In an effort to further give myself over to Google and make myself that much more dependent on Gmail, there has recently been a new feature released in the labs that should keep me (and other Google Voice users) locked in Gmail a little longer.
That new feature goes along with the SMS to email that we saw yesterday, except this time the tip makes your voicemail messages playable within Gmail. Also, like yesterday, there is a setting that has to be turned on in order to make this one work — except it needs to be turned on in your Gmail account.
In order to get this setup, just login to your Gmail account and go to Settings. Once there look for Labs. Go ahead and click on that and then scroll down the list of available lab features until you see Google Voice player in mail. From there, go ahead and click Enable, then scroll down to the bottom of the page and click the Save Changes button.
Setup is complete, from now on you can enjoy the ease of listening to your voicemail within your Gmail account. Google seems intent on making a user truly have just one (useful) inbox for everything.
And just to make this clear, in the past Google Voice messages were emailed with an option to playback, which was nice, but this labs feature allows playback within the message as opposed to opening a new window for playback. Additionally, when you listen to a message in this way, the status (listened to) will sync back to your Google Voice account, which means that message will no longer show as new.
Read [Google Voice Blog]