Google Voice, previously called Grand Central, is rolling out the first mobile apps for the service this evening. The main function of the apps is to make it easier to use your Google Voice phone number by automatically routing outbound calls through Google and to the recipient. We first mentioned they were coming last month when we broke the news that Google would start letting users port their phone numbers over to the Voice product sometime this year.
The basic idea around GrandCentral is one phone number for all your phones, for life. As we change jobs, homes and cell phones, there are a lot of phone numbers to keep track of, and keeping everyone up to date with your most recent phone numbers.
Two apps are being released this morning, for Blackberry and Android phones. The Android app is the most complete and takes over the native dialer, address book and call log. Users won’t be bothered with accidentally dialing numbers through the device phone number. The Blackberry app is less integrated, accessing only the native address book, and uses its own dialer. Users can’t simply go into the call log and return missed calls. They need to go back to the address book and select Google Voice to make the call. Still, it solves a big problem.
The apps also allow users to access the core features of Google Voice. Listen to/read voicemails and text messages (all voicemails are automatically transcribed as well), access call history, send SMS messages and place international calls at low rates.
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