Google has finally launched some of its Voice features in Australia — although North American customers still get the cream of the service's crop.
Gmail users in Australia and around the world can now download a plug-in to use Google Voice features to make landline and mobile calls from within their Gmail account.
Users can also use video chat from within Gmail, rendering additional video and text chat programs like Skype effectively redundant — especially since the Google Voice call rates are very competitive.
Calls to landlines within Australia are priced at US$0.02 per minute, and calls to mobiles US$0.14 per minute, compared to AU$0.03 per minute for landline calls via Skype and AU$0.27 per minute for mobile calls.
Credit can be purchased from the Google Voice pop-up in Gmail.
However, the rest of the world still misses out on those amazing-sounding features that made Google Voice sound so enticing when the service launched a year ago: free calls and a Google phone number.