Google Voice transforms communications

by Amy Devito

Courtesy of Google
Courtesy of Google

The Internet mother superior known as Google never ceases to advance its networking influence, and during the past few years it has extended itself far beyond the online world, gradually building its preeminent empire. Once recognized as the largest Web database, it is now establishing a new stronghold in the world of communications.

Google Voice is one of the many innovative new ways to merge the telephone with the Internet, creating one cohesive and manageable network. Google Voice gives users more control and a new approach to organizing voicemails, international calls, text messages and conference calls. The website google.com/googlevoice/about.html offers insight on how to work the available features with helpful video tutorials and guidance.

One of the applications transcribes voicemails into text, allowing users to read a voice message via e-mail. The messages are sent to the account, and users can easily search for past voicemails with keywords.

Investing in a Google Voice account can prove advantageous, because instead of having several different numbers on separate phone lines, one number will connect callers to all of them. Or it will give the option to change the settings so the phones will ring in succession. It can be customized so that certain people are assigned a particular number, or people can only reach a chosen line at different times of the day.

Personalized greetings are another creative option that gives users the choice of changing their answering machine according to each individual caller. When it comes to collaborating with several business partners on a conference call, one feature allows people to join without any hassle. Text messages that appear in the account can be copied and sent as an e-mail for mass messaging purposes. Users can go into their e-mail, receive the text messages and respond to them via the Internet for free, converting the e-mail back into texts. Another beneficial feature is voicemail sharing, which allows a voice message that has already been sent to be forwarded to another person via e-mail.

Google Voice also includes a feature that screens calls, giving the option to answer a call or send it to voicemail. But users can stay on the line and reconnect to the call with one touch.

“It’s great because there are times when I don’t have phone service but I have Internet, so I can always stay in touch with people,” Lisa Acuna, a biology senior, said. “It’s a great way to get organized. All of my voicemails and contacts are in one place which helps me to keep track of everything.” Google Voice grants people more flexibility and control with innovative features, creating a new perspective on telecommunications.