Wednesday, July 22, 2009

God bless you again, Google!

...google voice is pretty much what I've been waiting for (oh yeah, for YEARS!).

Visual handling of voicemail is something that Sprint could have introduced rather than "yet another FEATURE that is designed to put a straw into my wallet."

For 20 years, the state of voicemail has mostly remained unchanged. The phone companies crow about stuff like the ability to "send pictures instantly to your friends" as long as you're willing to add another $5 a month to your phone bill. How cool would it be if they offered me something useful!?

My life for many years has been characterized by hearing "You have XX new messages" and then the cycle of "skipping.. next message from xxx.xxx.xxxx, sent at xxx xxx ... skipping..." so that I could get to the freshest one.

I've begged, cajoled, and pleaded for a visual interface to my voicemail much like email.

But on top of that, how cool is it that I can not only have my voicemail sent to email, but also with a transcription of the content, and a link that lets me simply play it on my computer? That's just part of the Google Voice package.

Basically I have a new phone number that can ring all (or some selected subset) of my phones, it allows me to force a call to voicemail, drop it to voicemail and then monitor it just like old-school answering machines, and even to IM the caller back with a short note without disturbing my normal flow of work.

I've been waiting for this for a long time -- and it's not the first time that Google has delivered what I wanted -- and presented it to me (as a consumer) for free.

If I were the corporate communications manager at a firm, I'd be begging Google to let me buy this for my entire enterprise. This is the real s&1T! I'm tellin' you!

---v