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Google’s Got A Voice

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“Call me at my office for our Wednesday meeting, but wait . . . I’ll be leaving the gym around that time. Ummm…could you call me on my cell instead? Or better yet, call me on my office number first and, if I don’t answer, then call my cell.”

Sound familiar, ladies? If you had a single number that would find you wherever you are, wouldn’t that make life A LOT easier? Imagine that number being free. And last but certainly not least, this one number acts as a personal assistant by taking voice mails and transcribing them for you in an e-mail or text (see video below).

Welcome to the new Google Voice, formerly known as Grand Central. It aspires to become the central station of communication and improves the way you use your phone. You can also use the service to make low-priced international calls and easily access Goog-411 directory assistance.

For those of you concerned about being put on Google blast don’t fret, callers won’t hear any tacky messages prior to the call stating that this is a free service. Callers to your Google Voice number won’t know the difference. This could change in the future, but for now, Google Voice is free of ads.

So what are the gotchas? Our friends over at were kind enough to think of three:

  1. Privacy. According to the Google Voice Privacy Policy: “When you use Google Voice, Google’s servers automatically record certain information about your use of Google Voice. Similar to other web services, Google Voice records information such as account activity (including storage usage, number of log-ins), data displayed or clicked on (including UI elements, links); and other log information (including browser type, IP address, date and time of access, cookie ID and referrer URL). Google’s servers also automatically collect telephony log information (including calling party number, forwarding numbers, time and date of calls, duration of calls, SMS routing information and types of calls).”
  2. Ads. At this point, there are no ads and life is good. Google will probably add some advertising to this service to make it profitable, which will be annoying at best and distracting at worst.
  3. Fees. At this point, Google Voice is free, so the decision to sign up and use the service is relatively simple. But what happens if Google decides to charge for it later? At that point, you’ll have given out your Google Voice number to all your friends and colleagues. So you may be forced to pay for the service, put up with annoying ads, or experience the hassle of informing your friends that your phone number has changed.

Google Voice’s state-of-the-art voice and text message service can be useful to any entrepreneur or soon-to-be entrepreneur. The best part is that these services are free at this point. Proceed with caution, though, being mindful of potential privacy issues, ads and fees in the future.

Like any other free communication tool we utilize (i.e., Facebook & Twitter) I simply encourage you to enjoy it while it lasts!

Google Voice is currently available for Grand Central users only, but will be open to new users soon. Staying true to its exclusive approach to attracting trendsetters, Google requires you to leave your email address to be one of the first to know when the service is available to the public.

As a New York City storyteller, filmmaker, digital content creator, and PR strategist, Renae Bluitt created "In Her Shoes" to empower and enlighten women committed to realizing their dreams.

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