Google Voice. Free. And Freely Available

If you have been on the Web the past couple of days, you might have heard about Google’s rollout of this cool new feature: make Google Voice calls straight from your Gmail / GChat interface. Google Voice is a fantastic application that gives you the ability to monitor and manage calling with voice messaging, text transcripts, fine-grained call routing and tele-spam control. I previously have covered it¬†in the Studio (link here).

Prior to the new add, using Google Voice to make calls was a little bit of a process, requiring you to institute a call from within Google Voice and then employ the designated phone to actually make the call, or to use third party application Gizmo and set up a gadget within Gmail to do so. The latter option was still a bit of a process and never really worked well for me.

Now, if you have a Google Voice account (which presumes a Google Gmail account) and a computer outfitted with a speaker and microphone, you are good to go. All you need to do is download the Google¬†voice and video plug-in utility onto your desired computer, sign into your Gmail / GChat account and look at the top of the Chat window. There you will see a little phone icon and “Call Phone” link:

Click on that button and you will then see a little phone keypad pop up in the lower right hand corner of your screen:

Type your number in and hit call. It’s that easy. Of course, calls made through this interface show up in your Google Voice dashboard and will show up in someone’s caller ID as your Google Voice number.

All U.S. calls are free and international calls are extremely cheap. Hit the money link shown above the keypad to access an international rate menu and see for yourself. Combine the easy-to-use new Google Voice on your desktop via Gmail with Google Voice on your cellphone and, PRESTO – instant, free, agile telephony solution for your personal or business needs! You can’t lose.

Want more about GVoice and Gmail? Check out Google’s own video below: