Google Voice is a telephone service that provides call forwarding and voicemail services, voice and text messaging, as well as the U.S. and international call termination[when defined as?] for Google Account customers in the U.S., and for Google Workspace (formerly G Suite until October 2020) customers in Canada, Denmark, France, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the UK.
The service was launched by Google on March 11, 2009, after the company had acquired the service GrandCentral.
Google Voice provides a U.S. telephone number, chosen by the user from available numbers in selected area codes, free of charge to each account. Calls to this number are forwarded to telephone numbers that each user must configure in the account web portal. Multiple destinations may be specified that ring simultaneously for incoming calls. Service setup/initiation requires a non-VOIP USA telephone number for verification and identification purposes. A user may answer and receive calls on any of the ringing phones as configured in the web portal. During a received call, the user may switch between the configured telephones.
Users in the U.S. may place outbound calls to domestic and international destinations. Calls may be initiated from any of the configured telephones, as well as from a mobile device app, or from the account portal. As of August 2011, users in many other countries also may place outbound calls from the web-based application to domestic and international phone numbers.
Many other Google Voice services—such as voicemail, free text messaging, call history, call screening, blocking of unwanted calls, and voice transcription to the text of voicemail messages—are also available to U.S. residents.
In terms of product integration, transcribed and audio voicemails missed call notifications, and/or text messages can optionally be forwarded to an email account of the user’s choice. Additionally, text messages can be sent and received via the familiar email or IM interface by reading and writing text messages in numbers in Google Talk respectively (PC-to-Phone texting). Google Voice multi-way videoconferencing (with support for document sharing) is now integrated with Google Hangouts.