Make free calls in the U.S. and Canada from your Gmail account.
Do you use Gmail to make phone calls? Did you even know that feature existed? Either way, Google is extending the free calling feature for Gmail users in the U.S. and Canada for at least another year. The "Call phones from Gmail" service launched in 2010, allowing users to make and receive free domestic calls (and low rates for other countries) right from within Gmail.
Lulz Security (or LulzSec if you’re in a hurry) has decided to ask the masses what it should hack next. The group that cracked Sony Pictures, Nintendo, The US Senate, The Escapist, and more have set up a hotline where the community can suggest future targets. The number was posted to the group’s Twitter account yesterday and immediately received thousands of calls.
Google announced today that in the first 24 hours of availability, Gmail users placed over 1 million calls. That's very impressive considering many accounts still do not have access to the feature, which is being rolled out gradually. The new VoIP service allows US users to make calls to any number in the US or Canada. International rates are low as well. It just goes to show you what can happen if you integrate a new feature into Gmail.
This early success indicates that users are prepared to make real use of VoIP services. When Google added Buzz to Gmail, many decried the pollution of their sacred Gmail interface with all the Buzz information. If you get the notice that the Gmail call feature has been turned on for your account, you might as well try it. Everyone else is.
Gmail has had the capability to do voice and video chat between PCs for some time. But starting today, Google is rolling out direct phone calls integrated into Gmail. In the Chat area on the left side of Gmail, users will now see a 'Call Phone' option. The first time you launch it, Gmail will prompt you to install the Voice plug-in. Then you are able to place free calls to the US and Canada. Google has pledged to keep these calls free through at least the end of 2010. International calls are billed at very low rates; calls to France, for example, cost $0.02 per minute.
The interface is a simple dialpad where users can input a number or contact search. There is also a tab for call history in this window. Users with a Google Voice account will have some interesting options here. The outbound caller ID will display your Google Voice number. Should you choose, calls to that Google Voice number can be forwarded to Gmail.
The new feature is rolling out in waves over the next few days, so if you're not seeing it already, you will be soon. To place calls from Gmail, you will of course need a microphone and speakers/headphones on your system. If you've had the chance to test it, let us know how it works.
MagicJack CEO and founder, Dan Borislow, is determined to piss off Ma Bell and shake up the telecom industry. You might remember the MagicJack device from all the infomercials that used to run rampant on late night television, or from CES this past year when Borislow unveiled an updated version. Well, the MagicJack makers are back at it again, this time with a piece of software that promises the ability to place free phone calls from computers, mobile phones, and tablets like Apple's iPad, according to an AP report.
As the AP tells it, "MagicTalk" would even one-up Google Voice by getting rid of fees altogether for landline and cell phones in the U.S. and Canada, and no, users wouldn't be saddled with a time limit.
The way it works is each MagicTalk user would get a phone number that's linked to their software. For a fee, a user could also port his/her existing number over to the service
As planned, the software will make an appearance on Windows and Mac PCs next week, with versions for the iPhone, iPad, BlackBerry, and Android phones to follow in September or October.