Switch to Google Voice, Keep Your Phone Number

Last Updated Oct 27, 2009 12:21 PM EDT

A while back I told you the truth about Google Voice, which boils down to this: It's not for everybody. The major shortcoming for most users? The need to pick a new phone number when you sign up.

No more. As of last night, you can now use Google Voice with your existing number. Here's a one-minute video that explains it all:



If you do decide to stick with your existing number, these perks await you:

  • Online, searchable voicemail
  • Free automated voicemail transcription
  • Custom voicemail greetings for different callers
  • Email and SMS notifications
  • Low-priced international calling
Of course, by opting for a new number, you get a whole lot more, including the all-important single number that can ring any/all of your phones.

If you're still confused about the who/what/why of the service, be sure to read Eight Things You Need to Know About Google Voice. It's enlightening.

Me, I'm still not sold. The vast majority of my communication these days happens via e-mail, IM, Facebook, etc. So jumping through a lot of hoops to get features I don't especially need strikes me as a waste of time.

What about you? Is this the Google Voice feature you've been waiting for? Share your thoughts in the comments!

  • Rick Broida On Twitter»

    Rick Broida, a technology writer for more than 20 years, is the author of more than a dozen books. In addition to writing CNET's The Cheapskate blog, he contributes to CNET's iPhone Atlas.