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June 22, 2010

Google Voice, Available Without Invitation

If you're in the US, you can now use Google Voice without asking for an invitation. Three years after acquiring GrandCentral, Google finally makes the service widely available.

"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," explains Google.

Google Voice has a lot in common with Gmail. They're both innovative communication services and they both help you manage your communication flow. Gmail has been available as an invitation-only service for about 3 years, just like Google Voice.



The next steps for Google Voice should be expanding the service's availability outside US, integrating with Gizmo5 and becoming a VoIP service, integrating with Gmail and Google Talk.

CJ, a reader of this blog, already found some signs of a future integration:

"Late last year, Google Talk appeared as an option for Phone Type when adding a new phone in the Google Voice settings. I added my Google Talk account, but could not verify it. I just left it in there unverified because I knew at some point the day would come. At some point in the past few weeks, I was able to get my Gmail Voice Chat client to ring when attempting to verify the Google Talk account in my Google Voice account, but the call always immediately failed. Now in the past two or three days I've been able to answer the call and hear the prompt to enter the verification code, but there's no way to send the verification digits. I tried generating DTMF tones and sending them through the microphone, but it doesn't work. So close!"

{ Thanks, CJ. }

60 comments:

  1. integrating with Gizmo5 you mean right?

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  2. I can't wait they propose Voice outside the US ...

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  3. CJ is lucky! I love how you tried generating your own tones. Awesome.

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  4. I'm waiting for access in Canada ...

    I had Grand Central. Google took over and made enhancements. I could not switch to a new mobile number since international forwarding was no longer supported :(

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  5. I am also waiting for access in Canada!

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  6. Echoing the Canada access request. I had just started to use Google Voice -- I had had a GC account but had never really used it -- and then I moved to Canada and had to give it up.

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  7. You can simply use a USA proxy to join google voice, so Google thinks your computer is in the USA. Then just get a USA phone number off the web and verify your account.

    Calls to Canada are free on Google Voice, and you can add canadian numbers as your forwarding phone. Google Voice still works exactly the same for Canadians as Grandcentral did, you just need to jump through a couple hoops to get it working.

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  8. I miss the Grand Central's user interface. The Google Voice interface is too 'blah' for lack of a better term. Also, Grand Central had more fun little options. They should reintroduce some of those options via a Google Voice labs link.

    Also, anyone have an invite for Gizmo5?

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  9. I'd love to see the feature that was in Grand Central whereby you could block unkownn or blocked numbers. It would simply hang-up on them.

    Also missing is an "Announce Only" feature that would go straight to a voice mail greeting without allowing the caller to leave a voicemal. This is useful when on vacation for an extended period of time when you don't want to accumumlate lots of messages.

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  10. I've waited months for an invitation, that i got 1 week ago, and now it's open for everyone !!!
    anyway, it is great, connected with my old gizmo account, I can make and receive calls for my cousins in USA for free :)

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  11. My Google Voice invite is still sitting in my inbox, looking pretty, while I wait for GVoice to become available in my country (Western Europe). So much for early adopters...

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  12. Yet another vote for Canada.

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  13. Please make Google Voice available for Canada

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  14. google talk with google voice is awesome. :)

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  15. Hi,
    it's not coherent,

    I live in Canada and go to Google Voice (annonced : Free calls & text messages to the U.S. & Canada)

    After Login ... : "Google Voice is not available in your country.
    Thanks for visiting Google Voice. We're not yet open for users outside the US, but are planning to expand our service to additional countries in the future"

    so ? Bug ?? or When Google Voice will be available for Canada ?

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  16. Google voice page says you still need an invitation.
    Kind of stupid after they have widely proclaimed that you do not need one. I have had a Google account for years and live in US.

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  17. No you cannot forward to area codes in Canada yet. Come on Google, you have offices in Toronto, offer free calling to anywhere in Canada but still won't offer the service to Canadians. We've waited long enough...this ain't China!

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  18. >>Anonymous said...
    >>
    >> Hi,
    >> it's not coherent,

    >> I live in Canada and go to Google Voice
    >> (annonced : Free calls & text messages to the
    >> U.S. & Canada)

    Free calls TO Canada, not from Canada.

