Google has updated its free Hangouts iOS app with a major feature: free voice calling anywhere in the U.S. and Canada. The app now integrates Google Voice to make calls over cellular or WiFi.
If you have a Google Voice account, people can reach you directly with that number and incoming calls will show up in the Hangouts app. Outgoing calls will come from your Google Voice number. There is a fee to make international calls, and Voice credits can be purchased towards that.
The update also brings the ability to send and receive animated GIFs in-line. “Incoming messages will no longer stop your music,” notes Google. “Instead of interrupting your groove, Google+ Hangouts will now temporarily duck your music, then crank the volume back up.”
Apple’s FaceTime can make audio-only calls over a data connection, and Facebook updated its Messenger app with free voice calling at the beginning of the year.
Source: App Store.