Gmail Phone Calls Continue to Be Free in 2013

In an expected move, Google has extended the free calls offer

In what's becoming a yearly holiday tradition, Google has decided to extend the free call option in Google Voice for another year.

What this means is that users will be able to make free phone calls in the US and Canada from their Gmail accounts for the year to come. International users will also continue to get the low rates they've seen so far.

"Many of you call phones from Gmail to easily connect with friends and family. If you're in the US and Canada, you'll continue to be able to make free domestic calls through 2013," Google said.

"Plus, in most countries, you can still call the rest of the world from Gmail at insanely low rates," it added in the very brief announcement.

Voice calls were introduced to Google's chat service back in 2010. At the time, they were free in the US and Canada for what was supposed to be a limited time. But every time the offer was about to expire, Google prolonged it for another year.

Google Voice, on which the Gmail feature is based, is still alive and well, but it doesn't seem like Google has put too much effort into it. That's been the case since Voice was launched and, with Android going so strong, that's probably not going to change any time soon, for risk of upsetting the carriers.

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