Ah! Evolution or what?
It is good to see the Google stepping up to something a bit more modern and full of evolutionary potential. The next few years will be sort of incredible (G-pad and G-maps?)
Google has announced that you can now place and receive phone calls inside Gmail, a day after a report revealed that such a service was under test. As expected, the company's Gmail phone-call service works in tandem with Google Voice, the new-age telephony web service that lets you attach a single phone number to multiple …
I have seen Google say some interesting things about privacy but never have I heard of them exposing personal data knowingly to the general public. Even if Google wants to take their data mining to the next level and add voice recognition to add key topics to their profile on me I am actually OK about that. Why you might ask because all they seem to want to do with that data is display targeted advertising and faster search results. Until that changes I see no need to complain.
So, you choose between Skype which still appears to have a quite reasonable record, or Google who has as yet to achieve any improvement in the way it mistreats privacy. Let's just give them a way to tap your conversations as well, then, shall we?
Oh, and spot the BS. The actual chart would be blab-bla-bla-world discovers VoIP, world standardises on on SIP, every sensible IM adds voice, Skype goes its own way - and adds video, Skype is slowly seeing the light, IMs catch up on the video thing, Google runs out of privacy things to violate, Google offers VoIP. That's a more honest presentation of "Google comes to the party rather late because maybe inventing a VoIP voice recognition and data tap was harder than it thought".
Exactly why is the NSA still getting paid?
I just tried it, it works for calling irish landlines and US numbers from my pc....will be interesting to see how it pans out..comes up with a 760 number when called, and when you call itback a nice google lady extolls teh benefits of you having it also +1 760 705 8888
"If Google started noticing there's a world beyond America too. Google Voice, Google Calls, Google almost everything else - unavailable outside the U.S."
I for one am glad that Australia IS NOT treated like a beta test site for subsequent world-wide releases. It gets pretty frustrating when we're fed the latest gadgets, firmware and software, except that they're almost always is broken in some way.
I'm getting more and more disappointed with these Next Generation Internet-enabled telcos. We recently tried Skype to call the Philippines from Canada. Thank goodness the call was randomly cut-off after only six minutes. When I checked the account, I discovered that Skype charges ~MORE~ per minute than my local wired telco, ~AND~ adds a connection fee per call. Surprise surprise. Yes, I know, I should check the rates on-line before making assumptions that Skype is less expensive. Blah blah blah... Live and learn.
So when I saw Google's new offering, I had to check the rates. Google is cheaper, but only a tiny fraction (maybe 3% depending on exchange rates) less expensive than my local wired telco. Useless. Waste of space. Occupying a spot where truly inexpensive communications should be.
It's available now in some of my GMail accounts, not yet in others. Same calling-out capability and pricing as Google Voice, plus incoming calls via Google Chat.
Google Voice has offered free calling to phone numbers in the U.S. and Canada for some time (inherited capability from when Google took over Grand Central). The restriction remains that you can't get a Google Voice number if you have a Canadian IP address, and you can't specify a Canadian home phone number for Google Voice (required for verification).
Interesting - Ribbit (backed by BT) have started rolling out their very similar service in Beta form in the UK over the last few days. Interesting to see who wins - the GPO or Google. Suspect it may go the same route as the war between hardmail and email.
However, we'll still be needing our expensive bit of wire from BT for a few years to come, unless big G go into fibre/wireless rollouts in the UK as well.
"Google Voice has long offered free calls and texts within the US and Canada as well as low-cost international calls."
Not true unless you are in US. Canadians have not had access to Google Voice (and still dont).
But yes, Canadian GMAIL users now have the CALL PHONE feature. (Strangely, if you have a workgroup GMAIL account for administering users in a domain, the CALL PHONE feature is not there).
BUT Canadians still cant sign up for Google Voice (your country does not have service yet message). This means outbound only for now.
But it looks like Canadians are halfway there and I would expect the other shoe to fall by December 2010.
...except when out and about instead of camped out in front of a computer, that is. All one needs is a good microphone or headset and the right volume recording level and you're good to go...
No doubt this infuriates the major telecom corporations which, predatorial that they are, see this as a threat to their "food" supply. To that: GOOD. Their egos can take the hit.
For me personally, [largely] goodbye T-Mobile and its irritating phenomenon of "disappearing minutes".
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