Google has announced that it is extending its free Gmail voice calls in Canada and the United States for 2012. The company, though, will still charge "insanely low rates" for international calls.
In 2010, Digital Journal reported that Google launched its feature where Gmail users could be able to make calls to landlines and mobile devices from Gmail. It was free for users to make domestic calls within the United States and Canada, but it did cost users for international calls.
Google has now announced on its blog that it is extending its free calling from Gmail within Canada and the U.S. throughout 2012. Unfortunately, the free service has not been extended internationally, but Google noted that they are still maintaining “insanely low rates.”
The search engine giant also includes a 10-cent credit for you to try out. The voice calls are available to numerous countries.
It is unknown as to why Google is extending its free service. There is no explanation on its blog, except for the short two-paragraph message:
“As the holiday season approaches, we're happy to announce that we've extended free domestic calls within the US and Canada for 2012.
“This is our way of helping you connect with friends and family across the country. And you can still call the rest of the world from Gmail at our insanely low rates.”
Mashable notes that the voice calling feature hasn’t reach high popularity, which could be the reason Google hasn’t begun to charge domestically. Meanwhile, PC World ponders if Gmail calling could be on the “chopping block” at the end of next year because other Google features have been shut down.
The phone calls operate like any other phone call. When you’re in the Gmail window, you open up the dial pad, select the country you would like to call, key in the number you wish to dial and hit enter. Don’t forget a microphone and to turn on your speakers.