It seems that Google is getting ready to launch the long-anticipated Google Voice service, as the company reserved one million phone numbers with Level 3 last month. The service, as many of you might already know, is meant to offer users the possibility to use a single number across multiple devices.
For the time being, it seems that there are no exact details on when the aforementioned one million phone numbers will be assigned, yet Level 3 has been providing phone numbers for Google since the company announced the introduction of Google Voice. Even so, the presence of the numbers suggests that Google might be getting ready to add a large number of users to its service.
Currently, the service is available only for the users of GrandCentral (the service purchased by Google in March 2007 and changed to Google Voice), and has been in this state since March 11 this year, when the search engine company relaunched it. The service includes a series of features that are rather unique, such as call transfer between users' devices, multi-party conferencing, conversion of voice calls to text messages, integration with Gmail contact lists, as well as the use of VoIP.
“I've only been using Google Voice for a few months, but it's completely changed the way I use voicemail and communicate, just in general,” Kevin Dando, director of digital and education communications for PBS, said. “When it goes public, I think the rush to grab Google Voice numbers is going to be stunning. I know some of my friends check the Google Voice page almost every day to see when they can grab a number and get started using it.”
Another interesting feature that the service is reported to add in the near future is number portability, which should offer users the possibility to keep their existing phone numbers and to use them as their Google Voice numbers as well. Some of the inconveniences of having two numbers include the fact that one should let friends and family know what his/her Google Voice number is, or that the phone number is shown in sent messages or outbound calls.