Need to make an international phone call, but don’t want to deal with the mystery connection fees and huge minute-by-minute charges?
Google has just quietly launched a rather nifty new feature: free international calling to 25 different countries through Hangouts/Gmail/Google+.
The catch, if you want to call it that: only the first 60 seconds are free. After you burn through that first minute, it’ll go back to costing a few cents per minute.
One other weird bit: according to Google’s instructions on how to make this work, you’ll need to have some calling credit on your Google account (presumably for them to charge if you go over the 60-second limit.) On the (huge) upside, the account being pre-paid means no massive surprise charges.
60 seconds, or just enough time to say “Hey, man — you’re not online. Get on [insert your favorite free Voice Over IP service here] so we can talk for more than 60 seconds.”
The countries that can be called for a minute on the house:
- Dominican Republic
- South Korea
As before, calls to the US are free beyond the 60-second limit — a feature that I use pretty much every day, because the cell signal at my house is garbage and T-Mobile’s Wi-Fi calling doesn’t work with my Nexus 5 yet.