Google Voice Opens Up Voicemail For Any Phone Number

Want in on Google Voice’s web-based, transcribed, custom-greeted voicemail, but you’re not quite ready to adopt a new number? Starting tonight, Voice users can choose to keep their number and still get Google’s upgraded voicemail features.

You’ll still need a Google Voice invitation to get started, which you can request for yourself or beg a friend for. Once youre in, you can choose to either pick up a new number for the full Voice service—voicemail, SMS, selective call forwarding, and more—or keep your number and walk through Googles forwarding setup for your cellphone, in what the search giant is branding as ‘Google Voicemail.’

Your voicemail will be routed to Google’s servers, transcribed and sent to you by SMS or email, if you’d like, and accessible from your Voice web page (or playable in Gmail). It’s a similar offering to what services like YouMail have been offering for some time for phones of all kinds, but with seemingly unlimited transcription and storage space. You’ll also be able to set up custom greetings for each caller to your voicemail.

Google touts those features, and their concept of helping you keep your voicemail consistent between carriers, in this just-released video:

(Via Lifehacker.)