Google expands availability of its free voice mail

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(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 .

"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.

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User comments

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

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.

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
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.

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