Google expands availability of its free voice mail

Oct 27, 2009 By MICHAEL LIEDTKE , AP Technology Writer
Google logo

(AP) -- Google Inc. wants to answer your mobile phone calls when you can't or just don't want to talk.

In its latest bid to become a bigger player in telecommunications, the Internet search leader is giving people a chance to send calls to their cell phones into a free service unveiled earlier this year. The new choice is being introduced Tuesday.

The voice mail feature is part of , a fledging service striving to become a hub for phone calls to people's mobile, home and office numbers.

Taking advantage of all of its tools requires getting a new number from Google Voice, a leap that many people aren't ready to make.

So Google has come up with a way to tie existing numbers to its voice mail service. The process requires a few steps outlined at http://www.google.com/voice .

"We see this as a perfect step for getting familiar with Google Voice without a lot of change," said Vincent Paquet, a senior product manager.

The caveat: People choosing to stick with their existing phone numbers won't be able to take advantage of all Google Voice features, such as directing calls to a home or office number.

But the voice mail option will provide more bells and whistles than what most major mobile phone carriers offer in their standard packages.

Among other things, Google's voice mail service automatically transcribes messages and lets users customize greetings for frequent callers.

As part of its expansion efforts, developed a voice application for the that didn't get approved by Apple Inc. The snub triggered a inquiry into whether Apple and the iPhone's U.S. carrier, AT&T Inc., might have been trying to stifle a potential competitor.

©2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Explore further: Six charged in global e-ticket hacking scheme

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

FCC launches probe of Google Voice service

Oct 09, 2009

(AP) -- Federal regulators will look into complaints by AT&T Inc. that Google Inc.'s free messaging and calling service, Google Voice, blocks calls to rural communities where local phone companies charge ...

Let freedom ring with Google Voice

Aug 05, 2009

With the exception of touch-tone phones, Caller ID and cell phones, talking on the phone hasn't changed a lot during the past few decades. That's a big reason why people are increasingly choosing to text, ...

Review: Google Voice has cool tricks but downsides

Sep 09, 2009

(AP) -- Google Inc. gives away a lot of good stuff for free. That struck me last year when I downloaded the free Google Maps app to my "smart" phone. It turned the phone into a handy navigation system and ...

Recommended for you

Six charged in global e-ticket hacking scheme

17 minutes ago

Criminal charges were filed Wednesday against six people in what authorities said was a global cyber-crime ring that created fraudulent e-tickets for major concerts and sporting events.

Google made failed bid for Spotify

12 hours ago

Internet titan Google tried last year to buy streaming music service Spotify but backed off for reasons including a whopping price tag, the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday.

User comments : 3

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Royale
not rated yet Oct 27, 2009
Gee, what a shocker. Google develops a voice app for the iPhone and it gets denied. Apple approves a program that displays an exotic gem and costs thousands of dollars, but a potentially very useful app? No way!
Of course Apple was trying to stifle competition. Their whole company is built on that. Their users can sugar coat it any way they want. But the bottom line is Apple integrates by itself. They control all aspects of their hardware and software and ask for a premium well above what's it worth.
Apple, and the companies die hard fans, are really starting to annoy me. These people know nothing about computers but wax intellectual and recite lines from Apples lame marketing campaign thinking that they're anywhere near reality.
Don't get me wrong here, I'm not pro-Microsoft or pro-Google only. I like things about MANY computer companies. I am anti-Apple. Not because they have bad products, it's the way they run their company and their constant need for control of everything they can
stacye
not rated yet Oct 27, 2009
The voicemail feature isn't new. It's been out since April.

The tying the numbers with your google voice number was out when the program was called GrandCentral, WAY before it moved over to Google.
deironald
not rated yet Dec 11, 2009
Well the google voicemail service has reached millions as google expected. Getting a google voice number is in demand now a days. The advantages of this service http://googlevoic...pot.com/
is great. I have a ATA phone with google voice service. Works cool. There is nothing left to complain about this for the time being. But the demise of microsoft and yahoo is expected if google maintains its trend.