Google Voice

Google Voice provides users with a free phone number that can take phone calls to the next level.  It allows teachers to provide a way for parents to communicate, without having to share a personal cell number.  Users can send and receive text messages, receive voicemail with text transcription, download individual messages as audio files or embed them in a website.  Some features do require visiting Google Voice via browser, rather than app.  For more information, check out two of my blog posts, including how to use this in the classroom as an educational tool.




Google+

Google+ is Google's social networking site.  Google+ allows users to group people into circles and selectively publish updates to a specific audience.  Not only does Google+ get privacy right, it adds some great features, beyond the basic photo sharing and games.  For example, with it's hangout feature, users can "hang out" with their friends virtually, online.  It's basically a simple, user-friendly videoconference among friends, allowing you to see each other via your webcams.  

(Originally available only for 18 and up, Google has since announced plans to welcome those 13-17.)








Gmail

Google recently released an app dedicated to Gmail.  With this app, users gain a few additional features, when compared to accessing Gmail via Safari.  To learn more about what this app offers, check out this post from Google on their Gmail blog. 
 
(Gmail can also be accessed via the native Mail app.)