Wednesday, 25th August 2010
New from Google: Make Google Voice Calls Direct from Gmail (U.S. Only)
First, the official word (and a video) from the Google Blog Post:
Gmail voice and video chat makes it easy to stay in touch with friends and family using your computer’s microphone and speakers. But until now, this required both people to be at their computers, signed into Gmail at the same time. Given that most of us don’t spend all day in front of our computers, we thought, “wouldn’t it be nice if you could call people directly on their phones?”
Starting today, you can call any phone right from Gmail.
The blog post goes on to mention:
1. You'll need to have the Voice and Video Plug-In Installed. Grab a copy here.
2. Calls to the U.S. and Canada are free at least to the beginning of 2011. Nothing new here. Google Voice has offered free calls to U.S. locations and Canada for over a year.
3. This page offers a price comparison chart. Comparing the rates of international Google Voice calls with the "leading internet telephony provider." The complete list of countries you can call and the Google Voice cost per minute (no comparisons however) is here.
Danny Sullivan at Search Engine Land was at the announcement in San Francisco today and has a full report here.
A Few Facts from Danny (More in the Complete Post):
+ Look for Traditional Red Colored UK Telephone Booths at Airports and Other Public Venues Promoting Google Voice.
+ All Calls End Up in Your Portable Google Contacts List
+ Revenue Comes from International Calls
+ Danny Asks About Why Calls to the UK are more Expensive with Google Voice than the service (IDT) he has been using. He's told that these companies come in and out of business, poor quality, etc. Danny adds that he's used IDT for more than 10 year. He also mentions that he has an global unlimited calling account with Skype for $143/year.
MUCH MUCH MORE in the Complete Search Engine Land Post
Note: Danny's Unlimited World Skype Account and Other Monthly Subs (U.S./Canada; North America; Europe) are mentioned on this page. Calls made using a monthly subscription do not incur a connection charge but do not include calls to mobile phones (depending on country). Like Google, Skype offers pay as you go service. We wouldn't be surprised to see a price war between Google, Skype, and others about to take place.