Google keeps the new tools coming. Since one of my New Year's goals is to try more of them, I waited patiently for my Google Voice invitation and number. Thanks to good friends, I am learning more about the benefits of Google Voice. Start here if Google Voice is totally new to you.
Many setting options allow you to tailor it to your changing needs. For your incoming calls you can screen calls and/or listen in to the message. From your computer you can text message, connect other numbers to your chosen phone, personalize greetings, forward phones, share voicemail, and much more. Google offers many ways to learn how you can benefit from its features. http://www.google.com/support/voice/
I have sent my Google Voice number to friends to try out what they offer. One feature that has my curiosity is the voicemail transcript. Callers leave a voicemail, and Google attempts to transcribe it. Fortunately, the audio recording is there too. When you listen to the recording, the transcript follows it word for word by underlining the words as it goes. Pretty neat. Great for ESL (English as Second Language) and many others. With so many dialects to decipher, I imagine (hope) that the more calls I receive, the better it will work.
Feel free to help me try out features. Today I found a call widget to embed in your website. Find it at the top of this message and leave a voicemail for me if you are are interested in collaborating on a project with any of my K-5 Technology classes. I'll probably leave the widget here for a while and see how it goes.
Oh! I just discovered another surprise feature. If - okay when- you misplace your cellphone, you can call your own phone from your computer and listen for the ring. Gotta love that.