Lifehacker is reporting that long-awaited Google Voice invites have finally been sent.
For the uninitiated, Google Voice was spawned from what used to be Grand Central. Google snatched up the “one ring to rule them all” service a few years back, and let everyone think they forgot about it. The service stayed closed to all but existing Grand Central users. All the while, Google elves have been toiling away tirelessly, adding to the already feature rich list of perks.
In March, Google Voice emerged from the years-long private beta of Grand Central, but remained closed to new registrations. Google recently piqued everyone’s curiousity and sparked imminent launch rumors by purchasing a million phone numbers from Level 3 Communications, but stayed frustratingly mum on when the service would be available to new users, tweeting coyly as recently as the 22nd:
Lots of rumors, coverage, etc., about when Google Voice opens again. Trust me we’re cranking away at it 24/7. Nothing to report yet…
Now it appears that the service will finally be available shortly for everyone who didn’t get in on it way back in 2007. Wikipedia lists some of the cool features offered by Grand Central/Google Voice:
- A single Google number for all user’s phones.
- Free calls and SMS in the contiguous US.
- Calling International phone numbers for as low as 0.02 USD per minute.
- Call screening.
- Listen in on someone recording a voicemail before taking a call.
- Block calls.
- Send, receive, and store SMS online.
- Answer an incoming call on any of your phones.
- Phone routing. Particular phones can ring based on who calls.
- Voicemail transcripts. Read voicemails online.
- Listen to voicemail online or from a phone.
- Receive notifications of voicemails via email or SMS.
- The ability to forward or download voicemails.
- Conference calling.
- Record calls and store them online.
- Switch phones during a call.