New Google Voice Offering a 'Dutiful but Klutzy Secretary'

Features like voicemail transcription are great, but far from flawless
By Clay Dillow,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 6, 2009 8:28 AM CDT
New Google Voice Offering a 'Dutiful but Klutzy Secretary'
Google logos are shown inside Google headquarters in Mountain View, Calif.    (AP Photo)

Google’s Voice feature, offered in free beta for now, bundles all your phone numbers into one “Google number,” and records, transcribes, emails, and archives voicemails, allowing you to respond via texts sent from your computer. It “has some brilliant features,” Courtney Banks writes in the Wall Street Journal, but probably isn’t “brilliant enough to inspire a mass conversion.”

Through your profile, you can choose which callers reach which phone numbers, a useful tool though you’ll have to retrain everyone to your new Google number. The transcribing program is also often incorrect, conveying the gist of a message with about 75% accuracy. Overall, Banks concludes, “Google Voice is like having your own personal switchboard operator and a dutiful but klutzy secretary.” (More Google stories.)

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