Google Voice is a really cool app that lets you have one virtual number that you can keep, forever. It acts as a layer on top of the number given to you by a telecom provider. But unlike what its name would imply, Google Voice (on handsets) is at the moment little more than an abstraction of that carrier number. Users have been longing for a voice over IP (like Skype) function for a long time to bypass the carriers minutes, in a completely transparent way. Unlike Skype, Google Voice is integrated a bit deeper and doesn’t feel like an “app” if you dial.
The lack of VOIP support in Google Voice is ending, and support for SIP-to-SIP has been spotted. This means that a Google Voice user should be able to call another Google Voice user, and possibly other (non-Google) SIP addresses as well. At the moment, the support is not official and many things, need to be worked out. But this is one more step towards full IP communications that bypass the carriers minutes. Links: how to make it work, and an interesting opinion on the matter.