Ring-Ring, Your Gmail is calling!
Google's on a roll lately, releasing various new products and features for a wide range of their products. The latest one that's incoming is a feature that will allow you to make phone calls from within Gmail.
CNet reports that Google may be turning Gmail into a "communications hub" and adding a fully featured VOIP facility to Gmail, with CNET receiving several screenshots of the new features. The features published show the ability to call the U.S or Canada for free, as well as being able to top-up your account to call international numbers. The service is launched in the same manner you would initiate a voice call over the internet using Google Talk now, by clicking in the chat window on the left side of Gmail.
Google's been working with voice before, with "Google Voice" being available in the U.S over the last year, a service that allows a user to have one phone number that rings multiple numbers, and with "Google Talk," it's current built-in Gmail voice and chat offering.
The search giant last year bought a VOIP company called "Gizmo5", a company that specialised in web based VOIP technology. Other screenshots of the product actually showed up on the Google Operating System Blog in June this year, which seem to line up with the ones released today. Cnet points out that it's "not clear" if this is a service seperate to Google Voice or as part of it, even though the services share the same icons for connected and missed calls.
Google was contacted for comment but would not confirm or deny the feature; "Google is always testing new features and products, but we have nothing specific to announce right now."