Lifehacker, that indispensable source of wisdom, has a great overview of one of my favorite pieces of software ever, Google Voice. The article is a useful overview of the service. If you don’t have it, and you should, it’s gone public and that means the user base will shoot up dramatically.
Like so much in life, the meaning is in the potential practical applications. After all, what can you DO with the software?
#1. General Call Management.
You can selectively block calls. Want your annoying brother to hear a “not in service” message? Very good. All your other calls will go through.
#2. Recording calls.
Discussing something very complicated with a colleague? Record it. Play it later and sort out the bloody details. (Note: local laws vary, so be sure to inform the other party you are making a record of the call.
#3. Free text messaging.
Imagine you have a cell phone with a data plan and a voice plan. If you can get email messages, which most people can get with a data plan, you can have text messages sent to your GV number directed to your email and you can respond to them as well. Presto, -free text messages.
#4. Free, Free, Free
As the legendary Joe Bob Briggs would say, “I’m surprised I have to explain this one.”
The article helps, and simply playing around with the service also shortens the learning curve.