“If Google search revolutionized the Web,” said David Pogue in The New York Times, you can bet that Google Voice, unveiled Thursday, “will revolutionize telephones.” Google Voice builds on a start-up it bought, GrandCentral, which let users manage all calls to their various land lines and cell phones, through one phone number. Google Voice does that, plus adds some “game-changing” features—free, searchable voice-mail transcriptions, anyone?
As if telecoms didn’t have enough troubles, said Chris Keall in New Zealand’s National Business Review. Google hasn’t said yet how it plans to monetize the service, but the menu of free phone services, and cheap international calls, can’t be good news for phone companies already grappling “with their transition to the digital age.”
Google says it can keep the service free by taking a cut of the $1 trillion-a-year market for international calls, said Matt Marshall in Venture Beat. But the voice-mail transcriptions are the “I must have it!” feature. “My favorite” bit: You can “forward unwanted stalkers” to a realistic-sounding “this number has been disconnected” message.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Why Mitt Romney is perfectly poised for a comeback in 2016
- Why is the West so afraid of Islam?
- The Nazi smart bomb that inspired China's most dangerous weapon
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- Here's the schedule very successful people follow every day
- The best places to find love — and lust — according to science
- Why GOP reformers are bound to fail
- The mystery behind China's aggressive push into space
- 10 things you need to know today: July 31, 2014
- 8 secrets to steal from power networkers
Subscribe to the Week