You Don’t Need a Google Number to Use Google VoiceBy: Chris Crum - October 27, 2009
Google has announced that Google Voice users can now use existing mobile phone numbers. This means that even if you don’t get a new Google number, you can still get Google Voicemail.
In the past, if you created a Google Voice account, you would have to get a Google number. "This allowed us to offer features like call forwarding, screening, and recording," explains Google Voice Product Manager Pierre Lebeau. "But we know not everyone wants to start using a new phone number, so we’ve been working on another option for people who are willing to trade some features for the ability to keep their existing number."
Users who sign up for Google Voice with their own number get:
– Online, searchable voicemail
– Free automated voicemail transcription
– Custom voicemail greetings for different callers
– Email and SMS notifications
– Low-priced international calling
If users elect to get a new Google number, they will get that stuff as well as:
– One number that reaches you on all your phones
– SMS via email
– Call screening
– Listen In
– Call recording
– Conference calling
– Call blocking
If you use Google Voice with your existing mobile phone number, you can take your Google Voicemail with you if you change carrier at some point.
"If you already have a Google number, this new feature should also help with the transition to your new number, as you can now forward unanswered calls to your mobile phone to your Google Voice account," says Lebeau. "This way, people who still call your old number will reach the same voicemail as people who call your Google Voice number."
Google Voice is available on an invitation basis, but you can request an invitation here. If you know anybody that’s already using it, you can ask them to invite you, although that may be considered rude – kind of like inviting yourself to someone’s house.