Google Testing Voice Calls From Gmail

Google is testing a new Gmail feature, set to allow users to make voice calls from Google Chat.

According to tech news site CNET, users will be able to place or receive voice calls to and from their Gmail contacts, making Gmail a more rounded communication centre.

The voice call interface, which will be accessible from the Google Chat window, resembles that of Google Voice, hinting that Google might look to integrate its internet telephony services to offer users more than just e-mail on its Gmail service.

Google Voice allows users to read voice mail transcripts as text messages and offers users a common number that allows them to ring multiple phones.

The integration of Google Voice as a web-based client in Gmail indicates that Google has finally put to use the technology it acquired from Gizmo5 last year.

Google has yet to reveal its plans for the service, and a company representative has said: "Google is always testing new features and products, but we have nothing specific to announce right now."