Gmail Brings Back Phone Calls Via HangoutsBy: Chris Crum - July 10, 2013
When Google recently transitioned Gmail’s chat feature to Hangouts, it got rid of voice calling, but Google announced that is back as part of Hangouts. In addition to that, calls to the US and Canada are free from all countries where the feature is available.
“For those of you who have taken the plunge and are using desktop Hangouts in Gmail, Google+, and the Chrome extension, we’ve heard loud and clear that you miss the ability to make calls from Gmail, so today, we’re happy to announce it’s back – and better than before!” says Google senior software engineer Alex Wiesen.
“Today’s launch also improves the desktop calling experience in a number of ways,” says Weisen. “For example: you can add multiple phone numbers and video participants to the same call; and you can play sound effects (like applause or laughter) with the Google Effects app.”
You can access calling via the new phone icon in Gmail or from the “Call a phone” menu item in Google+ and the Chrome extension.
The feature is rolling out this week.