here is the first cut review of Google voice.
Google guides us again and competes head-on with others in the business for decades. This time even the telephone carriers around the world may be forced to accept how little services/features they provided and how heavily they charged all of us all these years.
What’s new in Google voice
1. Screening spam call:Anyone who heard my ringtones must have heard the spooky tone (Everyone asks what’s that for the first time) that’s set specifically for spam calls. Now Google lets me set a specific greeting for such calls including the one that says "I am sorry that number is not in service". Now that’s the right way to treat spams :)
2. Routing the calls:You can route the calls to any number/carrier anytime. That relieves me from changing my number and potentially loosing connection with most of my friends. This is also a big boon for my friends back in India who went back from US. They usually want to have a local number which people here can use to keep in touch with them, but they end up paying for monthly service fee. I haven’t checked this in detail, but it should be possible to link a US number to Indian phone number.
3. Rignging multiple phones:I can have one number that rings all my family numbers(including cell phones and home phones) so that any one can pick it up. Changing them is as simple as a few clicks.
4. Voice mails as text:Set up Google voice and it can send voice mails as a text and a link to its voice. It may be very useful tool to read your voice mails instead of listening if you are busy person in meetings or pubs :) This can also be sent as email. Reply to email can go as SMS.
5. Customize greetings for each caller:You can customize greeting for each caller or group of callers (cool ones for friends and professional one for colleagues and so on)
6. Conferencing:Even if your phone or carrier does not provide options to conference with multiple friends, Google voice lets you do that.
These were the features that i was impressed with; you may find your own. Check them out at https://www.google.com/voice Telephony industry in on right track now.