Need a second number for FREE? Try Google Voice
June 23, 2010 12 Comments
Just a few days ago, I wrote a short article about our need for a second phone number which I hope you all read it. Certainly Google did :-) After more than fifteen months of testing, they officially launched their Google Voice which is now available for everyone in the US.
The service acts as a unified phone number. It can be used to make free calls to the U.S. and Canada, to send free text messages and more. Its voicemail system can even be checked by email.
Google Voice is a wonderful solution to the increasingly complex web of communication profiles. Instead of having to try to maintain separate phone numbers, you can just have one central number forwarded to different devices based on time of day or location.
I have used Google Voice for about 8 months. Generally, the services work as described. However, the quality of the connection is iffy at times, leading to dropped calls, poor audio quality, etc. As a free solution that emulates some VOIP features, it is acceptable. Now, if Google would ramp up this service to compete with Skype or to VOIP standards, that would make it much more attractive.