Google announced that it will extend the time period in which calls made trough Gmail accounts will remain free of charge. Gmail users will continue to use the service at absolutely no cost in 2013.
This is not the first time when Google extends the free use of Gmail domestic calls. As a matter of fact, it has now become something of a common practice for the company. The same thing happened back in 2010 and 2011. That made users and experts wonder about Google’s unorthodox strategy.
The company first enabled the free calls service in the summer of 2010. Soon after that, Google shared its plans to make this feature free for the first 12 months of its release. However, the year turned into two and now – into three. Even though, that Google has been lately pulling the plug of its services which are less profitable or popular, it continues to offer Gmail calls for free.
Nevertheless, the one-year extension of the free voice call service though the chat widget on Gmail is a good news for many users.
An interesting fact is that Google Voice, which laid the foundations of the Gmail calling service, wasn’t really improved over the last year. Apart from a new Android app and the contacts integrations for Google+, the service remained pretty much the same.
Google has previously said that Google Voice will remain free until it can offer users an quality that is acceptable. For now, the service does have some bugs. However, that is not uncommon for a phone service, especially one that is done over the Internet.
Still, Google Voice has some great functions. Google itself reminded in its announcement that the international calling service is available at an “insanely low rates”. In addition, domestic calling in the U.S. and Canada will continue to be free for at least one more year.
Those of you who want to try out Google’s service would only need to create a Google Account and to enter their area code. Google Voice is also available for iOS and Android smartphone.