Gmail Phone Passes a Million Calls in 24 Hours : Gmail phone calls have got off to a incredible start. Over 1 million were placed in the first 24 hours by users eager to try out the free service. What we don’t know is how many of the folk nattering were from outside the US.
Google confirmed yesterday that it was rolling out the new function, which allows users to make direct calls to telephones through its email service using the inbuilt speakers and microphones on their computers, in the US and Canada.
The “Calls from Gmail” service, which was launched with immediate effect following yesterday’s announcement, will allow free calls to American and Canadian numbers “for at least the rest of the year”. International calls are also available for a small per-minute fee.
Google says the free local calling deal is subject to change, so users wanting to get a taste of voice-over Internet protocol (VoIP) phone calling should try it out now while it doesn’t cost anything.
The feature is not yet available to all U.S. Gmail users. It’s quite simple to use, however–at the top of your chat bar there is a “call phone” option. Simply click on it and a number pad will appear, on which you can dial your desired number and place a phone call. Naturally, a microphone is necessary in order for you to be able to communicate with the person on the other end of the line.
If you’re just a regular user, the recipient of your call will see your phone number as 760-705-8888. If you have Google Voice, however, the two services will integrate and the recipient of your call will see your Google Voice number.
It is not yet clear if Gmail Phone Calls will integrate with Google Voice, and despite Google’s slip up yesterday we are still no closer to knowing when either service will roll out formally in the UK.