Anyone else been testing out the free Google Voice (http://www.google.com/voice)?
They are only giving out invites to use it right now. I submitted for an invite two weeks ago and got the invite a day or two ago.
Basically they let you pick a U.S. phone number (only available in the U.S.) and forward any calls to that number to one or more phones. You get voice mail with it that you can check from the Internet, BlackBerry, iPhone, or any other phone by calling the chosen number. The voice mail feature will transcribe the voice mail automatically and email it to you. There is also a call screening feature for when you answer. You have the option to send the caller to voice mail, but still listen to the message as they are leaving it, then pop in if you choose to do so.
Since my wife and I only have cell phones now (no home phone), this gives us the option to give out the Google number rather than my cell phone number. Once I'm in the voice mail, it gives me the option to dial a number as the Google number to keep them from knowing my cell number. All calls in the U.S. are free, cell phone minutes will apply. Mobile to mobile minutes wouldn't be used if calling through the Google number, so be aware of that.
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