Google has rolled out the ability for Gmail users to make free telephone calls directly from their inbox.
“Calls to the U.S. and Canada will be free for at least the rest of the year and calls to other countries will be billed at our very low rates,” Google said on their blog Wednesday.
Users can call any landline or mobile phone from their computer if they have a microphone or headset. Google wants to make it clear people aren’t confusing this new service with Google Voice, which is only available in the U.S., nor the existing voice chat capabilities of Google Chat (computer to computer).
Global Canada spokesperson Wendy Bairos Rozeluk says Canadian users can take advantage of Gmail Calling if their language preferences are set to English-US.
It appears the feature is showing up slowly in Gmail accounts, as many users still can’t see the option. Google says to be patient and it should appear shortly.
It’s kind of like Skype, but without the annoying trial period and software download.