Google Voice, Available Without Invitation

If you’re in the US, you can now use Google Voice without asking for an invitation. Three years after acquiring GrandCentral, Google finally makes the service widely available.

“A little over a year ago, we released an early preview of Google Voice, our web-based platform for managing your communications. We introduced one number to ring all your phones, voicemail that works like email, free calls and text messages to the U.S. and Canada, low-priced international calls and more—the only catch was you had to request and receive an invite to try it out. Today, after lots of testing and tweaking, we’re excited to open up Google Voice to the public, no invitation required,” explains Google.

Google Voice has a lot in common with Gmail. They’re both innovative communication services and they both help you manage your communication flow. Gmail has been available as an invitation-only service for about 3 years, just like Google Voice.

The next steps for Google Voice should be expanding the service’s availability outside US, integrating with Gizmo5 and becoming a VoIP service, integrating with Gmail and Google Talk.

CJ, a reader of this blog, already found some signs of a future integration:

“Late last year, Google Talk appeared as an option for Phone Type when adding a new phone in the Google Voice settings. I added my Google Talk account, but could not verify it. I just left it in there unverified because I knew at some point the day would come. At some point in the past few weeks, I was able to get my Gmail Voice Chat client to ring when attempting to verify the Google Talk account in my Google Voice account, but the call always immediately failed. Now in the past two or three days I’ve been able to answer the call and hear the prompt to enter the verification code, but there’s no way to send the verification digits. I tried generating DTMF tones and sending them through the microphone, but it doesn’t work. So close!”

{ Thanks, CJ. }

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