Saturday, October 30, 2010

I love Gmail

I have been using Gmail for several years and they continue to improve it for email, video chats, regular chats and now for making phone calls directly from my laptop.
I can call anyone in the US for free even if they don't have an account or even a computer. The other day I looked up the local veternarian and copied their phone number into this little box, and ringy dingy, the receptionist answered and I made my appointment for Chumley.

I can send text messages to my sister (at work) instead of calling her, and it goes to her phone, where she can text me back or call me when she has time. Mostly I just leave her a message to get the thing I wanna say out of my brain.
Honestly I don't yet know how to send a text message with my cell phone. Eeek.

 Of course the most fun thing is video chatting which is already so old hat, as that is how Brooke and I kept in touch when she still lived in Singapore. All you need is a built in camera on your computer, and of course so does your friend. I don't know how this works if  your friend doesn't have Gmail. Skype is the other alternative, but I have found that it isn't as clear a signal as Gmail.
Gmail is free and it doesn't mean you can't keep your other regular email address, and just have Gmail for the cool stuff it offers. For some crazy reason Gmail is available only by invitation and I have invited several people already. I have 88 invitations left. Want one?
UPDATE: is where you can get the download for chatting and video chat. for the phone feature


  1. I am going to have to play with my gmail more. I skyped with my grandsons the other day and it was so much fun. They were parading their halloween costumes for me. It is perfect. If you say the gmail video chat is more clear, I will have to use it. Maybe we can chat this weekend sometime. I would love to meet Chumley!

  2. Beth in TN8:49 AM

    Mel, I use gmail too, but I don't seem to have the widget you are showing that says "Send SMS." Do you have to install the phone thingie to get that? Thanks for pointing out all the options.

  3. Anonymous8:53 AM

    Melody, I would love an invitation. I have a Google account, but not gmail. My address is rbuckley at Thanks! Regina

    P.S. Chumley is so cute. Looks like he has found just the right home.

  4. Hi. I'm in love with Chumley too! Do you have to have something special with your Gmail account to enjoy the features you've mentioned?

  5. I think you have to download the google chat and the other software... doing it now.

  6. Sure, I would like a gmail account. My e-mail address is

    Chumley is a darling.

  7. Charlotte9:02 AM

    I would love an invitation. My address is: -- thank you!

  8. I would love to have an invitation to gmail's free telephone service. I've used gmail's email for a couple of years, but this is the first I've heard about the free telephone. You are such a wealth of information!!!

  9. I would love an invite! I've been meaning to set up a Gmail address for months and didn't realize that they still required it to be done through an invite.
    Molly's been calling regularly from Japan and you're right. Although we still use Skpye occasionally, the Gmail connection is much clearer.
    Thanks, Melody!

  10. Anonymous10:39 AM

    I recently signed up for a gmail account...and it did not require an invitation...

  11. Hi Melody,
    Gmail phone is great, and I've been using it for a while now. The USA phone calls are only FREE through the end of 2010 and then they might start charging a small fee for phone calls in the future, so don't expect it to stay free forever. But make sure that you LISTEN to your messages rather than just READ them as the text can be weird or even hilarious since so much is lost in translation! You don't need an invitation to open a gmail account either, you can go here:

  12. I love Gmail and the video chat. This is the only way I get to see my granddaughter who lives on the other side of the country!

  13. Looks great! I'd love an invite, please!

  14. Sure do!

  15. It is true... you don't require an invite anymore. You may have to hunt the chat and voice down a little if you join on your own though.

  16. I am going to have to check out that gmail phone thing - that's fantastic. I'm not techno-oriented, so I never would have noticed the "call phone" or known what to do with it...thanks!

  17. I adore gmail as well, and noticed the phone option though I haven't tried it yet (been using Skype).

    I have about 50 (useless) invitations left. We should start a collection of useless invitations! :)


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