Internet giant Google has confirmed that users of Gmail in the USA and Canada will be able to make phone calls direct from their email accounts.
The ‘phone call’ service will be rolled out this week, and will allow free calls to numbers in the USA and Canada until the end of the year. Calls to other locations, such as the UK, start from as little as 2 cents per minute.
Google hasn’t yet announced plans to roll the service out in the UK or on its mobile phones.
Robin Schriebman, software engineer, wrote on the official Gmail Blog earlier, stating that the phone call addition was introduced to sit along side the development of the company’s current computer-to-computer voice and video chat system.
The move is expected to sit Google in competition with services such as Skype and BT.
The service works by adding another icon to the chat list in Gmail. When a user clicks the ‘green phone’, an on-screen keypad will appear for them to use to type their desired number in.