Thursday, September 1, 2011

Google Voice

Those of you smart enough to have a Gmail account should also have a Google Voice number. It's free, packed with features, and, no, I am not a paid spokesperson for Google products.

You can also have calls, texts, and voicemails from your Google Voice number forwarded to your mobile phone (if you want), and Google even offers a free transcription service for your voicemails, although their transcriptions are currently nowhere near accurate. Indeed, these transcriptions are so hilariously inaccurate that I nonetheless keep reading them, just for laughs.

You can even forward texts from your Google Voice number to your email address. Also, you can make calls from this number, Skype-like, from your computer. If they're domestic calls, they're free.

Another nifty feature: you can change phones and wireless services, but, as long as Google is still in business, your Google Voice number endures.

So, this is the number I now give out to people, instead of the number of the Iphone I constantly carry around with me. That way, people I don't really know don't have the power to instantly intrude upon my life. In today's hyperconnected world, this small extra measure of distance is a luxury for an irritable curmudgeon like me.

This is also the number I give to those retailers who insist on asking for it as I make my purchases. It saves me from arguing with them.

And Google Voice has another cool feature that I just found out about: with a Google Voice number, you can install a "Call Widget" (see above) on your website that allows people to instantly call you with just a click, WITHOUT you having to post your Google Voice number on your site.

Get a Google Voice number! It'll make your life better.

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