Home Google Brings Google Voice to Gmail: Make and Receive Calls Right from Your Inbox

Google Brings Google Voice to Gmail: Make and Receive Calls Right from Your Inbox

Earlier this morning, we reported that Google was testing a web-based telephony service inside Gmail. As it turns out, Google actually just officially announced this feature. If you are a Gmail user in the U.S., you can now make free Web-based phone calls to any phone in the U.S. and Canada right from the Gmail interface. You can also make International calls for fees starting at $0.02 per minute.

To use this new feature, you will have to install the Google Talk plugin, which is available here for Windows, Mac and Linux. Google plans to roll this functionality out over the next few days, so it might be a bit before you see it in your Gmail account. In addition, Google Apps accounts won’t have access to this feature yet.

If you are a Google voice user, your Google Voice number will appear as the outbound called ID number on calls made from Gmail. You can also opt to receive inbound Google Voice calls from inside the GMail interface.

Gmail users were already able to initiative VoIP and video calls with other Gmail users, but the added telephony feature and integration with Google Voice makes this feature far more useful. You can now, for example, simply initiate a call by simply clicking on a phone number in an email signature.

Gmail is Now a Full-Blown Communications Suite

Google is clearly trying to position Gmail as more than just an email client. With the launch of a better contacts manager earlier this month and the addition of these new telephony features, Gmail is now becoming more of a full-blown communications suite than just a place to manage email.

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