Now you can phone people using Gmail

A new Gmail voice feature lets you call phone numbers. It's free for calls within the United States and Canada.

Google announced a new Gmail feature that allows voice calls to phones.

Gmail is constantly gaining new features, but the latest one is completely unprecedented. Google released a voice calling feature that brings instant VoIP calls to the Gmail interface.

Google has made it possible to not only call other computers over VoIP (VoIP allows users to place calls over an internet connection rather than a traditional landline), but other phone numbers as well, all from the Gmail inbox.

"We’ve been testing this feature internally and have found it to be useful in a lot of situations, ranging from making a quick call to a restaurant, to placing a call when you’re in an area with bad reception," the company said on the company blog.

This sort of functionality dramatically increases the usefulness of Gmail as a communications hub. The Google Chat window, on the left side, is used as a simple contacts list for calling.

Google already has a desktop VoIP service called Google Talk. This new service makes VoIP calling even more accessible, though. It also means a faster way to make free calls to numbers in the U.S. or Canada.

Of course, Google refuses to confirm or deny anything at the moment.

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