Gmail Google Voice calls free through 2011 for US users

Google has announced that it is extending the free voice call functionality added to Gmail chat earlier this year, with the service now to be free throughout 2011 as well. Still limited to US users calling US or Canadian numbers, the embedded Google Voice system routes calls via VoIP and can also be used to make low-cost calls to various other countries.

More recently, Google added a call recording button into Gmail voice chat, as a way for users to easily preserve records of conversations. Ironically, only the button itself was new; the recording feature had been present from the off, though it required that callers hit the 4 button to begin and few users knew about the functionality.