So who else who has Gmail got this icon on their chat menu: “Call phone”? Whatever the heck that means, right? All I could think when I saw this was “great; something else for me to do online rather than write or do something productive or at least catch up on my Seinfeld reruns. Nope the Call Phones from Gmail option is this new service and it looks to be something totally useless…and something I’m of course going to latch onto just too late to get any good use out of it.
What is Call Phones: According to the web prompt which comes up when you click on the chat icon Call phones from Gmail is basically a phone service from your email account. I’m sure this is something that has been tried before (unsuccessfully) so why should Gmail think that they can make phone service from your desktop work any better? Well for one thing because they’re Google and Google asserts that they can do just about anything better than their competition.
How Does Call Phones from Gmail Work: According to their description “You can now place calls to landline and mobile phones from within Gmail. Just dial any phone number and you’ll be connected.” With the integration of video chat, international calls, and the free teaser rates that Gmail is offering domestically for the rest of 2010, the Call phones plugin looks to be something which could cause quite a stir.
Call Phones from Gmail Teaser: To get people hooked on their product Gmail is taking the risk that this will be so successful that they’re offering the service free to the U.S. & Canada for the rest of 2010. That would be really great if 2010 weren’t almost over. and if the end of the year didn’t include Thanksgiving and Christmas; two times of year when families will be together (or talking on Aunt Lilly’s phone, passed around the living room.) Still, with a full four months left in the calendar year 2010, this free U.S. & Canada phone service thing is pretty bold.
Call Phones from Gmail Verdict: While it remains to be seen what will come of voice phone service through your email, Gmail certainly has done a lot of things right up to now with their email service. Will this Call phones plugin be the next big wave to hit the online world? I can’t really say while there’s a Farmville app I haven’t played with on Facebook.