Google Voice Now Open To Western Public

Google Voice

You no longer need an invitation to use Google Voice.

Today, the telephone-like application became available to all North Americans free of charge.  There’s no word as to when or if it will be released for the rest of the world so… sorry folks.

Features for Google Voice include a single number that, when called, rings all numbers associated.  For example, if I called my mother on her Google Voice number, her cell phone, work phone and house phone would ring at the same time, making me sure to catch her in some way.  I’m not sure if this feature is mandatory, but it doesn’t sound like the type of thing a person who likes solitude every once in a while would enjoy.  Other features include voicemail message transcription, free calls to the U.S. and Canada, low international calling rates, conference call capability and a central, Web-based voicemail inbox.

The service was at the center of a big fight between Apple and Google last year when Apple rejected the application for its app store, saying it duplicated certain iPhone capabilities already used.  Google found a way around this rejection by releasing the application for web browsers.

I’d imagine this service would do more good  for folks in a business setting rather than those sitting at home.  Conference calls are great and being able to check voice mails as text messages during meetings (if you can sneak it) sounds rather nice.  If you get Google Voice and Skype (for international calls), you can cut down severely on your cell phone minutes.

Yay for saving money, right?