If you are a user of free voice calling, Google‘s got your back—the search giant said Wednesday that free Google Voice calls via Gmail will be extended through 2013.
The Gmail Voice and video chat, available for download from Google, will remain free in the U.S. and Canada through next year, the company said on its official blog, just like at the end of 2011 and 2010.
Google introduced voice calls from Gmail in August 2010 after introducing Gmail’s the voice and video chat feature back in 2008. When it first launched this calling feature, the company said that it would make it free for the first year, but since then it has always extended the offer.
Those in other countries enjoy “insanely low rates” that start at $0.02 a minute. Calls can be made from within Gmail’s chat interface, which is powered by technology that Google acquired along with Gizmo5 in 2009, while Google Voice users can accept incoming calls from Gmail.
At times, Google has appeared confused about what to do with Google Voice. The search giant pulled its Google Voice app for the iPhone from Apple‘s App Store in October 2011, butrestored it about a week later.
Here is the full (and very brief) announcement from Google:
“Many of you call phones from Gmail to easily connect with friends and family. If you’re in the US and Canada, you’ll continue to be able to make free domestic calls through 2013. Plus, in most countries, you can still call the rest of the world from Gmail at insanely low rates.”