Thursday, March 12, 2009

GrandCentral == Google Voice

A number of people have been asking me how to get into GrandCentral and I must say that it wasn't easy. I did sign up early on and asked to be notified when it became publically available. I was lucky enough to run into a person that had the chance to invite a single person into the private beta. It has been a great service so far and I am happy to say that it looks like it will soon be available to everyone as Google Voice. The site says that current GrandCentral users will be asked to upgrade their accounts to Google Voice, but unfortunately I have not been able to do that yet on the site as I keep getting an "Invalid Request" message when I attempt to log in. Om Malik, a user of GrandCentral that is already made it into Google Voice, reports that the following features are available:

  1. You can use your GrandCentral number to send and receive SMS messages, and have them forwarded to your current wireless phone. You can send messages from the mobile or from the phone.
  2. Make phone calls using the web or your mobile/landline phone.
  3. You can get transcripts for voicemails left on Google Voice. These transcripts, based on internal Google technology currently being used by GOOG-411 service, can be sent to you via SMS.
  4. Create conference calls by dragging phone numbers onto existing calls. This will be useful for small businesses and web workers.
  5. Free calls to all U.S. numbers. You can make international calls but that will cost you, depending on the country you are dialing.

Looks like it will be a great solution for the "cloud worker" that is always on the go and looking to streamline everything. I am looking forward to seeing the new interface.

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