    One more vote for a Canadian roll out!

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  19. I was able to add my cell phone number but when I try to add another phone number it will not verify; message keeps saying can not verify; try again

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  20. Well,,,,I dont see why Google States that Google Voice is offering free calls to Canada

    this doesnt seam to be true,,,,it rate cards states "1 cent per minute"

    and the Dial Out Interface,,,,has only a USA flag

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  21. @Scotty B. Really miss Grand Central interface as well. Also miss the Grand Central options that GVoice remove like you said, esp. with choosing to have your real number shown instead of GVoice number when making a call. Would be nice if GVoice would consider it as GVoice lab features.

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  22. Good news; There is some talk that this might be coming to Canada someday.

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  23. Another vote for Canada - like they are counting votes LOL ... but I really want this in Canada!

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  24. please roll out Google Voice in Canada....

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  25. Oh baby, would Google Voice in Canada rock... I have a Gizmo5 account already, and would love to add a 604 area code number!

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  26. SHOW SOME LOVE TO UR NEIGHBOUR PLZZZZZ

    GO CANADA !

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  27. ALORS CANADA C'EST POUR QUAND????

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  28. Canada loves Google.

    Google doesn't love Canada.

    It hurts. SO. BAD.

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  29. Please bring this awesome sounding service to Canada.

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  30. canada please!!!

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  31. It would be great if it were available in Canada. But take a look at Google Checkout: still not available in Canada ...

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  32. I've used Google Checkout from Canada...

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  33. canada needs google voice
    i think we should all start mailing google for google voice in canada

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  34. 403 area codes work in Canada weird. Make the other ones please google!

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  35. hate to be redundant, but: Canada too, please!

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  36. Don't hate us because we are better than you!

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  37. What is so useful about GV then ? besides making incoming/outgoing calls ? the display will be the google voice number, if you live in canada, how people can reach you if it’s a US number ?
    I tried GV months ago, the quality is not good, you can’t use the keypad to select automatic voice selections, no use at all, there’s quite a delay as well

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  38. Another vote for Canada.

    I just got my last cell phone bill and can unhappily report it IS possible to have two consecutive $600 bills with only making in-province calls, and being on what they tell me is "the best rate plan for my calling patterns".

    I've tried the hoop-jumping to get GV sooner without avail... I absolutely cannot wait until they rock the wireless boat up here with a GV launch.

    Please - GV Canada!!

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  39. This is how you get Canada:

    Follow the steps on this site in order to set up an Alberta number and by pass all the barriers from Google!

    http://www.sxymobile.com/news/google-voice-canada-outgoing-incoming/

    I can now call Unlimited to Canada and the US for free from my cell.

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  40. Google is saying that it isn't accepting 403 area codes - now what??

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  41. Canada...please =)

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  42. Yes, please, Google! Do come to Canada with Google Voice, ASAP! Owning a mobile phone in Canada is like having a mortgage with the only difference being that there are no assets - only the phone itself. The guy that said he got two consecutive $600 bills with only making in-province calls was not joking. That's how bad the prices are here, and I am certain that your Canadian employees would also attest to the fact.

    The interesting thing is that data plans for the iPad -and probably with Google Tablet, too ;)- would be really good if only we had Google Voice in Canada (about 5,000+ minutes to Canada+US for 30$ / month)! Google, we NEED you. Please! :D

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  43. please add canada!

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  44. ANOTHER "VOTE" FOR CANADA

    (yes, i was yelling, it's a long way from Canada to Google HQ).

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  45. Canada ... needs ... Voice

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  46. True that for Canada...

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  47. I installed the Google Voice plugin for Ubuntu 10.10 Linux..and the phone appears; and the dialing seems to proceed normally and it gives me: "Error 3: Remote False" by which I assume that it's still not available for Canada. When is Google going to wake up on this issue?

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  48. They should at least be up front on the Google Voice homepage that though calls can be made to Canada, Canadians cannot have the service. I was informed after I set up my account.

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  49. another vote for Canada.
    Canada, yeah!

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