Google Voice"Google Voice is just another way by which Google intends to enslave us all and hook us up in vats of jelly to power their artificial world after the apocalypse – and like Cypher... just give me the blue pill and get it over with.
"Google Voice is free and makes Verizon Visual Voice Mail look like a lame money-grabbing piece of garbage published by a greedy, souless, corporate telcom giant. There are too many killer features of Google Voice to list. You can pick your own number in any area code (mine is a 916 Sac area code so my friends back home can call me without dialing an area code or LD charges), you can forward the number to any number of other phone numbers, you can dial from the web, and it will call your primary phone and connect you to the number you've dialed online. But the most killer features in my book are the visual transcription of incoming calls.
"As you can see in the image, it doesn't always do that good, and a lot depends on how clear the caller is speaking and how good their connection is. Most often though, the transcription is good enough to do the trick. When it isn't, you simply hit the play button below and you can listen to the recorded message.
"Google Voice is open to the public – but Apple denied the app, and using the web-based iOS app is a drag. Did I mention that it's free? Just sign the contract in your blood and get started."
Image credit: Donovan Colbert
Sonja Thompson started at TechRepublic in October 1999. She is a former Senior Editor at TechRepublic.