Google offers Voice product to US military members

A unified voicemail box will make life easier for deployed military members, an Army sergeant says

Google is offering its free Voice call management service to members of the U.S. military beginning Tuesday, the company said in a blog post.

Google Voice is in beta and only available to people who get an invite from Google, but with the military offer, anyone with a .mil e-mail address can get service, wrote U.S. Army Sgt. Dale Sweetnam, an Army fellow working with Google's communications team this year.

With Google Voice, users can have all calls and text messages on their mobile devices route to one voicemail box.

The service allows users to listen to voicemail messages as they're being recorded, allowing for call screening, and it allows them to place U.S.-based phone calls free. In addition, Google Voice allows users to record calls, to create conference calls, and to receive voicemail transcripts.

"It's not easy to stay in touch with friends and family when you're fighting in a country thousands of miles from home," wrote Sweetnam, who was deployed in Iraq as an Army journalist for 13 months.

"The whole experience was physically and emotionally draining, but it was especially difficult when I called home at the end of the day and nobody was there to answer."

A single number and an easy way to retrieve messages can be "invaluable" to military members constantly moving, Sweetnam added.

"When you deploy, your life is put on hold," he added. "While you live and work in a different world, everyone else moves on with life back home. Your family and friends keep moving, and this sometimes means it's just not possible for them to stay awake until 2 a.m. to receive a phone call. Calling Iraq or Afghanistan is seldom an option."

With Google Voice, a military member's family and friends can leave messages throughout the day, he added.

"When that service member visits an Internet trailer, all the messages are right there," Sweetnam said. "It's like a care package in audio form."

A Google spokeswoman said the company is not disclosing how many users Google Voice has.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Googledepartment of defenceUSA governmentgoogle voice

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Grant Gross

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Brother MFC-L3745CDW Colour Laser Multifunction

Learn more >

Mobile

Exec

Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?