Google has added voice calling functionality within the Hangouts chat module in Gmail. This function was previously removed from Google Chat within Gmail. The full rollout will take place within the next couple of days.
“For those of you who have taken the plunge and are using desktop Hangouts in Gmail, Google+, and the Chrome extension, we’ve heard loud and clear that you miss the ability to make calls from Gmail, so today, we’re happy to announce it’s back – and better than before! Even better: calls to the US and Canada are now free from all countries where Hangouts calling is available. And international rates remain super, super low,” stated Google Senior Software Engineer Alex Wiesen in a blog post.
If you want to make a call from Hangouts, find the new phone icon in Gmail or the “Call a phone” menu item within Google+ and the Chrome extension. You can add multiple phone numbers and video participants to the same call and play sound effects like Applause and Laughter using the Google Effects app too.