June 22, 2010 | by Andrew Kameka
Google has spent more than a year converting what was formerly known as Grand Central into something that thousands have enjoyed (for the most part). Thousands more will have their say as Google Voice is now taking open sign-ups for anyone in the United States.
Requesting an invite was previously the only method for gaining access to Google Voice, but Google announced a few minutes ago that the service is now open to all comers based in the U.S. As someone who endured plenty of pestering from friends/contacts asking me about the service and jostling for one of the measly three invites that I had, I welcome this change in policy.
Google has also taken the time to retool its feature page to highlight what Voice will offer its new users. Among those features are:
- Use one phone number to forward to cell, home, office, or other number
- Auto forward to a certain number based on time of day (or location by using third-party apps)
- Make free calls to the United States and Canada
- Send free SMS messages to multiple people
- Integrate with your existing voicemail
- Receive transcription (often painfully inaccurate) of voicemails or listen to them on the desktop or through a great Android app
- Receive SMS by e-mail
- Receive notifications on Android phone
Sign-up now if you’re in the U.S. Here’s a video explaining things in Google’s extra-simple way.