Google Voice is now available for everyone (provided you have a U.S. phone number).
The service, which started life out as GrandCentral, acts as a unified phone number. It can be used to make free calls to the U.S. and Canada, to send free text messages and more. Its voicemail system can even be.
Now, after more than fifteen months of testing with invite-only accounts, Google Voice is ready for the masses.
As great as the service is, it hasn’t existed without controversy. Last summer, Apple was criticized when the company barred the Google Voice iPhone app from its App Store. The battle over Google Voice was arguably the first shot in the current Apple-Google war.
And earlier today, Business Week reported that Frontier Communications is suing Google over alleged patent violations within the Google Voice service.
For many users however, Google Voice is a wonderful solution to the increasingly complex web of communication profiles. Instead of having to try to maintain separate phone numbers, users can just have one central number forwarded to different devices based on time of day or location.