Call Phones within Gmail!

Starting today, Google is lifting the covers off of their new feature in Gmail: allowing users to call mobile and landline numbers within the United States and Canada for free! However, this service is only available to users currently in the US and Canada only. No longer are two callers required to be on their computers at the same time. You should see this new feature once you are logged in to your Gmail account. All that is required is a small plug-in install, a mic (most laptops already have a integrated mic), and of course, a Gmail account. You do not need a Google Voice account, however, outbound calls you make to others will have a weird generic number. Similar to Skype, Google is offering low rates when calling to international countries. The free calls to within the United States and Canada are good until the end of this year so no one knows if they are planning on extending that offer.

Gmail Voice
I’m currently not able to make any outbound calls with this service. I keep getting the “Your call cannot be completed. Please try again.” error message. Hopefully you folks are more lucky than I am!

UPDATE (8/25/10): Do not worry folks. For those who are unable to make outbound calls, Google has recognized and is currently working to resolve this issue. In the meantime, if you really can’t wait, a temporary fix is to sign-up for a free Google Voice number. Remember though, using Gmail to make outbound calls does *not* require you to have your own dedicated Google Voice number. Once Google fixes the problem, the people who are experiencing the “Please try again..” error will be able to make outbound calls without any other requirements.

UPDATE 2 (8/26/10): Good news! It seems that Google has fixed the issues and calling phones from within Gmail now works perfectly for those of use who were having problems yesterday.

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Comments

  1. Hey Nicholas,

    I am so sorry to inform you that this feature is only available for people in the US and Canada. I actually didn't know about this until very recently and I will update my article post to reflect this. I did read about users in other regions being able to utilize the service in the beginning but I believe Google made an error and has since fixed it.

    If you still want to save money on long distance calls, the other alternative is through Skype. Only problem is if you don't want to be charged, your family will also have to know how to install Skype on their computers as Skye-to-Skype calls are free. If not, you can still use Skype and call their landline/mobile phones for dirt cheap as well. I believe it's $.02 a minute to the US. With Skype you can also do video chat for free as well so you can bond with your family even more that way. I recently canceled my long distance phone provider and turned solely to Skype because they charge me around $.05 a minute for calls to Hong Kong and I have to pay a small monthly fee for using their services, even if I don't make any calls!

    Thank you for reading the blog! Hope you like my other articles as well.

  2. Thank you for sharing! This will save me a ton of cash since I live in South Korea and regularly call my family in the USA!

    Nice blog too, my first time here :)

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