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google voice

google voice

There have been pretty decent unofficial hacks to get Google Voice fully functional on a variety of mobile devices for a while now, but Google’s finally taking the next logical step in its world domination strategy by releasing totally 100-percent legit first-party apps for a couple key platforms today — BlackBerry and, of course, its own Android. As you might expect, the app lets you make calls and send texts through your Google Voice number (great for taking advantage of its mega-low international rates) and integrates with the service’s excellent visual voicemail and voice transcription service. iPhone is on the way, but for now, the BlackBerry build should be hitting a pretty wide, interested demographic — now about those Google Voice invites, eh?


One number for all your calls and SMS

Call screening – Announce and screen callers

Listen in – Listen before taking a call

Block calls – Keep unwanted callers at bay

SMS – Send, receive, and store SMS

Place calls – Call US numbers for free

Taking calls – Answer on any of your phones

Phone routing – Phones ring based on who calls

Forwarding phones – Add phones and decide which ring

Voicemail as easy as email, with transcripts

Voicemail transcripts – Read what your voicemail says

Listen to voicemail – Check online or from your phone

Notifications – Receive voicemails via email or SMS

Personalize greeting – Vary greetings by caller

Share voicemail – Forward or download voicemails

More cool things you can do with Google Voice

Conference calling – Join people into a single call

Call record – Record calls and store them online

Call switch – Switch phones during a call

Mobile site – View your inbox from your mobile

GOOG-411 – Check directory assistance

Manage groups – Set preferences by group

and more Read More

Google Voice is a service that gives you one number for all your phones, voicemail that is easy as email, and many enhanced calling features like call blocking and screening, voicemail transcripts, call conferencing, international calls, and more.

google, screen-voicemail

Google Voice is currently available for GrandCentral users only, but will be open to new users soon. In the meantime, please leave us your email address and we’ll notify you as soon as Google Voice becomes available. To learn more about Google Voice, check out our feature videos – register get it today

Hurry phone numbers are by invitation only: read more

Earlier today at the Clift Hotel in San Francisco, we convened a group of journalists, partners and customers for a discussion on Google Apps in the enterprise. We’re pleased to report that the “state of the cloud” is strong, and we’ve taken a number of steps to make it stronger.
At the event we discussed the growth of our business, introduced some new customers, and announced a feature that makes switching to Apps even easier. The Clift was a particularly appropriate venue because it’s a member of the Morgans Hotel Group, which is deploying Google Apps to its 1,750 employees. JohnsonDiversey, a global provider of commercial cleaning and hygiene products and solutions, has also gone Google. Choosing Apps helped …read more

Google’s wave unveiled it an 80-minute live demo last week.

There’s been much ado about Microsoft ‘s Bing, and plenty of wonder around Google Wave. Although the Internet archrivals’ new offerings don’t compete directly, they do indirectly: Bing with Google Search and Wave with Microsoft’s ecosystem

Currently Google has the largest market share in search and Microsoft is dominant in desktop PC software. Observers wonder if each will cut into the other’s domain or if the status quo will be maintained.

“Bing will certainly take share from Google’s search business, but isn’t strong enough to challenge Google’s overall leadership, making it an approach mirrored by Microsoft’s efforts with Zune,” said Rob Enderle, principal analyst at the Enderle Group. “Wave represents an effort to displace Microsoft entirely, but has a higher probability of failing completely and is also consistent with Google’s strategy with apps.”

Google’s Scattered Focus

The latest buzz on Bing is that the new search engine — or decision engine, as Microsoft likes to call it — might catch on with Internet advertisers or mobile users. That in itself would be a blow to Google. But that’s not Bing’s value proposition as Microsoft communicated it.

“Bing focuses on a few things that people do a lot online, like shopping and health-care research, and improves them substantially so the customer gets to a meaningful result much more quickly,” Enderle said. “If the model holds, Microsoft will wrap this with a marketing program that identifies the problem, establishes it as a problem Google has failed to address – Read more

Microsoft has finally come up with a search engine that can compete with Google, said Rafe Needleman in CNET News. The newly unveiled Bing—a “rebranded and rebuilt” version of Live Search available to the public next week—is “a solid improvement, and it beats Google in important areas.” For one thing, Bing’s presentation is “far superior,” in part because it helps users save time by giving them a window where they can see an excerpt from each item in their search results.

That won’t be enough to make Bing replace Google as the generic word for Web search, said Eric Auchard in Britain’s The Guardian. “Many of the features Bing incorporates have been tried by smaller Web search providers and failed to make a dent” in Google’s search-audience share. Microsoft will never build a Google killer until it can make it’s search engine an “all-purpose tool” that helps users of Outlook, Office, and Explorer find the emails, documents, and Web pages they use every day.

“Bing won’t replace Google as the world’s default search engine,” said Brier Dudley in The Seattle Times. But Bing’s clustered search results—with thumbnails for videos, and product reviews for shoppers—are useful, and should boost Microsoft’s search share higher than its current 8 percent, compared to Google’s 64 percent of U.S. searches. So, be glad—”it’s nice to have alternatives” to …. read more


In the midst of financial apocalypse, the gadflies and gurus of the global marketplace are gathered at the San Francisco Hilton for the annual meeting of the American Economics Association. The mood is similar to a seismologist convention in the wake of the Big One. Yet surprisingly, one of the most popular sessions has nothing to do with toxic assets, derivatives, or unemployment curves.

“I’m going to talk about online auctions,” says Hal Varian, the session’s first speaker. Varian is a lanky 62-year-old professor at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business and School of Information, but these days he’s best known as Google’s chief economist. This morning’s crowd hasn’t come for predictions about the credit market; they want to hear about Google’s secret sauce.

Varian is an expert on what may be the most successful business idea in history: AdWords, Google’s unique method for selling online advertising. AdWords analyzes every Google search to determine which advertisers get each of up to 11 “sponsored links” on every results page. It’s the world’s biggest, fastest auction, a never-ending, automated, self-service version of Tokyo’s boisterousTsukiji fish market, and it takes place, Varian says, “every time you search.” He never mentions how much revenue advertising brings in. But Google is a public company, so anyone can find the number: It was $21 billion last year.

His talk quickly becomes technical. There’s the difference between the Generalized Second Price auction model and the Vickrey-Clark-Groves alternative. Game theory takes a turn; so does the Nash Equilibrium. Terms involving the c-word—as in clicks—get tossed around like beach balls at a summer rock festival. Clickthrough rate. Cost per click. Supply curve of clicks. The audience is enthralled.

During the question-and-answer period, a man wearing a camel-colored corduroy blazer raises his hand…. read more