Google Voice Opens to the Public

Google Voice, the telephony management application offered by Google, opened up to everyone in the United States on Tuesday, and with a gang of nifty management apps, 1 million people have already signed up for accounts.

One of the most exciting features is the ability to manage your voicemail online like e-mail. Users can change their SMS messages to e-mail, personalize their voicemails for particular callers, share voicemails and voicemail transcriptions via e-mail, and manage their international bills and payment all from a web-based page that looks like an e-mail server.

Users can also activate one number that will cause all of their phones—office, house, cell—to ring at once. 

Other features include free calls to the U.S. and Canada and low international calling rates, basic conferencing abilities, and the ability to screen callers, sending them to your voicemail, so you can listen to the message they are giving and determine whether you want to answer.

There is a mobile app that helps run the program on smartphones as well.

Users who want to use Google voice but do not wish to switch their phone numbers can get the service minus the one number that reaches all phones, SMS via e-mail, call screening and listen in, call recording, conference calling and call blocking. They will receive the online voicemail, free automated voicemail transcription, custom voicemail greetings for different callers, e-mail and SMS notifications, and international calling.

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AccuConference | Kindle App Updates – and how we helped.

Kindle App Updates – and how we helped.

About six months ago, someone in our office sent an email to the Kindle/Amazon folks about a feature that would make their application even better on the iPad, specifically suggesting the ability to show books in two columns instead of one. The application team wrote back and said, “Thanks, we’ll look into it for you”. Today, on the new update for the Kindle application, guess what we have – two columns.

This is really cool to us, because while it may not have been solely our idea, they fixed our problem. Now, maybe there were a lot of people who were trying to decide between iBooks and Kindle for their ebooks, since both have a great reading experience. Maybe there were a number of people asking Kindle about this option. Personally, we like to think ‘you’re welcome’ when you open your update Kindle application.

Another update on the application is the integration of into the books. This is really cool and finally there is an ebook app that integrates social interaction with other readers. There are several things that are shared within the app and it's just the beginning.

I think the folks over at Amazon are trying to beef up the social aspects of their e-reader application and give people the ability to share what they are reading. Not only is that good for them as a company (because many of us love to Tweet) but it’s great for authors. A very good friend of mine has his first novel available in the Amazon store and if someone new tweets about reading it, and that tweet encourages their followers to read his book, it helps him.

Since authors are, in essence, a brand, he could then find the people who are reading his book, see what they thought and engage in conversation with potential and current readers.

So check out the new Kindle update for the iPhone and iPad and when you’re enjoying the smooth and ease of that two column reading page… you’re welcome.

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