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Many of you call phones from Gmail to easily connect with friends and family. If you're in the US and Canada, you'll continue to be able to make free domestic calls through 2013. Plus, in most countries, you can still call the rest of the world from Gmail at insanely low rates.

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With the big day right around the corner, activity in the North Pole is hitting a fever pitch. Yet, Santa will always make time to send a personalized holiday phone calls from Santa to your friends and family via his personal Google Voice line (aka Send a Call from Santa).

To send a message, find the Call Center in Santa’s Village. You will be prompted to answer a few fun questions, then Google Voice will do the rest! The system will create a tailored phone call from Santa himself, and send it to whomever you wish.
To get an idea of what to expect, listen to a sample message.

And don’t forget: If you want to keep up with Santa as he travels around the globe delivering presents on Christmas Eve, you can track his journey on Google Maps’s Santa Tracker.

Happy holidays from all of us at Google!

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‘Tis the season for tree trimming, gift giving, recipe sharing and catching up with loved ones over a cup of eggnog. For families that are spread out over cities or even countries, it can be a challenge to get everyone together during the holidays. This year, we’ve teamed up with the creators of Wallace and Gromit to add a little extra holiday magic to Google+ Hangouts with a custom invitation builder and a Holiday Effects app.

Click this link to schedule your holiday family hangout and we’ll send all your invitations out with a custom Wallace and Gromit video. Since hangouts let up to 10 people video chat at once, right from Google+ or Gmail, you can invite the whole family to join---and maybe a few friends too!



Don’t forget to put on a Santa hat, reindeer antlers or even wear Gromit’s ears by adding the Holiday Effects app to your family hangout.


Happy holidays from the Google+ and Gmail teams!

(Cross-posted on the Official Google Blog)

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Six months ago, our team set out to completely rebuild the Gmail app for iPhone and iPad to give you you a faster, sleeker, and easier experience on iOS. The result? Version 2.0. With version 2.0 of the app, you'll get a totally new look and feel, plus a bunch of improvements like profile pictures in messages, numerous new animations from swivels to transitions and infinite scrolling in the message lists.
The app also adds many new time-saving features. For example, when you search, autocomplete predictions will appear as you type, shaving off precious seconds (and typos). Plus, you can RSVP to Google Calendar invites as well as +1 and comment on Google+ posts directly from the app.
Last, but certainly not least, we've added a feature many of you have been waiting for: multiple account support. You can now login to up to five Google Accounts from the menu and switch between them with a couple taps.
You can download the app right now from the App Store. We're excited to hear what you think!