Google Voice is now open for signup. You don’t need an invite. You might be wondering if getting a free Google Voice account is something you should bother with. I think you should. I’ve been test running Google Voice for a few months now. Like a lot of the Google products it is fantastic in some ways and limited in others.
I currently utilize it in the following manner:
Calls to our main office line are forwarded when no answer/busy, or out of office, to a (non-Google) hosted voicemail service that provides call options to reach Sylvia or me. (i.e. press 1 for Steve, 2 for Sylvia)
If the caller selects me, that call is forwarded to Google Voice which in turn rings my cell phone if the call is during a time for which I have it set to foward, which is pretty much all day every day until nighttime. If I don’t answer, Google Voice, takes the message, transcribes it into text, and emails it to me.
From my Gmail account, either at my desk or on iPhone, I see the voice message alongside my email messages. I can either click to listen, or just read the text. Sometimes the text is a perfect transcription, sometimes it’s a garbled mess, depending of course on how well the caller speaks and enunciates. Usually, it’s a mix but readable.
Below is a sample message which is typical, though slightly altered. I changed the phone number and the message slightly.