When Google isn’t alienating us by pushing social experiments down our throats, and doing evil, they are often awesome. Nevertheless, I started thinking this month how I will take my Google Apps domain and start hosting it myself: mail, chat, calendar, contacts, etc.
Today they integrated Google Voice with Google Talk in GMail. I still don’t know how they are doing it, are they connecting to PSTN through XMPP? In any case, I feel all excited and giggly about it. Maybe I will keep my Google Apps account after all..
It’s always been another one of my personal technological gaps. How do I travel and remain reachable on my US number? I could spend months on end in Israel, and it’s always nice to have seamless access to my US number and voice mail. SIM cards are so cheap abroad, the phone numbers assigned to them are arbitrary, I should be able to punch them in to Google Voice and just have people reach me with my usual number (this feature is yet to come). In short, unify and clean up the mess that is telephony and voice mail. Hopefully, if all this magic is through XMPP, we will have sexy integration in Empathy as well.
So at this point, not only has this delayed my disengagement from Google, it has brought me a step closer to getting an Android phone (Apple, stay classy and ignore Google Voice).
This isn’t conclusive, I don’t welcome our new overlords with open hands. My trust is being eroded with age, I just need to hear another horror story about political repression or Google evil doing to decide on personally hosting encrypted everything. Even if it means I will have to spend a few years of my life setting up Asterisk.