Google Voice Comes To BlackBerry, Android!
BlackBerry and Android phone users can now take advantage of all the cool features included in Google Voice — a single phone number to control all of your phones, free SMS messages and also low-cost phone calls.
Thursday, July 16, 2009: Google Voice has now arrived on mobile phones! Google Voice (previously called GrandCentral) is a free Google-owned Internet service that uses Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) to link customers’ phone numbers together. Google Voice offers many great features, including a single number to ring your home, work and mobile phones, a central voicemail inbox that you could access on the Web, and the ability to screen calls by listening in live as callers leave a voicemail. The Google Voice mobile app is now only available for BlackBerrys and Android phones. But an iPhone version is reportedly in the works too.
“Previously, to place a call using Google Voice, you had to dial your own Google Voice number from your cell phone or use the Quick Call button online. With this new mobile app, you can make calls and send SMS messages with your Google Voice number directly from your mobile phone. The app is fully integrated with each phone’s contacts, so you can call via Google Voice straight from your address book,” Google explains in a blog post.
From the mobile app, you can: access your voicemail — read message transcripts, follow along with “karaoke-style” playback of messages, read SMS messages sent to your Google Voice number (even if your phone doesn’t receive SMS messages) and access your call history; place calls that display your Google Voice number from your address book, the app dialler (Blackberry) or the native dialler (Android); send SMS messages that display your Google Voice number; and also place international calls at low rates.
As per washingtonpost.com, “The Android app is the most complete and takes over the native dialler, address book and call log. Users won’t be bothered with accidentally dialling numbers through the device phone number. The Blackberry app is less integrated, accessing only the native address book, and uses its own dialler. Users can’t simply go into the call log and return missed calls. They need to go back to the address book and select Google Voice to make the call. Still, it solves a big problem.”
Google Voice is available to users by invitation only. You’ll need a Google Voice account to use the mobile application. If you’d like to check it out, request an invite here. Currently, Google Voice is only available in the US.
You can download the app from the Google Voice mobile site. It’s also available in Android Market — just search for “Google Voice”.
And for those of you who don’t have a Blackberry or an Android-powered device, there is a mobile Web version of the Google Voice site (accessible by typing www.google.com/voice into your mobile browser) that allows you to access Google Voice features.
GrandCentral, founded in 2005 by Craig Walker and Vincent Paquet, was purchased by Google on 2 July 2007 for $95 million with the acquisition being led by Wesley Chan. After acquiring GrandCentral, Google appeared to have abandoned the project and very little information about it was released. Posters in the GrandCentral support forums complained frequently of the dearth of information about the service and the lack of customer support.
On 11 March 2009, the management of the service revealed that the team had been working on it throughout that period, apparently in secret, and that it was being rebranded as “Google Voice”. It was to keep most of the features originally offered in GrandCentral and add an impressive array of new features.