Google Hangouts, Google s instant messaging client and the replacement for Google Talk has received a major update, adding the voice calling feature (using VoIP technology), Google Voice integration, and finally adapting the Material Design, sort of. Also Read - Google now lets you set interesting avatars as your profile photoAlso Read - YouTube, Gmail, Google Maps stops working on these phones from today: Check if your phone is in the list
The Google Voice integration brings the ability to get a free phone number from Google, set up voicemail, and make phone calls using that number. The feature is, for now limited to United States, and Canada. Also Read - Google warns Chrome users of a huge security threat: Check if you are affected, how to stay safe
Google is also pushing voice calling feature for users in India, among other nations. This allows you to place a call to other Hangouts users over the Web, for free. In our brief testing, we weren’t very impressed with the call quality, though.
Earlier this year, Facebook too started allowing users to make free voice calls between Messenger users. Viber, another popular instant messaging service also added voice calling feature in its latest update. WhatsApp too is expected to rollout this feature later this year.
The Hangout’s iOS app will also add this feature shortly. If you’ve an Android device, you can download the updated version of Hangouts from the Google Play Store.