The long awaited Google Voice invites are finally being sent out reports Lifehacker. Now, according to an Google Blog posttwitter account, invites are going out to people on its reservations list. If you want in and haven’t signed up, request an invitation.
For those who aren’t aware, Google Voice is like having your very own personal switchboard. It assigns a unique phone number to each user and calls to that number can then be directed to any other phone line. The service also provides a hub for all messages. The online command centre also enables a user to customise greetings for friends and family or ward off unwelcome callers. Amongst other things, Google Voice also converts voice messages to text – making life easier all round.
The feature list is feature rich:
- 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.
What’s still unclear is the extent of the opening up. Will it be restricted to the US, or will international users gain access too. According to our own sources, Europe won’t gain access until the end of the year – for once, I hope our sources are wrong.