Google Voice users know the drill from when they signed up for the GrandCentral. Users are assigned one number that will ring their home, work and cell phones, if you so choose. The number is tied to each user, a Social Security number for VOIP communications.
But users who are moving to another town or state or who want new digits for whatever reason can now get a new number for a one-time $10 fee payable through Google Checkout, Google Voice Product Manager Vincent Paquet said in a blog post:
“Maybe you’d prefer to have a local number after moving to another area code. Or maybe you’d just like to find a more personalized number than what you have now to keep for the long term. For situations like these we have added the ability to change your Google Voice number.“
Change your number by clicking on the Phones tab of your Google Voice Settings. Click the change link next to your current number to get started. You can search for a number in a specific area code or search certain keywords or phrases.
To make the phone number change a little less painful, the new numbers are effective as soon as you pay Google. However, the old number will keep working for three months, giving users enough time to update bosses, colleagues, family and friends.
Paquet said calls and SMS to both numbers will show in users’ accounts. Before users’ old numbers expire, Google Voice will let users know who’s still calling it so they can update them individually.
Now if only Google Voice would offer number portability, which tops most users’ wish lists. “Although you can’t currently port your existing number to Google Voice, we hope to offer this option in the near future,” claims the Google Voice Website.
Google also needs to roll the service out to general availability. We bloggers and journalists keep writing about it, but most of the masses can’t use it because it’s still by invite only.