If you're looking to try Google Voice, but haven't received one of the coveted beta invites, a company called 3jam is offering an alternative. 3jam announced an open beta of its new voice forwarding and transcription service. If you are a Google Voice member, you'll notice a striking resemblance.
3jam gives you the option of choosing one or more phone numbers. It, too, routes calls to VoIP, including Skype and IM voice services such as Yahoo Messenger with Voice. Like Google's product, you can manage texts and visual voice mail messages online. Unlike Google Voice, you can preserve your original phone number by porting it over to 3jam's service. 3jam also supports voice-to-text machine transcription and SMS routing. It's a premium service so not as free as Google Voice unfortunately. How much does it cost, you ask?
3jam beta costs $4.99 with a 12-month subscription. A three-month bundle costs $5.99, and you'll pay $8.99 for one month. The charge won't include texting rates, which 3jam will tack on for $5 to $20 per month.
Is it better than Google Voice? Eh, I am not sure yet, but give this service a try. It is pretty cool. You just might love it!