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February 24 2008

GrandCentral Rings All Your Phones At Once

GrandCentral.comAs I’ve mentioned before, my company warehouse is only 300 feet from my house. That being the case, I have a tendency to wander back and forth during the day, which makes it difficult sometimes for people to guess which location I’m at, and hence which phone number they should call.  I’ve often thought it would be nice if I had a phone number that rang both places, but never really wanted to invest in another phone line, so I’ve allowed everyone play “Guess where Sean is!”

Well, leave it to Google to buy an emerging technology called “GrandCentral” and solve all of these problems for me.  I only learned of this service yesterday, and I have to admit caught me completely off-guard, but it is revolutionary for people who are constantly on the go.  Well… if you live in the United States at least.

What it does is allow you to sign up for an account, pick a virtual phone number for the area code of your choice, and once you’ve picked the number, you enter your work number, home number, and cell phone number.  When someone calls your virtual number it will ring all three of them at once, allowing you to choose which line you want to pick up if you are near two of them at the same time.

What kills me is the number of features that come along with this:

GrandCentral is currently in a private beta, invite-only mode, and all features are, for the moment, free.  Things such as the call record will be considered “premium services” when the site launches, though there is no indication when that will be.

So far, only playing with it for a day, I’m thrilled with it. Will I still be thrilled when I have to pay for all/parts of it?  It will depend on th pricing, but I’m thrilled with the concept.

Now, am I a total tease?  No.  I have three invites if anyone wants them.  Just leave me a comment on this post and I’ll set you up with an invite.



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  • Vonage also has a simultaneous ring feature, although it isn’t quite as developed as what Grand Central is doing. Basically, you can enter another number (say, your cell phone) and when someone calls your home phone (service by Vonage) both that and the cell will ring.

  • Paul – I think we’re going to see more and more companies offering this service as people demand all of their services be converged.

  • Sanae

    So, here’s my issue with Grand Central. I love the concept, have been using it for awhile, and even have a great phone number. But, while it is a convenience it is not something I need. So I’m wary to spread the phone number too far, because I have no idea what the pricing plan is going to be and so have no idea whether or not there will still be a free, or very cheap, option that is still worth using in the future. In other words, I wish they’d put some sort of guarantee forward of a minimum set of “always free” features.

  • Sanae – I have the same fears, so, for now, I am only giving the number to family and friends who constantly say “DAMMIT! Where are you?!?” constantly. It would be nice to know some pricing info, though.

  • Sounds like a great concept..few tech questions and some pricing concerns too. Does anyone have an idea how this company could position this service to make money in an advertising sense? Also, any particular synergy with Google here?

    Michael

    P.s. send me an invite if u have any left…pls?