Google adds Gmail voice calling for 38 new languages

Google has boosted its Gmail voice calling service, opening up support for making calls to 38 new languages. Launched in the US and Canada last year – and updated last month with support for multiple simultaneous calls - the freshly extended service will allow users to call landlines and cellphones at reduced rates.

However, whereas in the US and Canada, calls within the country are currently free of charge – and, Google says, will stay that way "at least for the rest of 2011" – it seems the new countries getting the service won't be so lucky. While Google has reduced its call prices (you can find the new rates here) it doesn't look as though in-country calls to landlines/mobiles will be free.

Still, it could be cheaper to use Google's VoIP than your existing landline or cellphone provider. For instance, calls placed to the US or Canada (from outside those countries) will be charged $0.01 per minute (or €0.01, £0.01, C$0.01 per minute). Google has added support for three new currencies, with Euros, British pounds and Canadian dollars joining US dollars.

If you're in a country getting the service then you should see the green phone icon show up in Gmail over the next few days. You'll need to have the Google Voice plugin installed in order for it to work.