Archive for the tag "google"
Google Voice is a fantastic (and free!) new service that you really ought to try if you can get your hands on an invite. Hard to explain, but it’s a universal number that you use to route your phone calls & text messages to whichever phone you happen to be using at that moment. If you have multiple phones, you can have calls routed to your work phone during the day and to your home or cellphone after hours. You can ring any or all your phones at once, and whichever one you pick up is the one that gets the call. If you’re hiking on the Appalachian trail and out of cellular range, route your number to the landline in your cabin. You can make lists of your contacts and send different people to different phones… work contacts to work, friends to your cellphone? You can record different greetings — say, a short one for friends and a longer “I can’t come to the phone right now” type message for unknown callers. (I made special personalized greetings for my mom and my dad.) You can block callers or send certain people straight to voicemail every time. All your voicemails and text messages are archived on the web for you, and the best part? Everything can be transcribed into text… and if you like, the transcription can be rocketed off to you via direct SMS and/or e-mail. Sometimes the transcription can be comically off, but it seems to work well enough to give you a general idea of what the caller’s going on about without having to actually listen to the message. There are a lot more features; it’s a very deep service with a bit of a learning curve, but it’s well worth the bit of extra effort you’ll need to become a true GV ninja.
Google Voice is currently in beta with some sort of waiting list for invites; I was lucky in that I had an old account with Grand Central, which later got bought by Google, spiffed up and turned into the current service. Everybody on Grand Central got the option to turn their account into a Google Voice one, so that’s what I did. I wasn’t crazy about the number GC had originally given me but I was able to pay a one-time fee of ten bucks to get a new & more memorable one in the area code of my choosing. So now, no matter where I move off to, no matter where I’m staying or what phone I happen to be close to, I can always get my calls routed to the best place. I can give out one number that’ll (in theory) follow me around for the rest of my life… knock on wood that those years be many.
More reading if you’re interested…
- New York Times: State of the Art – Unify the Phone Numbers and All Else Follows
- Lifehacker: A First Look at Google Voice
- Lifehacker: How to Ease Your Transition to Google Voice
- Lifehacker: How to SMS with Google Voice from Any Mobile Phone
- Google forums: The Power of 406
- Sean Kovacs: GV Mobile app for iPhone
- Nerd Vittles: Nerd Nirvana: Free Google Voice Calling Returns to Asterisk
- My dad called to get me to explain what RSS is. He wants to use it! I am so proud. Google Reader, here he comes. #
- I’m only the seventh Edith in Google! Isn’t that special. #
This feature was added to my account the other day — it was letting me upload but wouldn’t display the PDF. Now it displays beautifully, but I’m noticing the search is a little wonky. I expect they’ll fix that soon though — they are Google!
Greasemonkey script to automatically arrange your labels in a folder-like collapsible hierarchy
- Earworm: Mama Cass singing “Make Your Own Kind of Music”. Infected the other night watching “Lost”. #
- Hey, I’m on BandToBand! I thought solo artists didn’t qualify, but I guess it’s due to the Boxhead connection. http://tinyurl.com/3q74sk #
- Should I use Google Analytics or Woopra? I mean, wouldn’t it slow down pageloading too much if you used both? Which I am? #
- Mmm. If I could drink Big Red all day long, I probably would. (I’m from Texas!) http://www.bigredltd.com/ #
I thought that big blue one was an orchid but it’s a Clematis. :-)
From Google Operating System:
After a year and a half since the first announcement, the much-anticipated Google Health has been released at Google Factory Tour of Search. “Patients need to be able to better coordinate and manage their own health information. …