Google have announced, but not yet launched, Google Voice, which is an expansion of the GrandCentral service they purchased a couple of years back. Think of it as a cross between your company phone exchange and Google Mail.
I have a GrandCentral account – seldom used at present, as it’s very US-centric. But it gives me one US phone number which I can choose to manage in many different ways through a convenient web interface – I can, for example, redirect it to a friend’s house if I’m staying with them, or to a softphone, or to a US mobile, or have it ring all of the above and email me a voicemail message if nobody answers any of them.
It’s a great service, and GrandCentral users have worried what would become of it since it passed into Google’s hands. So I’m pleased to hear that it’s being reborn – I hope, and expect, they will now have the resources to make it more international.
And I can’t help wondering if this might be a very key component of Android-based phones in future.