August 26, 2010

Gmail Phone Service

By Charles Moffat - August 2010.

TECHNOLOGY - I've never used Skype and never will now. Especially since Google released the ability to phone people for FREE within Gmail.

From inside your Gmail you simply click "Call Phone" on the left side inside your chatbar. If you're a first time user then you download a small program, install it and restart your browser. Then just dial the number you want to call using the dial pad on the screen.

Voila! Free calls to anywhere in Canada or the USA. Calls overseas cost a mere 2 cents per minute for calling Britain, France, Germany, China or Japan.

Skype? What's Skype? Pff.

So really what you need then is a headset with a mic attached to your computer... which fortunately I bought an HP headset recently because I was shopping with a friend and saw one on sale. Excellent timing.

Industry analysts say it will be mostly Skype (and similar online phone services) which will be put at a disadvantage because of Google's new free phone service... but I think traditional phone companies will lose some market share too. The reason is because I have NEVER used Skype or any other online phone services, but I am actually excited about being able to phone people on my new Google one... I think its because Skype seemed too... nerdy. No other way to say it. The moment Google made an online phone service it suddenly became mainstream and acceptable.

Moreso, for people like myself who have trashed the home phone and gone cellphone only it means I can save on minutes and long distance charges whenever I am at home and feel like calling family members or friends. This service doesn't work from a SmartPhone however because other Google apps have already been designed for that.

Google had previously offered computer-to-computer voice and video chat, but starting yesterday (Wednesday) it can now be used for computer-to-phone. Furthermore the overseas rates are pretty reasonable and they give you a 10 cent credit (good for a 5 minute call) so you can try it out.

Skype meanwhile (which is owned by eBay and several private firms) is planning a $100 million initial public offering on the stock market... Skype may have waited too long for its IPO. Google's new service may put a dent into their IPO now that a major player has entered the same business.

No word yet on when Google will get into the personals business. There has been rumours circulating for years of that.

See Also: Goth Personals Canada

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