Phone calls from Gmail being tested

25 Aug 2010

Google is testing the ability to make phone calls directly from Gmail, a report says.

According to a screenshot retrieved by CNET, the service is located within the Google Chat interface and allows users to make and receive calls from their contacts.

It’s appearance is said to strongly resemble the Google Voice interface, a services that lets users attach a single number to multiple phones and can turn voice mails into emails.

The service also appears to allow U.S. users to make calls within the U.S. and to Canada for free. They also seem to offer discounts on international calls.

Users of this service are not required to have a Google Voice account.

While Google already offers voice and video based chat, this service is specifically for making calls to phones.

It differs from Google Talk, as it appears to be a web-based VoIP client as opposed to a desktop client.

It is speculated that this could be a direct result from Google’s acquisition of Gizmo5 in November, who specialize in VoIP clients.

“Google is always testing new features and products, but we have nothing specific to announce right now,” a Google representative said on the subject.