Yesterday afternoon, I got invited to join Google Voice (formerly Grand Central), Google’s “Gmail for your phone”. Google Voice does many things including giving you a lifetime phone number that you’ll never ever ever have to change again, transcribing voicemails, allowing you to call any number for free within the US, call international numbers for very cheap, send SMS messages for free, and offer a user interface similar to Gmail that shows voicemails and SMS in conversations/threads.

The permanent phone number and forwarding options are pretty neat especially if you have multiple phones in the vicinity that you’d like to pick up a call from. Also, the screening features are superb (I sorta don’t have to worry about unknown numbers anymore or spam callers).

I’m obviously still getting a handle on it all, but I’m pretty fascinated by the new service. I could easily see this being a big deal in the near future.