Google has been steadily marching into territory that's further away from online searches. It's tackling the automotive industry with self-driving cars; challenging the Internet provider and cable markets with Google Fiber; and taking on cellular providers with the $20-a-month Project Fi.
Now it's tackling an even older industry: landline telephones. This might seem like an odd arena for Google, but a lot of people still have landlines and they're typically bundled with Internet and TV service. Google already does Internet and TV, but if it wants people to switch to its service, it needs a landline option.
That option is called Fiber Phone. It costs $10 a month and brings the best features of Google's under-appreciated Google Voice service. That includes voicemail transcription to email or text; a single number that can ring your landline, cellular or work phone; call forwarding; unlimited local and nationwide calling; and affordable international calling.
The Fiber Phone hardware works with your existing phone handsets. Unfortunately, as you might guess from the name, Fiber Phone requires Google Fiber to work, meaning it's only available in a few cities.
However, as Google Fiber is doing with Internet service providers, this could force the existing phone companies to step up their game on features while lowering prices. So, you could see some benefit down the road even if you never get Fiber Phone.