Make a free phone call through Gmail? Yes, and it’s on NOW!

File this under WTH?  I logged in to my regular Gmail account (I have been using my Google Apps for Education account mostly since we went to that in April), and discovered the CALL function as a feature of Gmail.  I got pretty excited and was squealing in amazement, I just couldn’t believe they snuck that one past me.  My wife was sitting next to me and said, in a very nonchalant voice, “Yeah, I called Mom on it the other day.  She said it sounded clearer than my cell phone.”  Huh.  You’d think she would have mentioned it to me.  I am learning that not everyone gets quite as worked up over these things as I do, but her response was classic.

Anyway, it works kind of like a chat or video chat.  You click on the icon on the left (the first time you need to accept the terms and conditions), and then you get a dialog box in the lower right corner, much like a chat window, but there is a keypad instead.  Once you type in the phone number you wish to call, it dials and you are connected.  Then you speak normally (assuming you have a microphone on your computer) and you hear back from the phone call. 

If you have used the video chat or the voice chat before, this is not much different, but it is pretty cool nonetheless. 

My eventual response to my wife was, “At the risk of sounding old, all I can think to say is, what will they think of next?”


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