Google is rolling out an addition to its Gmail service that lets users call mobiles and landlines with one click.
The software will be an add-on to Google Voice and is being rolled out to users over the next few days. The service is initially only for users in the US but a Google spokeswoman told V3.co.uk that other local services would be set up in the future, but refused to be drawn on a precise schedule.
“Given that most of us don’t spend all day in front of our computers, we thought, 'Wouldn’t it be nice if you could call people directly on their phones?',” blogged Google software engineer Robin Schriebman.
“We’ve been testing this feature internally and have found it to be useful in a lot of situations, ranging from making a quick call to a restaurant, to placing a call when you’re in an area with bad reception.”
Calls to the US and Canada will initially be free and Google is hoping the revenue from international calls will provide enough income to maintain that policy, but hasn’t ruled out charging after the end of the year.
When the new functionality comes online for all users it will be an important new addition to Google’s Apps portfolio. The company has been steadily adding new functions to its online apps portfolio, as well as specific vertical market offerings.
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