Posted March 12, 2009 8:13 am by with 13 comments

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You’re going to hate me.

Hate me, because I managed to get a GrandCentral account before Google acquired the company and stopped issuing new accounts.

Hate me, because as of today, existing GrandCentral customers will be the first to get their hands on the newly launching Google Voice service!

There’s a host of new features being announced, but the one I am most excited about is Voicemail Transcripts. The main reason I use GrandCentral is that all voicemails are emailed to me as audio files that I can play within my browser. Now, I won’t even have to play them because Google will transcribe the audio message for me!

Other new features include:

  • Send, receive, and store SMS
  • Call US numbers for free
  • Low-cost international calls
  • Conference calling

The service is only available to US residents and will initially roll-out to existing GrandCentral users, but I’m sure it won’t be long before everyone can sign-up.

I still use Skype for my actual calls, so I’m keen to test out how well Google Voice competes–maybe I can dump Skype and move one-step closer to my full assimilation by the borg!

Have you tested Google Voice? What do you think of it?