In case you didn’t know what in the world is Google Call, you should probably start by watching this video.
Google Call is Cheaper
This new little neat feature that Google just released couple days ago was so popular that over 1M calls was made 24 hours after it was released (Source: Google Tweet). I think it was so popular just because of the fact that you can make a FREE online call to any US and Canada phones, and it will remain free at least for the rest of this year. The cost to make international calls is not bad either (Google Call Rates). For example, it only costs me $0.03/min (3 cents) to call to Jakarta, Indonesia. This rate is actually comparable to my traditional calling card’s rate. I think Skype, who offers similar services, will be blown pretty hard by Google this time. As for comparison, Skype Call will cost me $0.041/min (4.1 cents) to call to Jakarta, Indonesia. As you can see, Google Call is much cheaper than Skype Call. One hour phone call through Google will cost me $0.03×60=$1.8/min, whereas Skype Call will cost me $0.041×60=$2.46/min (or roughly 36% more).
Google Call, Google Chat, and Google Voice Integration
The only downside right now is that you can only use Google Call through your Gmail’s Google Chat.
I don’t know if this fact will change in the future or not. I would assume that mobile phones will soon be able to take advantage of this VoIP calls considering how many new mobile apps being created daily. It just depends on Google’s and Carrier-specific policy. If you didn’t find the Google Call button in your Gmail’s Google Chat, don’t worry. It happened to me also. Just wait for couple days. Google is slowly rolling out this feature to its customers. One little caveat, you have to set your language setting to “English (US)” in order to use this service, at least for now. Even though you live outside U.S., you’ll still be able to use this service to call US & Canada phones as long as you set the language setting properly. FYI, if you subscribe for Google Voice, your Google Call will show up using your Google Voice’s number on the receiver’s caller ID, and it will use the same number every time you make calls. It’s kinda neat because other people can save that same Google Voice number on their address book, so your name will show up next time you call them.
Google Phone Booth
Don’t worry. Even though Google Call is not available through our phones now, Google Phone Booth will be available shortly in the airports or colleges near you. I thought this was only a joke. It turns out it wasn’t. The article said that Google will roll out Google Phone Booth within few weeks. This phone booth will look exactly the same like your traditional phone booth. The only difference that it will use internet connection and Google Call to place a call, instead of the conventional telephone lines.
Let me know what do you think about Google Call, especially when you found one of these Google Phone Booths popping out in your area. Happy calling!!!