updated 06:10 pm EDT, Tue June 22, 2010
Google Voice now open without invite
Google today took Google Voice out of its test phase and made it available to all US residents. The previously invite-only service is normally free and gives users a virtual phone number that can be linked both to regular phones and to the Internet. Calls can be routed to one or more real-world devices, and voice mail at the number is given a basic speech-to-text transcript.
The service isn't true VoIP but can be used to make low-cost long-distance calls.
Google Voice is available on multiple mobile platforms, including as a native app on platforms like Android. Apple's current objections have relegated Google Voice to an HTML5 app on that device that prevents incoming calls in the background.