Google Voice is now open to everyone in the U.S.

By on June 22, 2010, 1:44 PM
Google today announced its free Google Voice service is now open to everyone in the U.S. The online voicemail and telecommunications service already counts around 1 million people among its regular users, but until today it was available through invitation only, as Google wanted to hold off launching the service more widely until it was sure it had enough infrastructure in place to support a larger user base.

Google Voice gives users one number that can ring on all their phones -- mobile, home and office for example -- depending on the rules they set. It includes a bunch of useful and free features, such as transcribed voicemail sent as email or text message, conference calling, outbound domestic calls, and call-screening. International calls are also supported, for a fee, but they cost a fraction of what phone companies typically charge per minute. Alternatively, if you don't want a new phone number to deal with, Google Voice can be used with your existing line -- albeit with limited functionality.

You can check out a brief explanation of the service in the Google-produced video above. Native apps for Android and Blackberry phones are available, while Palm Pre and iPhone users can use the HTML5 web-based app to use most of its features. A full-featured app for the iPhone was also developed, but Apple controversially rejected it last year on grounds that it duplicates functionality in the popular smartphone.





User Comments: 6

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Vrmithrax Vrmithrax, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Been using this for a while now, and it rocks. The voicemail transcription thing is the best part, I get to read the rough idea of the message before I call to get it (as long as the caller speaks slow good english without heavy accents).

Guest said:

I'm starting to get scared of Google.

Guest said:

If you give google ur numbers chances are ur gona get alot of sales calls? Otherwise how do they make money off this service.

cyrusjumpjet cyrusjumpjet said:

I'm just waiting for America to run out of phone numbers when everybody and their mothers sign up for it...

Vrmithrax Vrmithrax, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Guest said:

If you give google ur numbers chances are ur gona get alot of sales calls? Otherwise how do they make money off this service.

You get normal ad stuff when you login to the Google Voice account. I honestly think it's just another tool to try to get you hooked and reel you into the entire Google cloud package - there is a lot of interconnection between Voice, Gmail, etc.

Besides, Google (who has taken stands against spam in general in the past) would be rather hypocritical to then become a telemarketer. And it would open itself up to massive lawsuits if people started getting marketing calls and/or texts on their wireless phones (and getting fees racked up).

sixit said:

There is now (actually, for a LONG time now) no technical reason for requiring a country code or a set number of digits. That means numbers can be sold or assigned easily with pretty much any length. Furthermore, there's no technical reason why phone numbers must be limited to a combination of 12 characters.... let this sink in and puddle about your lobes for a time.... embrace with a smile the new understanding of our technological world! ;c)

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