Technology-Headlines

by George Heymann

Your Google mail now has a voice!

A new Google Voice feature has been recently integrated into the Gmail web application, enabling users in the US to place calls to any landline or cellphone from within Google Mail. Even though the service is still in the process of being rolled out, callers reportedly completed over a million calls from Gmail on its first day of service, according to a recent Cnet report.

The new Gmail voice application uses “Voice over IP” (VOIP) — a series of communications protocols that allow for the delivery of voice communications over the internet.The program is extremely easy to use. Simply log in to your Google Gmail account. On the right hand side of the main Gmail window there is column called “chat” (see Gmail screenshot below). Underneath that you will see a heading with a little phone icon labeled “call phone.” Click on call phone and a pop-up dialogue box will appear.

The dialogue box will present you with a dial pad and an integrated search box. You can dial your Gmail contacts by typing into the search box; the list of contacts will narrow as you enter additional characters. Then click on the desired contact. On contacts with multiple phone numbers you can select which of the numbers to dial. You can also manually dial a number just like using any other handset.

After using the service for the last couple of days, I’ve generally been pleased with the quality of the calls. The calls have a clear but slightly hollow sound and occasionally there is a slight hesitation. I’m not ready to give up my dedicated T-Mobile @Home VOIP service (similar to Vonage or Comcast Digital Voice) but overall its fine for most calls.

If you don’t have a Gmail account, you can sign up here for a free Google account.

You must have a headset with microphone and broadband internet for your computer in order to use voice services. If you are familiar with the stand alone or mobile Google Voice services you should feel comfortable with these new integrated Gmail services.

For those that may not be familiar with Google Voice, it’s a multifaceted telecommunications service that allows you to route your inbound calls to one or many phones simultaneously depending on the rules you set for your calls.

You can also set different call behaviors depending on who the caller is and what time he or she calls. Another nice feature is that you can choose to preview your voicemails as sms text messages.

The service has steadily improved with each iteration. I’ve done several articles on the service and its improvements over the past four months, Google Voice was featured as one of our Top 10 mobile apps here, and a follow-up on subsequent releases of Google Voice here.

Along with the voice service, Google recently added video conferencing and SMS capability from within Gmail. For the latest Google information you can always check their official blog.

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Filed under: Google, Software, , , , , , , ,

5 Responses

  1. […] articles on the service and its improvements over the past four months. Recently I highlighted the Gmail integration with Google Voice. It was featured as one of our Top 10 mobile apps here, and a follow-up on subsequent releases of […]

  2. CCR says:

    im feeling it

  3. weight says:

    hi again

    Sky

  4. ptz camera says:

    Thanks a million for this, I appreciate the info

  5. PIC says:

    I appreciate the info

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