Google Hangouts has gained quite a bit of functionality since its launch. After starting out as a Google Talk replacement, the Android app gained support for SMS and merged SMS conversations, and now the app is gaining Google Voice-like calling support as well.
The Android, iOS and web versions of Hangouts are gaining support for voice calls today. Users can make free calls to other Hangouts users and phone numbers in the US and Canada, and international calls are available at rates like 5 cents per minute to Mexico, 3 cents per minute to France and 1 cent per minute to India.
To get the voice call ball rolling, you’ll need to update to version 2.3 of the Android app and then install the new Hangouts Dialer app. iOS and web users should see the feature available next time that they open the Hangouts app.
It’s worth noting that with this rollout, Google Voice users can now get their text messages and voicemails in Hangouts. Once you Android folk update to version 2.3 of Hangouts, you’ll get the option of turning on text messages and voicemails in Hangouts. Messages sent and received using Google Voice in Hangouts will say “via Google Voice.”
Lots of folks have been waiting for Google to do something meaningful with Google Voice for a while now, and today it looks like El Goog has finally done that, which is exciting for anyone that’s still attaching to GV. And for everyone else, hey, you’ve now got another way to make free phone calls.
How many of you have used Google Voice in the past?