Having been a Grand Central user since their beta in 2007, I got the option to migrate to Google Voice. Based on my usage, here are the improvements to the original Grand Central experience:
- Integration with Google Account
- Integration with Google Contacts
- GMail-like UI that allows for folders like Inbox, Starred, Trash, Voicemail, etc.
- SMS support
- Receive SMS on the Google Voice number and have that SMS forwarded to your registered cell phone. This was my biggest feature request from Grand Central!
- Respond to SMS via the Google Voice web interface and have then be returned as an SMS
- Ability to respond to call via SMS
- Transcription – finally caught up with Jott on that front.
- Ability to annotate messages or SMSes with notes.
Here are the things where Google has more work to do (or could have done better during migration):
- No integration with Google Apps For Your Domain (my pet peeve with several Google features!)
- No keyboard shortcuts for the UI a la GMail or Google Reader
- No migration of Grand Central call history, messages or contacts
- A separate UI – this should really be part of GMail (my company has had that for years with both fax and voicemail!)
- No mention of fax support i.e., use the number for incoming faxes so that it can really be a universal number
- No tag/label support like GMail – kinda stupid to just have fixed folders especially when GMail has us used to labels
The rest of features are just parity features with Grand Central.