I’m a big fan of Google Voice. During the past year, I’ve written a number of posts about it, including tutorials for setting it up and getting the most out of its features. During that time, the service has been in a limited beta, by invitation only. Yesterday, Google Voice opened up to the public. Anyone can now use it. To celebrate, I’ve decided to make a list of my favorite ways to use the service. Where applicable, I’ve provided links to detailed, step-by-step tutorials for setting up the features I describe.
1. Free home phone service:
Google Voice is not a self-contained phone service- it’s just a free and permanent phone number that forwards wherever you want. There are two VoIP services I know of, SipGate and Gizmo5, that provide free incoming calls. If you initiate a call through Google Voice’s web interface, by telling it what number you want to call and which of your phones you want connected, Google Voice will place a call to your phone and connect you with the other number after you pick up. When you dial by this method SipGate and Gizmo5 treat it as an incoming call, which is free.