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Google brings free landline calls to Gmail and Hangouts

10 Jul 2013
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Google Voice, Gmail and Hangouts users will soon be able to make landline telephone calls free of charge to people in the US and Canada from anywhere in the world.

The search giant announced the news today on its Enterprise blog along with a host of updates to Hangouts, Voice and Gmail, which will be rolling out in the next few days. "We've heard loud and clear that you miss the ability to make calls from Gmail, so today we're happy to announce it's back – and better than before," the post stated.

"Even better: calls to the US and Canada are now free from all countries where Hangouts calling is available. And international rates remain super, super low."

Calls made from Google users in the UK to UK landlines currently cost 2.4p per minute.

In addition to the news of free calls, Google showed off the ability to add multiple landlines to a Hangouts call, along with the addition of more frivolous options, such as adding applause and other sound effects to calls.

Google will now allow users to call the US and Canada for free

Google also reiterated that Hangouts would eventually be the future of Google Voice, with more additions to come. "As we've said before: Hangouts is designed to be the future of Google Voice, and making and receiving calls is just the beginning. So stay tuned for future updates," the post said.

While this news may please many European users, Google is not in the good books of the European Commission, with demands being made of it to delete its unlawfully collected Street View WiFi data by the end this month. In addition, Google has claimed it has done a ‘pretty good job' to alleviate the EU's concerns over a lack of competition among European users.

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Michael Passingham

Michael Passingham joined V3 as a reporter in June 2013. Prior to working at V3, Michael spent time at computing magazine PC Pro. Michael covers IT skills, social media, tech startups and also produces V3's video content.

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