Too Many Phone Numbers? Google Can Help

Promising new free service handles access to all your devices
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 2, 2009 9:20 AM CDT
A Google G1 phone is shown at the T-Mobile booth at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Friday, Jan. 9, 2009.   (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
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(Newser) – One phone number for home, two more for work, another for your mobile—Google Voice aims to change that. The new free service, which gives you one internet-based number that dials all your phones, "will take years to reach its full potential," but it looks promising, Hiawatha Bray writes for the Boston Globe.

The service allows users to block certain devices at certain times, or make sure a certain caller always reaches a certain phone. It asks unknown callers who they are, tells you before you answer, and lets you send them straight to voicemail—at which point "you can use the slick 'listen in'’ feature to eavesdrop as the message is being left." So far the service is in limited trials, "but that was also true of a little Google service called Gmail when it launched five years ago."