Google has just announced that Google Voice will be available as an intrinsic feature in Gmail from now on. This feature will be integrated within Google Chat feature. And this is quite an amazing development because not only will apps like Skype face serious competition, but Google has even bigger plans in store.
A ‘call phone’ option will appear in Google Chat, which if clicked will open a chat pop-up. Here you can dial numbers and make calls easily. Voice cancellation technology will ensure that calls are clear and do not drop. Calls to US and Canada numbers will be free and standard Google Voice rate’s will apply while making international calls.
And you can receive calls too! Once registered, you will get a Google Voice number which can be called by other phones from anywhere in the world. You can switch between your regular mobile number and the Google number, according to the availability of cell-network and internet access.
If this does not excite you, then Google’s plan to fill up the cities with little red telephone booths surely will! Yes, Google is going seriously retro with these booths which will be there by the end of 2010 at all major airports and college campuses.
This, according to Google, will help in raising awareness for Google voice. While these booths will be a throwback to a bygone era, the phones in them will be quite modern. They will be powered by internet connections and not land lines.
On testing these booths, there was a bit of a lag on the dial tone, but the call quality was pretty good. By the time they are rolled out, they will have clear instructions about how to make a call. The best thing is that, even international calls from the booth are free! However, it is not clear whether Google will make its VoIP services available in these cute telephone booths.