Google now lets you call phones from Gmail

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A VoIP option for Google Voice has been rumored for quite some time now. There was even that leaked desktop client that showed up on TechCrunch a while back to show that Google was working on it. Today’s announcement isn’t precisely a Google Voice VoIP desktop client, but it is certainly close.

Google today has announced that any Gmail user will be able to call any phone right from the Gmail. The feature is free in the US and Canada for the moment, and will continue that way for “at least the rest of the year.” Calls to other countries will be really cheap, with many countries’ rates as low as 2 cents per minute.

For those who have Google Voice, that number will be the number showed when placing a call from Gmail. There is even a way to receive calls to your Google Voice number through Gmail. This might be the closest we’ll ever come to getting a Google Voice VoIP client. As it stands, it is a nice thing to have, but it would be nice to have a dedicated desktop client that can do the same thing for those of us who don’t keep Gmail open at all times.

As with all Google features, this will be rolled out over the next few days. The feature will show up as “Call Phones” when it does appear. If you want to use it, you will have to install the voice and video plug-in if you haven’t already, though it’s likely that most people already have. The feature won’t be available to Google Apps accounts, though Google promises it is working on getting it to more users soon.

Read [Gmail Blog

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