Forget Google Wave; The Google Voice Application for Android and Blackberry (with an iPhone version on the way) will be the communications revolution that will engrain Google into our daily lives.
Om Malik puts it right: Meet Google, Your Phone Company.
Why is it that revolutionary? It’s all in one little dialogue that pops up when you’re setting up your phone, which has three options (I will change the order for dramatic purposes):
- Do not use Google Voice for any calls (Acees Google Voice messages only)
- Only use Google Voice for international calls (Get low-priced international call rates)
- Use Google Voice for all calls (Display your Google Voice number as called ID)
Yes, the last option means that your mobile line becomes the least important part of your cell phone. It’s just the dumb pipe to connect you to Google Voice. If I were to port my cell phone number to Google Voice (which will be an option soon) I would be able to switch phone companies without any regret, because Google Voice is now my main switchboard.
Skype is also affected, as any calls I make that are international, can be “trapped” by the application and rerouted through Google Voice, with rates that are similar to Skype’s and very good call quality.
This is all seamless. You still dial numbers as you normally do. The Google Voice application is smart to take it from there.
You can also send free SMS messages from the application, which means I can cancel my SMS plan as of today.
This is really a big hit to the whole telecommunications ecosystem. Google has just become your telephone company.
Update: Here’s the official Google Blog announcement about it, as well as a video explaining how the app works.