Google Introduces Call From Gmail


Already, Gmail serves as a control panel, an always-open tab, for the loyal Google user. It offers quick and simple access to our email, contacts, calendar, documents, chat and more. Now, it will be home to a Web-based telephony client. Google has announced that Gmail-integrated VoIP (voice over Internet Protocol) client that would allow users to make phone calls directly from the browser is now live.

The feature is different from the voice and video chat that is already available from Gmail using the chat feature, in that it isn’t solely between chat users. Instead, the new feature looks to allow users to call any type of phone directly from their Web browser. You could already use Gmail Chat to make voice and video all to other Gmail users, but needed to use Skype or a similar service to make Web-based VoIP calls.

But the new service will now allow users to make VoIP calls to landline and cellular phones, not just other Gmail or Google Talk users. Its not 100% clear at the moment whether Google Voice will be changing or if the new service is something completely seperate.

Users of the new chat/phone call service aren’t required to have a Google Voice account, and calls placed to U.S. or Canadian numbers will be free. With discounts on international calls compared to standard rates using a standard telephone line.

You can find the rate lists for different countries here.

The implications and motivations behind such a product should be obvious — a platform-agnostic competitor to Skype and other VoIP services that works with Google’s forthcoming browser-centric Chrome OS. According to Cnet, the new feature’s interface strongly resembles the one used in Google Voice but the two are separate from each other — at least at this point. This could mean that the new phone call service won’t be limited to users in the U.S., though calls placed to U.S. or Canadian numbers will reportedly be free, with discounts on international calls as compared to standard rates.


Install voice and video chat
Google voice features


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