Google is reported to be working on a service which will allow free phone-calls from within Gmail in the US, with free calls within the US and Canada and very low-cost international calls rumoured to be part of the plan.

Google has not commented on the rumours to date.

CNET broke the news, with some pretty convincing screenshots from the purported Gmail phone service to back the story up.

A new VoIP service?

It is unclear whether the new feature would be an extension of Google Voice or an entirely new offering.

The user interface in Google's new service is said to be similar to Google Voice, but Google Voice is not a VoIP service.

Also, users of the new Gmail phone service will not be required to have a Google Voice account.

The phone-calling service is claimed to be launched from within a Google Chat window, near the lower left-hand side of the Gmail page.

The Google Operating System blog, was first to hint that such a service was on the way to Gmail earlier in June this year.

"Google is always testing new features and products, but we have nothing specific to announce right now," a Google representative said.

Via CNET