GrandCentral Becomes Google Voice!

It’s taken 21 months—almost two years—but GrandCentral (“One number for all your phones, for life”) has finally gotten an upgrade (and a new name). I’m totally excited, and happy that the long-awaited upgrade (previously known as GrandCentral 2.0) is finally here. Meet Google Voice: “One number for all your calls and SMS”. New Features Yes, Google Voice added several new features. One of the things that always, always bugged me about GrandCentral was the fact that my number couldn’t receive or send text messages. Well, now it can. According to TechCrunch’s expansive overview, the same technology that powers the SMS…

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Telemarketing Loopholes: FAIL

Image by elh70 via FlickrI was relaxing at home in the evening on the Monday before Thanksgiving, around 19:30, looking through a Hebrew-English dictionary to try and figure out what the song title “הלב שלנו” means in English. (I never did find the meaning of the word הלב; it seems to be conspicuously absent from both dictionaries I possess.) But an interruption was about to occur. The phone rang. Normally that would be a simple matter – just pick up the phone, read the Caller ID, and decide whether or not to answer it – but this situation was remarkable…

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GrandCentral Introduces Shared Forwarding Numbers

I don’t talk about it much, but I use GrandCentral as my phone number. It works great, since I don’t actually have a cell phone or landline of my own. Google gives me a number that will “never” change (it will if they discontinue the service…) and that rings all the phones I have access to… or none at all. One peeve I had, though, is that neither of my parents could sign up for the service (if they wanted to, that is) because our house phone is in my account. That’s just changed. Apparently, the announcement was made yesterday,…

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Google Confirmations: JotSpot and Gears Access, Among Others

There are several sources of information regarding statements made by Scott Johnston at a recent Google Apps presentation in Ann Arbor, and all the statements are very interesting. Among other things, Google announced (or hinted strongly at) the launch of the JotSpot wiki service, now branded Google Sites, next year; Google Gears access to Gmail and Google Calendar; offline editing of documents, spreadsheets, and presentations; integration between GrandCentral and Google Apps (“they are working on it and it is a ‘huge priority’ for them” — ZDNet); and, in the far future, videoconferencing within Google Apps. Now, I don’t know how…

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Gmail Testimonial

I just felt the need to write a Gmail story to send to the Gmail Team, and I’ve copied it here both for record-keeping and as a view into my online work life. When I first got into using email, I used the old USA.net email service, which was free at the time. When that moved to being fee-based only, my dad created email addresses on his hosted server for myself and my mother. We had to use email clients for those, but didn’t really get into the Yahoo! or Hotmail stuff because they weren’t really any different from Outlook/Outlook…

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GrandCentral Active

I just used a site called InviteShare to get an invitation to Google’s GrandCentral service. The site enables you to ring up to six phones from one number that will never change (unless they have a carrier problem like they did a couple weeks ago). Switch phones in the middle of a call, ListenIn™ on a voicemail, record calls… So many features! And everything’s free while the service is in beta period. I’d recommend it already. It has a few shortcomings (such as numbers disappearing from the availability list while searching and no contact integration with anything, even Gmail), but…

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