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Through the years, the way we handle our telephone messages has gone through some dramatic changes.  Remember the days of needing tape cassettes to record answering machine messages?  I suppose it hasn’t really been that long has it?

With the old answering machines, there really wasn’t much flexibility. You could listen to your messages and then go on to the next one. Interesting, huh? Sure, there are still answering machines around but most people don’t use them anymore.


Next we have the dawn of voice mail. Instead of having a machine hooked directly to the phone or line we have an answering service, remotely hosted, offering a bit more flexibility to our telephone messaging lives. Still, there is something static about it. Plus, you usually have to call in to retrieve those messages adding another annoying step.

Google Voice, and specifically Google voicemail, seems to be changing things again. They’re beginning to change what we should be expecting from our phone services and voice mail is definitely not excluded!  Let’s go through some of the features the  Google Voice voicemail system affords our voice mail needs.

google voicemail

First of all, you can get email notifications when you receive a message.

That means that those of us who practically live in the confines of our email in-box will know exactly when a new message is left!  Apparently “more than 30 percent of voice mail messages remain unheard for three days or longer” which tells me that the current way of being notified may be out dated.  Why not bring the notifications to where we are?  Google Voice comes through here!

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Second, you can listen to the message online!

When you get the email notification, you can click through and immediately listen to the message. This means that rewinding and fast-forwarding is a cinch. In fact, you can jump straight to the needed part of the message!

google voicemail

Third, Google voicemail will transcribe the message for you into the email message!

That means that Google will use their powers to automatically figure out what the message is saying and type out the words for you (in case you can’t listen to it audibly at that moment). Please note that this feature is not yet perfected (as you can see by the transcriptions at the bottom of my review post) but perhaps through time it will improve.

Forth, Google voicemail allows sharing the message with others

Ever get a a really funny message from one of your buds and you have to pass it on to all your friends? Emailing it to your group is a snap! Or you can embed it in a post on your blog or social network for the world to hear!  OR there’s the download option. You can download the message to an MP3 for playing back or archiving on a CD with the rest of the hundreds of hilarious messages you receive.

Google Voice has brought many features to the telephony table and these new voice mail features are only a portion of what they have to offer.  With Google Voice you can also accomplish such feats as call-forwarding, conference calling, changing phones in the middle of a call, listening in on your Google voicemail, and even calling out while leaving your Google number on caller IDs (use the call out feature to save money on your cell phone bill WITHOUT a data plan). There’s so much more, you’d just have to check it out yourself.

Which features of Google Voice are you most enthralled with?

  1. turtaf
    March 1, 2010 at 2:14 am

    foUrth

  2. vietvet52
    February 28, 2010 at 8:45 pm

    my cell drops out at home , my Gvoice will then ring my line line, no more missed calls at home,.

  3. Srivatsan Venkatesh
    February 28, 2010 at 3:01 pm

    I like being able to access the voicemail by calling your number and punching # followed by your PIN to hear your messages. Useful when you can't get to a computer.

    • Tim Lenahan
      February 28, 2010 at 7:07 pm

      Yes! I do that constantly! You can access quite a few features via the call in system.

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