Feeds

Google gives its Voice to all Americans

'We are the ultimate in human communication'

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Google Voice — the new-age telephony thingy that lets you attach a single phone number to multiple phones, turn your voice mails into emails, and thumb your nose at AT&T — is now available to everyone in the US.

Previously, the service was invite-only. "After lots of testing and tweaking, we’re excited to open up Google Voice to the public, no invitation required," the company said today in a blog post.

Google Voice was originally built by GrandCentral Communications, a startup that Mountain View purchased in June 2007. The service lets you set up a single number that will ring all your phones — from your cell phone to your home phone to your office phone. It automatically transcribes your voice mails. And it offers free calls and texts within the US and Canada, as well as low-cost international calls.

Google says that over one million people are currently using the thing.

US telcom giant AT&T isn't too happy with the service. Clearly, Google Voice is a direct financial threat to AT&T's phone service, but Big Phone also claims that Google Voice makes Google a net neutrality hypocrite. Big Phone says that in blocking certain high-priced calls to rural areas, Google Voice is violating the fourth principle of FCC's famous 2005 internet policy statement, which says "consumers are entitled to competition among network providers, application and service providers, and content providers."

AT&T isn't allowed to block such calls, so it's arguing that Google has undermined competition.

Famously, Mountain View built a Google Voice application for the iPhone, but it was banned by the Apple App Store police. AT&T is the iPhone's exclusive carrier in the US.

So Google built a mobile web-based application instead. The company has also integrated a Google Voice voicemail player with Gmail — you can forward voicemails to your email inbox — while offering a Google Voice Chrome extension and a tool for sending SMS texts to email.

What's more, you now have the option of using your existing phone number with the service.

According to Google, Google Voice is the pinnacle of modern human communication:

Google Voice and Human Communication

Click for a full-sized image in all its radiant glory

®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
YOU are the threat: True confessions of real-life sysadmins
Who will save the systems from the men and women who save the systems from you?
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
Broadband sellers in the UK are UP TO no good, says Which?
Speedy network claims only apply to 10% of customers
Virgin Media struck dumb by NATIONWIDE packet loss balls-up
Turning it off and on again fixes glitch 12 HOURS LATER
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
Facebook, working on Facebook at Work, works on Facebook. At Work
You don't want your cat or drunk pics at the office
Soz, web devs: Google snatches its Wallet off the table
Killing off web service in 3 months... but app-happy bonkers are fine
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
The hidden costs of self-signed SSL certificates
Exploring the true TCO for self-signed SSL certificates, including a side-by-side comparison of a self-signed architecture versus working with a third-party SSL vendor.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.