Google Voice Merges Text Messages, Email

    September 9, 2009

Google Voice, with its "one number for all your calls and SMS" tagline and almost endless list of benefits, aims to make users’ lives easier.  A new feature introduced today represents another step in that direction.

Suppose you’re sitting at a desk with a full-sized keyboard at your fingertips and a 20" monitor in front of your eyes.  Most services would still ask you to fish out your little cell phone in order to read and reply to a text message.  In the past, even Google Voice would require you to keep open an extra, dedicated tab.

Now, however, "every time you receive a new SMS on your Google Voice number, we will send you an email notification," according to a post on the Google Voice Blog.

Then you can reply to it from the email account, and "[i]f you use Gmail, you also get the extra benefit of threading all SMS between you and one contact into one conversation, so it is easy to see the whole discussion."

Finally, here’s one other perk for cheapskates: "If you spend your time in front of your computer, or if you get email on your mobile phone, you can turn off SMS notification to your phone in Google Voice and receive and reply to your SMS by email, saving on SMS costs."

All of this is almost sure to please existing Google Voice users and make everybody else (the service is still available on an invite-only basis) even more jealous than usual.