No doubt most Google users would be envious of our US counterparts who have enjoyed cheap call rates via Google Voice. Well today Australia gets its turn. Google have officially launched Google Voice for Australia, sadly there is one key exception. One of the best parts of Google Voice is the Google Voice Number.
A Google Voice number allows users to route all their calls through what’s effectively an alias number. This can be handed out to without fear of exposing your actual real number. This may launch at a later date in Australia.. fingers crossed.
So what do we get today? Basically its Google’s answer to Skype out. Google Voice Australia rates are low, charged at US$0.02 per minute to landlines or US$0.10 for calls to mobiles. There’s no initial flagfall charge when a call is connected like a tradition non-IP call.
While Skype pro never enticed me to lay down cash, for some reason Google Voice is enticing, so this afternoon I tried it out. Sure it worked, but call quality wasn’t fantastic in both directions and the mobile carriers can’t be blamed for shotty coverage, this was too a landline. Just be aware of this if your thinking of ditching your landline and going with Google Voice your VOIP solution.
You can access Google Voice through the Gmail interface, apparently there is a plugin to install, but it seems I already had it from Google+ hangout testing. It is annoying call costs and balances are still in US dollars.. baby steps. Buying credit is a fairly simple process, if you try and call without any, you’ll get a link to buy credit. $US10 is the minimum buy if your going to try it out.
Australia wasn’t the only country to get Google Plus today, calling from Gmail is now available to 150 destinations and 38 languages according to Google’s blog post.