UPDATE - Gmail Chat phone calls, accidentally rolled out to non-US users

Yesterday we reported on the incoming Gmail Chat feature being rolled out to Gmail customers in the US, that allowed them to call any phone, domestic for free, and internationally at cheap rates. This morning, I woke up to find the feature enabled on my non-US Gmail account. Since I don’t have anyone in the US to call at 8am, I didn’t try it out straight away. By the time I returned to it at lunchtime, it had disappeared. I was disappointed, so contacted Google for more info…

What happened? Google got over excited, and leaked the phone calling from Gmail Chat feature to non-US users, and unfortunately, rolled the Gmail Chat feature back within a couple of hours.


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A spokesperson for Google said: “In our excitement to share voice calling, we got a little ahead of ourselves and, unintentionally, made it available for a brief time in some languages we don’t support yet. We’ve rolled back the feature, and apologize for any inconvenience. We launched it yesterday to US users and look forward to bringing localised versions to more people in the future.”

So disappointingly, the Google Gmail Chat phone call feature hasn’t been made available outside the US, as it appeared today, and as we said in our earlier update, although it did get shunted out to some of us temporarily by accident.

UPDATE: reports have been coming in from people outside the US, who just have their language set to English (US), saying the feature is still there. The comment from Google specifies languages, not territories. So it rolled out to English (UK) this morning by accident, and now it’s gone, unless you reset your language to English (US), which brings back the dialog box. Google confirmed this is the case, and said: “If users have set their account to US-English, they might be able to access the feature in some other countries as well.” I tried calling the Google press office in the US, and while it rang out, I still got a full dialling tone. Looks like free calls to the US are just a click away, so long as you don’t mind sacrificing your Gmail spellcheck…

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