If this report from the popular tech news site CNET is to be believed, then we can expect to make free phone calls right inside GMail! Google seems to be testing voice calling directly inside Gmail, with free calls to the U.S. and Canada and very cheap international calls.
Update: It’s confirmed! Check out more updates and video at the end.
The screenshots provided by CNET look legit and believable. The report says that the service allows users to place and receive calls via a user interface that “strongly resembles” Google Voice, the new-age telephony thingy that lets you attach a single phone number to multiple phones and turn your voice mails into emails.
The user interfaces appear the same—for example, the same icons are used to label missed calls or placed calls—but Google Voice is not a VoIP service. Users of the new chat/phone call service aren’t required to have a Google Voice account, and calls placed to U.S. or Canadian numbers will be free, with discounts on international calls as compared to standard rates.
So, it is not clear if this acts as an extension to Google voice or a completely new and separate service altogether. But something we would love to believe to be true!
Update: Video demo