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Google Voice: Converging Mobile and Web

I must admit I wasn’t impressed with Google Voice at first. I didn’t see a need nor how it solved a problem. Now, however, I’m a huge fanboy. But its not why you think.

Google Voice is based on the acquisition of GrandCentral in July 2007. At its core, Voice is a call routing tool that integrates Calls, SMS, & Email in one service. With advanced rules like direct-to-voicemail or “don’t ring on weekends,” I can control my phone service like a conductor controls his orchestra.

That’s great, but where’s the innovation? Well, Voice brings a mobile-only service (SMS) into my browser. I can have zero bars and still get that text about 5 dollars pitchers @ happy hour. Awesome. I can also search my transcribed voicemails like I would email. Space Odyssey status. SMS is over 18 year old and hasn’t changed much. Except for now, it is distributed and cached. This is way beyond mobile web; its product synergy. And I’m a fanboy.

You might be saying, “well, Foursquare and Twitter are mobile applications.” But their experiences are just regular mobile pages or apps that happen to live on a mobile device. They barely exploit, let alone leverage, the mobile ecosystem.

I hope more products push the envelope and merge age-old experiences. Maybe you’ll come up with the next classic + classic = new.


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