Have you ever wished for a phone number that would be yours forever – no matter how many times you move or switch service providers? And wouldn’t it be nice if that phone number cost nothing. Wait…it gets better. How about if this phone could send and receive text messages? Enter Google Voice.
This online phone service routes calls to your cell, home, office, or wherever you tell it. Or it takes a message and stores it for you online. It links with your Gmail contacts so you can look up a number and click dial to place a call. It does that by ringing your phone and, when you pick up, ringing the person you are calling.
There are no monthly fees and a call within the US costs nothing. Only calls outside the US are charged at the per-minute rate listed here. Even sending and receiving text messages is free. So if you are constantly texting a teenager, you can do it from your Google Voice number instead of your cell and save a bundle. It does conference calling, records calls, and offers phone numbers in just about any area code you want. Sweet.
So what’s the catch? The service is still invite only, which meant dropping your name in the hopper and waiting. But Google announced today that it is rolling out the ability to invite friends and family to people who already use the service. Know someone with a Google Voice account? Now is the time to start pestering them for an invite.