In the midst of a game of musical chairs in the Google boardroom, the internet giant has turned its focus to mobile for 2011 and beyond. The first major development in its new strategy is the launch of a new service that allows you to bring your mobile number and Google Voice account together.
Google says the move is in response to masses of requests from consumers who use (or want to use) Google Voice and all its features without having to give up their long-time phone numbers. At time of writing the new number porting service is only available for existing Google Voice users in the US, but the company has promised to roll out the function to other countries on an on-going basis.
It works by Google contacting your carrier to let them know you’re porting your number to Google Voice. In the US this is said to cost $US20 and takes around 24 hours to complete. Your current service will be cancelled once porting is complete, and to make and receive calls you’ll need a new service plan and number from your provider. You then add the new number to your Google Voice account as a forwarding number, so when people call it will ring your mobile phone and any other phones tied to that account, such as your computer.
Google has also made a lot of progress with its Cloud Print service, which allows printing from any app on any device, OS or browser without the need to install any software. Basically, you can print a document from your smartphone and have it waiting for you when you arrive in the office, providing your printer is hooked up to the internet. It’s said to work on most phones that support HTML5, such as devices running Android 2.1+ and iOS 3+. And to get started, you’ll need to connect your printer to Google Cloud Print.
Donate your old phone to charity
New Zealanders are being called upon to donate their old phones and help make a difference the Starship Children’s Hospital. Any make or model of phone, regardless of condition, can be donated. All proceeds from recycled phones go towards Starship’s Air Ambulance Service, which airlifts children with life-threatening medical illnesses and injuries to Starship every year. Phones in working order are refurbished and resold in developing countries. And the phones that are just too broken, beaten and scarred will be environmentally disposed of. Old mobiles can either be donated at any Vodafone store in New Zealand or sent by freepost to:
Starship Mobile Phone Recycling Appeal
Private Bag 208013