I started using GrandCentral when Google bought it a few years back. They gave me a local number, that I can point to my cell, or my home phone, or just accept voicemails on. It’s handy.
Now, the account has been upgraded to Google Voice, and one of the feaures is voicemail transcription.
1. Transcriptions: Now, in addition to being able to listen to your voicemail messages, you can choose to have your new voicemails automatically transcribed. You’ll see these transcriptions in your inbox and will be able to search for voicemails. Transcriptions are also included in email and SMS notifications. They are fully automated, so they aren’t perfect, but we’ll be working to improve this in the future.
2. SMS support: When somebody sends an SMS to your Google Voice number, that SMS will be relayed to each of your forwarding cell phones and stored in your inbox. You can reply from your computer or from any of your mobile phones and the conversation will be saved in your inbox. You’ll be able to read through the conversation thread and search for past messages.
3. Conference calling: If you want to talk to more than one person at once, just tell everyone to call you on your Google number. When you get a call waiting notification, you will have the option to press 5 to add them to your existing call.
Here’s the Google Voice blog for more info