Ever since I received my invite to GrandCentral.com, I have held steadfastly to the belief that it was going to be a winner. I think my excitement was evident in March of 2007 when I wrote, “GrandCentral Called And I Answered.”
When Google purchased GrandCentral in July, 2007, I replaced my regular phone number with my GrandCentral number. Today, that decision was validated by Google’s launch of Google Voice. The new feature list is impressive. You can read them there for yourself.
A Few Hiccups.
Like a kid on Christmas morning, I couldn’t wait to try one of the new features, conference calling. So, I sent out a twitter message to see how many people I could get on one call – using the same number I’ve had for the last two years. The first test was solid, except for my own error in hitting a couple of wrong keys. At one point I had five others on the line with me. The only failure, attempts to record the conference call all failed.
Undaunted I attempted another call later in the day, this time in a more controlled test. I reached out to three friends using Facebook chat, Stacy Lang, Ines Hegedus-Garcia and Nicole Nicolay. Stacy, on a Verizon cell phone, had no issue getting through, but both Ines and Nicole could not get through on their AT&T cell phones. When they both switched to land lines we were able to have our four way conference call without issue, but still unable to record. I was also unable to record any one-on-one conversations today.
The Great Promise
I sent a text message a few moments ago to someone who called me during dinner. I didn’t listen to their message. I just read the transcription and sent a text message to let them know I’d call them in the morning – without ever leaving Google Voice. I copied and pasted a portion of the transcription in to my Google Calendar to remind me in the AM to make the phone call. Life is good.
The transcription is not perfect, but it’s good enough to get a sense of what is being said. Here is a sample that came as a result of my pushing the wrong buttons on the first conference call. This is the exact transcription: “hey jeff ken montvale saw your we don’t we’re about testing this out thought i’d give it a shot and got this recording talk to you later bye.” And here is the actual message:
The new interface is a vast improvement over the old GrandCentral interface. It’s easier to navigate, cleaner, more feature packed. Google Voice lets me create multiple widget configurations too. GrandCentral didn’t. If you click on this one, for example, you will only get my voicemail.
I think I’m in love again.