Google now gives users of a subset of Google Voice features if they want to simply use their service without getting a brand new "Google Number". Mobile phone users can now forward incoming calls to their "Google Voice" mailbox rather than the one hosted by their carrier.
The features available to these users basically includes voicemail, and the ability to make low-priced long distance phone calls, according to the official Google Voice blog.
- Online, searchable voicemail
- Free automated voicemail transcription
- Custom voicemail greetings for different callers
- Email and SMS notifications
- Low-priced international calling
For those of you who want to use Google Voice to its full potential -- you're going to have to take the plunge and get a brand new number. The features, if you choose to go this route, are much more interesting and useful:
- One number that reaches you on all your phones
- SMS via email
- Call screening
- Listen In
- Call recording
- Conference calling
- Call blocking
Once Google fully supports number portability, perhaps they will be able to allow users to simply use one of their existing phone numbers with the full service -- but I'm not going to hold my breath for that just yet.
Will you be using the new voicemail service from Google Voice?