Google Voice gets better — lets you text by email, and save money too

The great thing about Google Voice is how easy it makes my phoning.

It’s just made things even easier, letting me send and receive texts by email. A plus: It also lets me save costs, by avoiding texting charges to my phone.

Here’s the background on why Google Voice has grabbed me: I can give out a single number and have people who dial it ring through to any phone I choose. And any voice message or text they send to that number gets recorded online, where I can view them any time I want. I just go to my Google Voice account, which I sometimes leave open on a tab on my browser. I can route voice messages to my email, where I can click and hear the audio, or simply see a transcription of the message. I wrote a positive review when Google Voice was first released.

Until today, you could get SMS messages from your phone, and you could see them in your account. But today, Google Voice lets you route the text messages to your email inbox. The messages arrive from an address at txt.voice.google.com (so, if you want to store them in a single place, you can create a filter for them within Gmail, for example).

And you can also see why carriers will be anxious about Google Voice. It lets you avoid texting charges (indeed, AT&T charges an arm and a leg for texting on the iPhone). You can do this by turning off SMS notification to your phone in Google Voice, and receiving and replying to your SMS by email.

The service also offers SMS threading: If you use Gmail, you also get the extra benefit of threading all SMS between you and one contact into one conversation, so it’s easy to see the whole discussion. This feature is turned on or off from the call settings page.


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