Monday, December 8, 2008

Is Verizon taking on Grand Central?

Over the past couple of weeks, Verizon has been soft launching a new feature known as Verizon Call Assistant.

A combination of client applications and a web-based product, Call Assistant allows full control of your 'hardline' as well as transfer of your contacts between a variety of PDA's, smartphones and synchronization with e-mail clients.

The PC client app provides real-time caller ID and allows you to listen to your voice mail with direct integration to the web-based suite (which makes your messages available to you at almost any public PC).

Google's Grand Central is a similar product offering voice mail over PC and transfer of calls to your cell or other phone numbers.  Voice over IP (GChat) has not yet been integrated into the product, however one clear advantage of Grand Central is that it provides you with an additional phone number (for free) that can be used for a variety of purposes.

Both products allow customization of your greeting and storage of voice mails for later retrieval.

Verizon's Call Assistant currently works on Windows based PC's but a newer version is pending that will be MAC compatible.

Grand Central, as of late, has been curiously closed to new subscribers.

Information on the new Verizon product can be found here.
Grand Central can be checked out here.