US consumers can now use Google Voice without having to change their mobile number.
On October 26 Google announced that new and existing Google Voice users could opt to keep their original phone number.
Users that keep their existing phone number will be able to use Google Voice Mail, Google's free automated voicemail transcription, individually assigned custom designed voicemail greetings, SMS text and email notifications, and have access to their voicemail messages online.
"Up until now, if you wanted to use Google Voice, you needed to choose a new number (a "Google number")," wrote Craig Walker, Vincent Paquet and Pierre Lebeau, product managers for Google Voice, on the Official Google Blog.
"Taking calls through your Google number allows us to offer features like call recording, call screening and getting text messages via email. But we know not everyone wants to switch to a new phone number, so it made sense for us to create a lighter version of Google Voice for people who are willing to trade some features for the ability to use their existing numbers."
Consumers who opt to use their own number with the service will miss out on Google Voice features such as call screening, conference calls, call blocking and call recording but will still have the ability to make cheap international calls.
To sign up for the service (US residents only), head to https://services.google.com/fb/forms/googlevoiceinvite/Reuse content