Search engine giant Google stole a march on its internet technology rivals today when it launched a new system that integrates email and phone messages.
Google Voice gives you a single number streamlining your work, home and mobile phones and lets you store transcripts of voicemail phone messages in your email inbox.
Using speech-recognition technology, it will even let you search those messages for a snippet of information just as if you were trawling a sea of emails.
It will also let you make free local and cheap international calls, as well as consult Goog411, the company's free U.S. directory enquiries service.
Google Voice is based on technology originally launched by Grand Central Communications, a company bought up by Google nearly two years ago.
The acquisition had taken so long to bear fruit that observers were starting to suspect it had come to nothing.
Like the original Grand Central product, Google Voice offers consumers a single phone number that can route incoming calls to home, office and mobile phones
Google Voice is available to existing Grand Central users from today and to the general public in the weeks to come.