- Free voice mail transcription, which converts recordings into typed text. Users have the option to have these messages sent to themselves as emails or texts — enabling them to search through, sort, save, copy or even forward material from voice mails.
- Free conference calling.
- Cheap international calls, with rates competitive to online telephony leader Skype: $0.02 a minute to France or China, $0.03 to Chile or the Czech Republic, for example.
- Text message organization — texts are sent to whichever mobile phones you specify, including multiple ones at once. They are also collected into your Google Voice inbox, like email, and can be filed and kept — a first in mobile phone history, the NY Times observes. As is the case with Gchat on Gmail, back-and-forth texts will be kept as “conversations.”
Now that means that pretty much your entire digital communication stream can (and will) be captured by Google. It’s going to be in an index somewhere. I would be 100% certain that your Google Desktop Search will index these entries and Google will keep a cache.
I think I’ll stick with Skype. Is anyone else going to try this out? There is an inherent coolness factor but I’m not sure how much more information Google *cough* Big Brother needs about me. Check out http://voice.google.com