its altruistic quest
for world domination, Google has merged Google Voice with Gmail,
allowing users to make phone calls to any number directly from the
Google will be rolling out the feature progressively in the U.S. and
Canada over the next few days. Or you can install
the Google Voice plugin now, allowing you to make free calls to
anyone in the U.S. or Canada, and 2-cent-per-minute calls to 30
feature will allow users to receive calls right in Gmail, too, with
their Google Voice phone number. TechCrunch is
reporting that "call quality is very, very good – comparable
to Skype." TC has a
short video demonstrating the new functionality.
the uninitiated, Google Voice is a (mostly) free phone service and
allows users to choose one number for up to six different devices.
You can use the same number for a mobile phone, home phone, and work
phone, having all phones ring at the same time, or having none of
them ring. Voicemails that others leave you are automatically
transcribed to text and are forwarded to your e-mail.
newly integrated Google Voice will also support video chat.
same press conference that it announced the new
functionality, Google also unveiled plans to install U.K.-style red
phone booths across universities and airports to promote Google
Voice. Users will be able to make free calls from the booths, which
employ Google Voice, to anywhere in the world. The booths are a way
for the California-based tech company to show off the the voice
quality of the service compared to other VoIP and landline-based
did not say how many phone booths it plans to install or release
specific locations. Look for more details in the coming weeks.