Google’s next attempt at taking over a chunk of our lives is now available to the public. Google Voice is a service which lets you link all your phone activity to one number. For example, if someone calls you, your land line, work phone and personal phone would ring. This could be very useful to a small business, for example, to route calls to several people so potential customers never have to deal with an answering machine. Should no one answer, however, Google Voice offers a cetralised voice mail system as well. All in all, quite good for the right people.
The reason I use the phrase “taking over a chunk of our lives” is because undoubtedly Google Voice will become just one more platform for Google to serve their advertising on. Not that I mind. Everyone knows I’m Google fan #1. It’s just amazing to me how integrated with Google we become every day. Just ten years ago it didn’t even exist and today for many of us it’s an integral part of our lives. I couldn’t do my job without Google’s tools. Heck, my job wouldn’t even exist without Google! With the recent government Twitter intervention during the Iran elections, the barriers of the online world got even more blurry. Who’s to predict how dependent we’ll be on online services from Google in 5-10 years time and what power they will have? They already have a few of their own Googlers in the White House… It will be an interesting decade, that’s for sure.
As of yesterday, Google Voice was opened up to new users so chances are if you requested an invite in the past few months, you’ll be getting access soon. To get access, you can still request invitations here.