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Google voice is a way to have a universal number-with this universal number you can have a number of phones (cell, home and business) mapped to it. The convenience of such a number is that when a call comes in-the caller is asked their name-your phone rings and if you want to accept the call you do so and it comes through. However if you do not know the person or cannot take the call at that time-it goes to voicemail and you will receive a text of the call. In addition to receiveing the text, if you go online your inbox will have the actual voice message that can be played and listened to as well as the text message that was sent. You can also block a caller in Google voice so they will not be able to contact you. David Pogue a technology guru and writer for the New York Times wrote a great article about Google Voice-go to nytimes.com and search goolge voice for his article-I think you will find it helpful. Hope I helped in a small way too.
Thank you so much for the helpful response. I found the NY article you referenced and pasted it for others to check out.
And I can't believe this is all free. I went to Google's website http://www.google.com/voice and it says that google voice is available via invite only. : (
Just like gmail I guess. Okay, I submitted my request, let's see...