Google Voice is open to all. If you live in the US, that is.

Google Voice released in the US

Over in the States, Google Voice has been creating quite a buzz, offering a powerful set of free tools that let users give out one number for all of their phones.

Once signed up to Google Voice, users can specify what times certain numbers are accessible, screen calls and send unwanted calls straight to voicemail.

Even cleverer, it’s possible to receive automatic text transcripts of each voicemail message in an email inbox.

Blighty is left out

That all sounds chuffing terrific to our ears, but there’s been two big problems: one being that the service has only been open to users invited into a closed beta, the second being the fact that it’s US only.

The bad news is that it’s still only available to Americans, but if you’re resident over the pond the good news is that Google Voice has finally opened up to the public.

If you’re not sure what this Google Voice thing is all about, here’s Google’s latest blog announcement, and a video too:

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. Over the past year, we’ve introduced a mobile web app, an integrated voicemail player in Gmail, the ability to use Google Voice with your existing number and more.

Over a million of you are now actively using Google Voice, and many of the features released over the past year (like SMS to email and our Chrome extension) came as a result of your suggestions, so thanks! If you haven’t yet tried Google Voice, we can’t wait for you to try it out and let us know what you think.

Check out our revamped features page to learn about everything Google Voice can do, and if you haven’t seen it yet, this video provides a good overview in less than two minutes: We’re proud of the progress we’ve made with Google Voice over the last few years, and we’re still just scratching the surface of what’s possible when you combine your regular phone service with the latest web technology.

It’s even more amazing to think about how far communication has come over the last couple hundred years. To put things in context, we created this infographic to visualize some recent history of human communication and how Google Voice uses the web to help people communicate in more ways than ever before

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