GrandCentral Offers One Number for Your Telecom Needs

GrandCentral Offers One Number for Your Telecom Needs

GrandCentral, which offers a variety of phone and message services, was recently acquired by Google, helping to fuel rumors that the search giant is getting ready to enter the VoIP space. Many expect that GrandCentral will be integrated Google Talk and Gmail, allowing the company to merge email, messaging, and voice services into one product.

I had signed up for GrandCentral’s beta several weeks before the acquisition and have generally been impressed with the services the company provides. After signing up, you select a new phone number (many but not all area codes are available), and while it may seem like the last thing you need is one more number, adding a GrandCentral number can actually simplify your life if you commonly use a landline, cell phone, and office phone. When someone calls your GrandCentral number, you can then have any of your handsets ring simultaneously. Additionally, you can set up different user accounts, so if a family member calls, all of your phones ring, but for business contacts, only your office phone rings. If you exclusively use one number, this feature isn’t of much use; however, GrandCentral’s voicemail and calling features are still worth checking out.

While I liked having one number that rang all my handsets (a great option if you review cell phones), GrandCentral’s call-screening features are what will make me keep the service. When people not in your address book call, they are directed to state their name; the service then rings you and tells you that you have a call from this person. You have the opportunity to accept the call or send it to voicemail. Still not sure whether you want to pick up? Send the call to voicemail and you can listen to the message as it’s being recorded. If it’s important, you can break in and take the call. Additionally, with GrandCentral you can record phone conversations (both parties hear a message stating the call is being recorded), block numbers, transfer calls between phones, and store all your voicemails online.

While the service has a lot to offer, one feature was recently stripped out of the site: the ability to upload your own ringtones and apply them to different groups. In it’s place, Google has included about a dozen sound files. Not a deal-breaker by any means, but it was a nice option that’s now no longer available.

Since the acquisition, GrandCentral has limited the number of people who can sign up for the beta. People interested in the service can reserve a number or be invited by a current user.

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bear

Is anyone handing out invites? If so, I wouldn't mind getting one.
You can toss me an invite at: bear.sunderland+grandcentral(at)gmail.com...just sub the "@" for the "(at)" the "+" is supposed to be in there :o)

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Lee_I

Anyone want to start sharing invites?

..if so please send one to limaechoecho+maxpc(at)gmail.com

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TheMurph

uh... what's your e-mail address, Lee? Is the plus supposed to be in there?

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