Google has ended a long-standing "invitation only" policy for its Voice platform. However, the service is still only available to users within the United States.
"A little over a year ago...We introduced one number to ring all your phones, voicemail that works like email, free calls and text messages to the US and Canada, low-priced international calls and more," Voice product manager Craig Walker explained in a Google blog post.
"[Since then], we've introduced a mobile web app, an integrated voicemail player in Gmail, the ability to use Google Voice with your existing number and more. Over a million [people] are now actively using Voice, [with] many of the features released over the past year, like SMS to email and our Chrome extension."
Walker also emphasized that Google had just begun to "scratch the surface" of "what's possible" by combining regular phone service with web technology.
"[But] it's even more amazing to think about how far communication has come over the last couple hundred years.
"[So], to put things in context, we created this infographic to visualize some recent history of human communication and how Google Voice uses the web to help people communicate in more ways than ever before."