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Google introduces the Fiber Phone
So, clearly we’ve been seeing massive leaps in mobile technology over the course of the last decade. It’s gotten to the point that when we think of “phones,” the object to spring to mind is a smart device, not that corded antique attached to your grandmother’s kitchen wall. Although home phones have come a long way since party lines and the one-per-household model from the Brady Bunch, they’ve basically remained unchanged since the days of N’Sync and rollerblades. Google is angling to change that, however. Their vision of the future of the home phone is the Fiber Phone.
Avid readers of this site might be surprised to learn that home phones are even still a thing, but they definitely are. Outside our little tech-enthused bubble, lots of families and homeowners still regularly make use of landline services. Fiber Phone wants to drag this technology kicking and screaming into the modern age. The idea is to make your home phone, well, mobile.
It’s something of a halfway measure between a dedicated mobile device and a landline. For $10 per month, you get unlimited local and nationwide calling, and international calls are beholden to the same rates as Google Voice. When you sign up for Fiber Phone, you can keep your old number if you want, or pick a new one. The service offers everything your landline service normally would: call waiting, caller ID, 911 services, and so on. But you’ll also get some extra perks. Your voicemail is on the cloud, for instance, so you can access it from anywhere. Also, Fiber Phone can transcribe voice messages and send them to you as a text or email.
Speaking of that cloud capability, this is the real winning feature of Google’s service. You can effectively ‘log in’ to your home phone from anywhere. Any landline phone, any mobile device, or even any computer. You can also configure it to ring your landline when your at home, but divert incoming calls to your mobile device when you’re away. All in all, pretty slick stuff.
Unfortunately, as the name would imply, Fiber Phone is only available in areas that have Google Fiber, and the rollout looks like it’s going to be a bit gradual. If you’re interested in getting in on the action, sign up here. In the meantime, let us know what you think about Google’s take on landline service. Is this cosmetic surgery or necromancy? Let us know your take in the comments below!