What is Google Voice?

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What is Google Voice?
Google voice is an online phone service which allows PC-to-PC voice calling and free PC-to-phone. Initially, in order to get to use this service you needed an invitation from a friend or someone who already had it, or go to the Google Voice invitation request page. Recently, Google dropped the requirement for invitations and it is now available to anyone in the US who has a Google account.
It is easy to associate your Google Voice number with your regular phone numbers and by doing this you won’t lose your privileges to make calls from those phones. It is a common misconception that this risk is involved, when in fact you simply gain the option to have your Google number showing up instead. If you plan to use this feature just make sure you use one of the dialing methods suggested by Google Voice, such as the website or widgets.
A very useful feature of this service is the routing system, which turns a regular phone into a smart phone to some extent. You can decide to have calls received after a certain hour sent directly to you office phone, automatically redirect specific callers away from the home phone and even directly to the voice mail.
Furthermore, Google Voice allows you to record any conversation and get the transcripts as well, but it is required to have the consent before doing that. The voice recognition is pretty good so the automated transcription system is a feature that you can really use successfully. Because of all these advantages, fixed and mobile telephony providers are no thrilled with Google Voice, as it represents a strong competition on certain services. The good news is that after a long debate whether to allow or not Google Voice, the official iPhone application is now available in the App Store.

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