UPDATE: See below for sample audio / transcription sample — not perfect, but then again, not the easiest call to translate…
A week ago we learned that GrandCentral would become Google Voice with an exciting overhaul and rejuvenated Google-esque UI. And now the opportunity has arrived to upgrade my account.
BUT — here’s the slightly annoying part — my archive doesn’t transfer to the new Google Voice site — I need to access old information and voicemails at GrandCentral voicemails migrated to Google Voice. But hey — Google even gave me a dollar ($1)!!!
Also, I have to re-record my Google Voice greeting and re-integrate other settings. Lame. But I’m psyched to actually have a reason to use GrandCentral Google Voice at last!
Help me test the transcription by leaving a message — the widget above will send you directly to my Google Voicemail.
Here is one [joke] call and subsequent (pretty hilarious) transcript:
As a lucky (or just crazy) early adopter who snapped up a Grand Central number, I’ve been waiting a couple years for Google to finally do enhance the service. I did notice last week that the GrandCentral Facebook App had gone blank.
Tonight, Google Voice was announced, but still — I can only log in the old-school GrandCentral way. The screenshots and features are awesome. And they’re even talking voice mail transcription. But again I must ask — when can I REALLY have my Google Voice?!? Supposedly at some point today [Thursday] according to Barron‘s and others.
I was surprised to jump to Amazon.com just now and find the Ooma box as the top featured item. I’ve been using Ooma as my “land” line for about a year-and-a-half as a Beta tester and have been awaiting reports of improved sales of the VOIP boxes since they recently started promoting it for about half of the original $399 sticker price. I found it a bit ironic that it was featured alongside Amazon’s Kindle — which is so overhyped on the site and perpetually claimed to be “out of stock” ala recent Nintendo Wii marketing ploys.
When I first learned of Ooma, the idea of having a box at home through which to make phone calls (for free) and having access to messages online and via e-mail was intriguing. I do not have a personal land line and was tired of paying for Skype. I was using GrandCentral but wanted an alternative since cell reception at my house is so spotty. I was lucky to meet Andrew Frame, founder of Ooma, for a tour of Ooma’s HQ in Palo Alto in the summer of 2007, when I was an intern at the San Jose Mercury News (video below).
When I returned to Los Angeles, I signed up as a beta tester and was impressed with the quality, and loved having a phone number that I could remember (909-0090 nearly trumped the AT&T land line number I had when I first moved to LA — 669-9969). I’d recommend it to anyone who uses VOiP and incurs charges above and beyond ooma’s one-time-only charge for their Core system — now $219.90 at Amazon. If it means anything to you, Ooma still has the endorsement of the almighty Michael Arrington as well.
So is Ooma about to take off into the mainstream?
Or is it nearing its last gasp?