That Gmail voice-calls leak we talked about earlier today? Google has officially announced it, confirming that US users should see it added to their Gmail chat list over the next few days. Initially the service will be free for outgoing calls to US and Canadian numbers, though Google will also offer international rates from $0.02 per minute.
Video overview after the cut
A Google Voice account isn’t required in order to use Gmail voice calls, but if you have one your number through the service will be used as the outgoing caller ID. The search giant also has instructions to allow Google Voice users to receive incoming calls through Gmail.
If you’re a Google Apps user (for schools or businesses) then it’ll take a little longer for the voice call functionality to arrive, and there’s no public timescale for anyone outside of the US to get the service. Considering how long international users have been waiting for Google Voice, we wouldn’t advise holding your breath.