Google Voice is a great service, allowing a single phone number to ring several different devices at the same time. But sending SMS was like sending smoke signals, in having to wait 15-plus minutes for a reply to be pulled from their servers. (Though that was by default, and you could speed it up to 5 minutes.) Google posted updated the service, allowing inbox synchronization, allowing nearly instant messaging, and an overall performance boost. Another great thing is that they have disabled the SMS forwarding by default when this is selected, so no duplicate SMS settings to worry about, and they added additional features such as the ability to click on a contacts picture and respond to voicemail via email or SMS. Remember, this is still in beta, and requires an invite, so if you have not already, request yours here, and for those using it, this is a must-have update. [via Google Voice Blog]

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