Google Voice goes VoIP in Gmail

Google Voice VoIP in Gmail

According to the reliable, yet unofficial, Google Operating System blog, Google is apparently testing a new feature in Gmail. As part of Gmail's chat program, Google has integrated Google Voice functionality. The new feature allows users to make phone calls directly from their PC using the Google Voice service.

Utilizing VoIP (voice-over-IP) technology, the new calling system is able to start a voice connection from the Internet and connect it to a regular phone line, just like Skype. This new capability is opened through a phone icon inside of the Gmail chat window. When clicked on, it launches a dialpad and allows you to find a contact, see your credit balance, and place a call.

We've known for some time now that Google has been testing a VoIP enabled desktop version of their Google Voice client. Perhaps this is what became of it. Ever since Google acquired Gizmo5, the Mountain View company has been anything but shy of their intentions to combine their VoIP technology with Google Voice. Gmail integration could become the first publicly released lovechild born from this acquisition. Should Google roll VoIP functionality into their Google Voice app for smartphones, users would be able to make unlimited calls through their Google supplied phone number, as long as they are connected to the Internet. This could signal the end of carrier voice packages. This is just what Google fans have been waiting for.

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i use ventrillo for voip. mutli user conference calling and all that jazz. but you can't connect to phone lines obviously and all users need a client and server address. still i pay about $2 a month on a 2 year paid up front contract with a custom server name, which i can change at any time($65 usd total for a ten man server).
tried skype to fill in for vent one time but didn't like it. no push to talk button option and other lack of functionality which is standard in gaming oriented VOIP services such as ventrilo, teamspeak and mumble.

Futurix said,
Er-r-r, unless browsers started supporting VOIP - need for plug-in is highly likely!
Ehh, let me rephrase that. Unless it requires its own plugin. Flash should do just fine.

As an example - video calling in Gmail requires a Windows and Mac-only plugin. But I can call people through GizmoCall with just Flash. (As Chrome OS is Linux-based, it wouldn't make sense to not have video calling at launch, so they'll likely change that sometime this year. I wouldn't be surprised if we saw GV VoIP before then as well. But not with its own plugin.)

Also Google is no doubt pushing for mic and webcam access in HTML5. It would be really cool to have all that standardized.

Tager said,
Awww... not in Canada

Cheer up. Canada is a wonderful place... to visit... if you doctor orders you to take a break from things like "awesome new technology" and "timely lifesaving healthcare services". I hear if you hold your laptop just right in Windsor you can pick up some free WiFi from Detroit! ;D

Oh please, google wants to roll out fiber, run DNS and now they want host all your phone calls. Is that their play? acquire/run as much of the internet services as possible...google the gatekeeper. Fgoogle

JohnCz said,
Oh please, google wants to roll out fiber, run DNS and now they want host all your phone calls. Is that their play? acquire/run as much of the internet services as possible...google the gatekeeper. Fgoogle
Given that the fiber rollout is in the interest of increasing competition for ISPs (a VERY good thing), their DNS servers are meant to increase browsing speed, and this move could destroy telcos' power over their users... yeah. Good thing.

That's not to say Google's completely benevolent, but increased competition is always a good thing, and I certainly trust Google more than, say, Apple or Microsoft.

You can trust who like. First, I would never put all my eggs in one basket. And I certainly trust Microsoft who has learned a thing or two the hard way. Google is due for a antitrust smack down.

JohnCz said,
You can trust who like. First, I would never put all my eggs in one basket. And I certainly trust Microsoft who has learned a thing or two the hard way. Google is due for a antitrust smack down.
Oh, I agree that Google should never be the ONLY service provider for anything. But at the same time... look at all the examples you've given. They all make Google an optional choice. Except maybe as an ISP, but if you don't already have decent fiber in your area then that's the fault of whatever ISP is closest (and I hate Verizon for it in my area). The increased competition should only cause the existing service providers to provide better service, lower costs, etc.

And I do love that they have so many open source projects too. Because once those leave Google's hands... you can do whatever the hell you want with them.

Silverskull said,

That's not to say Google's completely benevolent, but increased competition is always a good thing, and I certainly trust Google more than, say, Apple or Microsoft.

Welcome back from your decade long stay in the caves of Waziristan! Please read up on the Google executives statements regarding privacy and the lack of need for it.

Neb Okla said,

Welcome back from your decade long stay in the caves of Waziristan! Please read up on the Google executives statements regarding privacy and the lack of need for it.

Please read up on personal choice and why it is a good thing.

Who is forcing you to use Google products?

essential+ said,

...or Facebook.

That too.

Does Google voice have a "So much per year, for unlimited telephone call plan". I know with skype I pay just $30 (or maybe it was $50, but it was cheap) for unlimited calling.

warwagon said,
Does Google voice have a "So much per year, for unlimited telephone call plan". I know with skype I pay just $30 (or maybe it was $50, but it was cheap) for unlimited calling.

I was unaware skype had unlimited plans still. I got it on sale a few years ago for 15 bucks, wasn't able to find a turly unlimited plan since.

ObiWanToby said,

I was unaware skype had unlimited plans still. I got it on sale a few years ago for 15 bucks, wasn't able to find a turly unlimited plan since.

They've been unlimited for a long time. I had a subscription a couple of years ago, but haven't used it since then.

warwagon said,
Does Google voice have a "So much per year, for unlimited telephone call plan". I know with skype I pay just $30 (or maybe it was $50, but it was cheap) for unlimited calling.
Uhm, nope, they have free calling.

At least for now. They may start charging for this, but as of right now, VoIP calls are free within the US. (You do have to pay for international calls though.)

warwagon said,
Does Google voice have a "So much per year, for unlimited telephone call plan". I know with skype I pay just $30 (or maybe it was $50, but it was cheap) for unlimited calling.

i pay $3 a month for Skype. Includes unlimited calls to mobile and land lines.

Skype's done in my book unless they pull something nobody is expecting... I doubt their Verizon fiasco will help them in any way. They don't have a single mobile client that's worth anything and the 3rd party ones aren't all that great. Google Voice FTW!!!

Sick and tired of trying to use Sipdroid and all those crappy websites that look like they're being ran by 13 year old script kiddies and still not being able to make a normal VoIP call...

Obry said,
Skype's done in my book unless they pull something nobody is expecting... I doubt their Verizon fiasco will help them in any way. They don't have a single mobile client that's worth anything and the 3rd party ones aren't all that great. Google Voice FTW!!!

Sick and tired of trying to use Sipdroid and all those crappy websites that look like they're being ran by 13 year old script kiddies and still not being able to make a normal VoIP call...

Fring has worked better for me than Sipdroid. But ehh... that's just me.

Sipdroid is open source though, which is nice.

schiz-o-phren-ic said,
Lookout Skype!

Spoken like someone who knows nothing about skype, or has only used it on the most superficial levels.

Obry said,
Been waiting for this ever since the Gizmo5 buyout. Can't wait!!!
Agreed. Though admittedly it wasn't that bad for those of us who still have our Gizmo5 accounts.

Let's just hope Google starts routing all standard phone calls in Gizmo5 through Google Voice. For free. Now THAT would be cool. (Not so sure about having to keep a browser window open to make VoIP calls, and I do wonder if you can receive calls with this.)