Google just announced a fast track for students to get accounts on Google Voice, Google’s invite-only phone service.
Anyone with a .edu email address can sign up at google.com/voice/students, and Google will send them an invite within 24 hours.
Google Voice gives users a free phone number which they can set up to forward to the number issued by their mobile service providers. Google offers free outgoing calls, voicemail, voicemail transcriptions, and other services.
Apple has (controversially) refused to let Google Voice into the App Store, but Google developed a web-based workaround that makes Google Voice accessible from the iPhone. Voice isn’t a money-maker for Google, but if it ever takes off, it could represent a disruption for telcos and other rivals.