If you haven't heard about Google Voice, let me be the first to tell you about it. Google Voice is a telephony service that can be used on any cellular phone and any carrier. Just a Gmail account is required.
The Google Voice web based interface
Google Voice was designed to compliment your existing cellular phone carrier. But recently Google has added Phone Number Porting, which allows you to use Google as your primary carrier. The set of features are very rich, with all of the usual stuff (personal greetings, voicemail, etc.). And when used with Google Gmail and Google Talk, you can make calls from your computer (headphones / speakers and microphone required).
Use Google Voice with Google Talk to make calls from your computer
And, for me, the two best features of Google Voice are the free calls within the US and Canada and really cheap international calls. My some of my family is in New England and France. Here's a complete list of features:
- Voicemail transcription to e-mail
- One phone number that can be ported to multiple phone numbers
- Personalized voice mail greetings
- Cheap international calls
- Block / screen callers
- Conference calling
- Mobile app (Android, iPhone and Blackberry)
- SMS to e-mail
Here's a quote from the Google Voice website:
Teach your phone new tricks
Google Voice enhances the existing capabilities of your phone, regardless of which phone or carrier you have - for free. It also gives you:
Use a single number that rings you anywhere.
Get transcribed messages delivered to your inbox.
Free calls & text messages to the U.S. & Canada.
Super low rates everywhere else.
For more information on Google Voice, just follow the links below:
Google Voice features