AfterDawn: Tech news

Google Chat gets phone call capability for US users

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 26 Aug 2010 10:10 User comments (2)

Google Chat gets phone call capability for US users Gmail users in the US can now use the Voice & Video Chat service to make phone calls. The new service is accessed directly through Gmail's Chat interface.
If you have a Google Voice account, the associated phone number will be used for outbound calls. You can also forward calls from Google Voice to Google Voice & Video Chat.

The included call screening feature even allows Google Voice users to listen to callers as they leave messages.

Currently calls to US numbers are free, while there is a charge for calling internationally which varies depending on the country.

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2 user comments

13.9.2010 12:03

I was excited to hear of this new capability in Google. I was notified of this by email advertisement from Google in my GMail. I downloaded the software, made a call and was AMAZED with the instant connection and crystal clear sound. I called my cell phone just to make sure I wasn't dreaming, with the same result. OMG! this is fabulous. This saves a lot of time (not necessarily money though since every member of the human race with half a brain already has a cell with unlimited minutes), because I am able to read my email and call those deserving of a reply directly and instantly. This service (for now) is on par with the innovation of webcam video email. Keep em' comin' Google!!

Of course I guess what this really means is Google probably hasn't figured out a way to charge for this yet, so I'm sure THAT'S coming, but to be able to make local and long distance e-calls with VOIP free even for a short time is great. It would be nice if Google would keep this as a free service to build brand loyalty, but I'm not holding my breath.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 03 Sep 2010 @ 12:05

28.11.2010 00:26

This is not new. Google Voice (formerly GrandCentral) is giving free calls to US and Canada for a few years now. And no some people still don't have unlimited minutes on their mobile phones, in fact the number of prepaid or those not in unlimited plans still outnumbered those people with unlimited plans.

I use VoIP all the time and find the quality at par with mobile phones, still it depends on the quality of your internet connection so there will some echoes or delay from time to time.

Google can keep this for free (US and Canada) because they charge for international calls. But I use Onesuite VoIP for my international calls as their rates are very competitive and I can use it even without a computer where it is not possible with Google at the moment.

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