Back in May, I posted a column on Google Voice. I admit that I probably “over-like” Google, but the stuff they come up with is pretty damn cool. We all love the search engine, Gmail changed the way we use e-mail, and Google Voice gave us a variety of cool features like voice mail transcription and a free phone number that rings all our numbers. Finally, Google Talk, the chat feature within Gmail, now offers VoIP calling for free within the US.
Since I already have a Google Voice number, that’s the number that shows up on caller id when I place a call from within Gmail. I’m not sure what it will display for those without a Google Voice account. I can also select a setting in Google Voice that will allow me to take incoming calls from within Gmail. A couple of really nice features.
Nothing is perfect, I admit. I have experienced some serious “echo” issues with my incoming Google Voice number over the past couple of months and have since learned it’s a common issue. When I tried the new VoIP, my first call dropped prematurely. So did my second call. But it will improve… I’m sure of it. While I’m not yet ready to run my business using these Google calling features exclusively, it’s safe to assume that at some point in the near future, the reliability will be there and it will be an option.