WHOA! GrandCentral Becomes Google Voice


Way back in September of 2008 we told you about GrandCentral, called it Google’s Forgotten Acquisition and talked about the huge implications it could have for Android. Now I’d like to add one more thing… told ya so. Google has just announced that GrandCentral is now Google Voice.


It’s only available to existing GrandCentral customers at the moment, but you can be SURE they’re going to roll this out to the masses otherwise they wouldn’t have rebranded it. And trust us, this is going to have implications on Android so you’re going to want to know a little more about it. Luckily, Google has created a TON of videos about the features of Google Voice, shared with our comments below.

Here is the “concept” by which Google Voice works. Everyone calls your Google Voice number and it gets rerouted as appropriate:


When your friends get your voicemail it could say, “Whattup Broseph? I’m no around yo but leave ‘dem digits and I’ll hollerback” while your Mom would say, “Sorry I’m not around Mom, leave a message love ya!” and Co-Workers and Unknown numbers could hear something more traditional. Want to be cool without risking your job? Google Voice FTW!

Do I really need to sell you on this? When a new number calls you the first time, it asks them who they are and their voice is recorded, letting you know who it is before you decide whether or not to answer:

Keep track of your entire contact list and phone numbers neatly, from the web:

While the below is shown on a G1, I think its safe to say that a native Android Application would be made for Google Voice:

If you have more than one phone, like me, I’m sure you understand that this could be sent from heaven:


You can freaking listen to voicemails AS they are being recorded JUST like a home answering machine. HOW AWESOME IS THIS? If it is important just pick it up mid-call!

Have your voicemails sent to you via E-Mail with a transcription of the voicemail sent to you! Too cool, right?

You can block calls from specific numbers. Only thing I would wish for here is customize greetings for these blocked calls. You could get pretty creative with telemarketers!

Makes cleaning out your voicemail, saving messages and such much easier.

I’ll let you all ponder the many ways this could improve people’s lives but there IS a major hurdle to get over… you’ll have to change your phone number. Google has to assign you a phone number that EVERYONE you know uses which will reroute your phone to the number you desire. It has to be a different number in order to work, so you’ll have to go through the pain and irritation of getting your phone number changed.

I wonder if there is a way to alleviate this irritation? The other thing is… people COULD still call your phone directly if they wanted to, bypassing the various benefits and measures that Google Voice takes. If that was the case, it would be a good idea to get a completely new cell phone number too, since you won’t actually be “giving it out” to anyone and it will only be used as a rerouting issue.

My personal biggest question is how many people are willing to put ALLLLL of this trust with their personal life, business life, EVERYTHING life into one company. Google truly will be the keeper of your life’s connectivity. Owning your internet browsing with Chrome, your phone with Android, your EMail with GMail and your phone NUMBER with Google Voice? I don’t care… I love Google and I want this – not afraid to admit it!

Lots to talk about… lets hear it!?!??!? When do you think this will launch to the general public?

Rob Jackson
I'm an Android and Tech lover, but first and foremost I consider myself a creative thinker and entrepreneurial spirit with a passion for ideas of all sizes. I'm a sports lover who cheers for the Orange (College), Ravens (NFL), (Orioles), and Yankees (long story). I live in Baltimore and wear it on my sleeve, with an Under Armour logo. I also love traveling... where do you want to go?

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  1. My two questions, when I saw this posted on Howard Forums, were:

    1) Can I port my T-mobile number to it (sounds like “no”)

    2) How soon, and how well, will it be integrated into Android.

    Sounds like a great service. Just have to wait and see how soon Android fully integrates it.

  2. awesome. cant wait. i hope google adopts me.

  3. I dont understand why people complaint, its free what else do you want. All of my friends are now using my GrandCentral number for about 6-7 months now

    I love it

  4. Still doesn’t support text messaging as far as i can tell :( only reason I won’t use it. If i have to give my number our for SMS then it defeats the purpose.

  5. Yes it has SMS.

  6. It does support SMS fully. The beautiful thing will be when its integrated with Gmail, so your texts can be received and sent in Gmail. I anticipate Android integration within 6-12 months. They’ve been working and keeping this very quiet to this point. They have to be working on Android too. Don’t they??

  7. I have it, and it is TOO sick. Everything we had with grandcentral along with a whole host of MUCH needed and requested updates. Google > * once AGAIN.


    The same developer who made G1 Central (The grandcentral G1 app) Evan Charlton, is workin on a Google Voice app.

  8. Even BBC is carrying this story today

  9. I have had GC for nearly a year it does not receive sms. If you said it does please tell me how, thanks.

  10. @Brie – GrandCentral DOESN’T receive SMS. But Google Voice DOES. All GrandCentral users now have access to Google Voice. So… login at and try it!

  11. Could you not set up your voicemail number on your phone to the GoogleVoice number and make it redirect after 0 ‘rings’ or something? that way you wouldnt need to worry about changing your number?

  12. What about making calls from my phone, but wanting them to see the Grand Central number and not my phone’s number. How will other people know its from me, when I only give out my Grand Central number.

  13. @Andrew: You can place calls from the website (either via PC or mobile internet). You click on the contact and click “Call”, and then choose a phone to call from (your cell phone or home phone). Then your phone rings, you pick it up and it starts ringing your friend. If you do it all from your cell phone it seems rather intuitive (especially if it has a touch screen!). Having to go to your PC to make a call from home might be a little redundant though…

  14. Oh and also! I think you can make calls by simply calling your own Google Voice number. Then you can choose a contact from your contact list over the phone.

  15. @tim – According to the videos from google you can place a call to your google number then press 2 i think and it will ask you to enter a number.

    I would like an app for my G1 that will automatically re-route my call if i click on a contact. I’m sure that’s in the works though.

  16. I’ve been using GC for two years now and it’s cool, but this is just a little face-lift/rebranding. Most of the features they are hyping are already part of regular GC service.

  17. btw… If you combine GC with Gizmo5 you get free incoming and outgoing calls. I haven’t paid a phone bill (besides the G1) since I signed up for GC.

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