Web site of the week: Grandcentral.com

Jason Hall

In the 130 years since the telephone was invented, it has only made a few giant leaps forward — international calling, call waiting, cellular phones and that annoying Crazy Frog ringtone. This pantheon of communication breakthroughs is about to get a new member, and its name is GrandCentral.com.

GrandCentral adds a bevy of features to all of your phones, not just your cell phone. And best of all, it’s completely free.

When you sign up for GrandCentral, you give it all your phone numbers, and you’ll receive a new phone number. Go ahead, give it a call. All your phones will ring. Whichever phone picks up will get the call. If your cell phone’s battery starts to die you can switch the call back to a land line.

But the features don’t stop there. When someone calls, you have the option of taking the call, sending the caller to VoiceMail or using GrandCentral’s ListenIn feature. ListenIn lets you hear the caller leave his message and cut in whenever you want to, just like an answering machine.

If you let the call go to VoiceMail, not only will the message be available through your phone, but it will also appear in your inbox on GrandCentral.com. You can even have the message automatically forwarded to your e-mail address. And because the messages are stored on GrandCentral.com, you never have to erase them.

If you add your friends numbers as contacts on GrandCentral.com, you have the option of recording custom messages for them to hear when they call you. You can also upload any mp3 to use as a ringback tone. If the caller is of the unsavory type, add him or her to your block list and you won’t even hear a ring.

Of the more dubious features of GrandCentral is the Record feature. At any point in a conversation, press 4 and GrandCentral will record your call and send it to your inbox.

GrandCentral is a fantastic service, but it is currently in a limited release, so there is no guarantee a new number will be available in your desired area code.

Contact ALL correspondent Jason Hall at [email protected].