For those of you at the meeting two weeks ago I mentioned a beta service at Google called Google Voice. Since that meeting it has opened up and received an update from David Pogue at the NYT.
In short, Google makes phone numbers available to forward calls and voicemail to your phones, home, business, cell, whatever. In addition it will take voicemail and convert it to text and host it online is a very Gmail looking format.
The advantage here is you can give folks this new number for yourself and receive call at any or all your numbers (at once!) and screen them. If you tell it a number you don’t want calls from it will do the three tone ‘number no longer in service’ for those ‘spam’ calls and if folks are leaving you voicemail you can here it ‘live’ as it is made if you wish.
Frankly this could change the way we use our phones for the better in my opinion.