Google extends Gmail calls to the UK
The UK can now make calls from Gmail directly to landline and mobile phones, Google has announced.
The web giant revealed the Gmail voice system last year, but it only worked for US users – and those who pretended to be American to get around the system.
Now, Gmail calls have officially been extended to 150 countries, including the UK. That pitches Gmail voice into even more direct competition with Skype, which was recently bought by Microsoft.
While calls remain free within the US or Canada, Google has also unveiled pricing for the rest of the world. Calls inside the UK will start at £0.02 per min to landlines and £0.18 per min to mobiles.
Calls to the US or Canada from outside their borders will be a penny or a cent per minute, regardless of the currency – €0.01, £0.01 or $0.01. The full rates page for other destinations is available here.
“We’re rolling out this feature over the next few days, so if it’s available in your country you’ll see a little green phone icon show up at the top of your chat list and you’ll be ready to make calls (you’ll need to install the voice and video plug-in if you haven’t already),” product manager Pierre Lebeau said on the Google blog.
The system also works for Google Apps users, but the domain administrator must enable it first.