Up until now, if you wanted to use Google Voice, you needed to choose a new number (a "Google number"). Taking calls through your Google number allows us to offer features like call recording, call screening and getting text messages via email. But we know not everyone wants to switch to a new phone number, so it made sense for us to create a lighter version of Google Voice for people who are willing to trade some features for the ability to use their existing numbers.
We're excited to announce that you now have the choice to get Google Voice with your existing mobile number OR with a Google number.
If you sign up using your existing number, you'll still get many of Google Voice's features. Most notably, you'll get all the functionality of Google voicemail, as explained in this video:
If you already have a Google Voice account, you can add Google voicemail to any mobile phone you've linked to your account. If you're not yet using Google Voice, you can request an invite or ask a friend with a Google Voice account to send you an invitation. When you receive the invitation to sign up, you can choose to use Google Voice with your existing number — or to get a Google number for additional features.
Google Voice is about giving you more control over your communications. We hope this new option makes it easier for you to manage your messages and personalize your voicemail experience.