Google looks set to shake up Skype’s world just a little with the launch of a new service built directly into GMail that lets you make phone calls.
The service is only “officially” available to users in America and Canada right now, but with a slight modification of your Google Mail settings, even Australians can use it.
To activate, simply go into your Gmail “Settings” area and make sure your language is set to “English (US)”.
Once it is, head to the bottom of the page, hit “Save changes”, and you should see a “Call phone” option appear under the “Chat” field in the left most column.
Press that, and you’ll be greeted with a number pad and a US flag in the bottom right hand corner. From there, choose the country you want and type in the number complete with the state dialling code. For instance, if you wanted to give us a call here at GadgetGuy, you’d use +61293567400.
Remember that right now, the system is currently only free for landlines in the US and Canada. Any calls you want to make to Australian numbers – mobile or landline – will require you to spend money at the present time.
When we turned it on, we found Google had given us 10 US cents to play with, affording us just enough for 4-5 minutes of talk with an Australian landline.