It’s finally here! Announced today in Google’s official blog, a feature Google has long said it has been working toward releasing, Hangout users will now have the ability to make free voice calls from their Android and iOS devices as well as the web.
A feature Hangout users have waited for since its inception in May of 2013, free voice calling is available starting today (though it is one of those “rolling out” things, it might take several hours for it to be available to everyone). It is completely free to call other people via Hangouts or to call any number in the US and Canada. You can make calls internationally with applicable rates, though they are very reasonable in comparison to other internet telephone providers.
Other features rolled out with today’s announcement including a newly revamped design with a brighter, cleaner look and multiple tabs to manage your conversations, calls, and contacts. Adding Google Voice features directly to Hangouts as well means users will be able to use their Google Voice number and transcriptions from voice mail will go directly into Hangouts chat. Texts to your Google Voice number will also go to Hangouts chat and outgoing texts have a “smart reply” feature that will automatically reply to texts from the number it received the text from (either your actual phone number or your Google Voice number).
Android users need to install the accompanying dialer with Hangouts to utilize the free voice calls, otherwise iOS and web users will be able to make free voice calls on the next start up of the app. An exciting and very valuable feature (especially for folks with unlimited data plans), Hangouts is proving to be the bee’s knees of video, text, and now voice messaging.
If you’re one of those who can’t wait for Google to roll out the updated Hangouts app, you can get the signed APK and sideload over at Gapps Early.Source: Google