Home / / Google expands from search to phone services

Google expands from search to phone services

Google Voice supports VoIP and automatically transcribes voicemail to email

Moving away from a purely search-based business, Google has just announced a new service - Voice - that blends traditional telephone features with its popular Gmail offering.

Google Voice gives customers the convenience of using a single phone number for multiple devices such as a home or office phone and a personal cellphone. Another exciting feature is its ability to automatically transcribe voicemail to email, which can then be archived and searched like regular email messages.

It’s the VoIP functionality that’s got many buzzing though, with comparisons already made to Skype which is banned in the UAE. All voice calls within the United States will be free of charge to its U.S. customers, with international calls charged through Google Checkout credit card transactions at rates that will be disclosed soon.

The service is based on the technology of unified communications firm Grand Central Communications, which was acquired by Google in 2007.

Google Voice is currently available only to Grand Central users, with plans for a general public rollout in the coming weeks.