Internet search giant Google is edging into the telecommunications sector by releasing a new application that will transform voicemail messages into text-based emails.
The service is currently available to United States users of a Google-owned telephone service called GrandCentral, which was acquired by the group in July 2007.
GrandCentral customers are provided with a single phone number to combine their landline and mobile numbers, as well as a voicemail account. The new service allows users to send transcribed voice messages to their email, make free domestic calls and take part in six-way conference calls.
“The new application improves the way you use your phone,” said the company in a blog post. “You can get transcripts of your voicemail and archive and search all the text messages you send and receive. You can also use the service to make low-priced international calls.
“When you receive a voicemail, Google Voice will automatically transcribe it into text so you can read what the voicemail is about,” the company says.
But Google warns that because the service is “fully automated [it] may include mistakes”.