Google has today updated its Hangouts messaging app with the ability to make voice calls, Google Voice integration, inline GIFs and more.
What's New in Version 1.3.0
- See which of your friends is using Hangouts, and who can be reached right now
- Call phone numbers from your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch (free to the US and Canada)
- Make and receive calls using your Google Voice number
- Send and receive animated GIFs that play inline
- Hangouts will temporarily turn down your music (instead of stopping it) when you receive an incoming message
While the app allows users to make voice calls, Google Voice users also get the ability to receive calls via their Google Voice number and can use Voice calling credits to make international calls, notes Google+ Hangouts product manager Kate Cushing in a Google+ post.
The new feature comes after both Facebook and Apple have made efforts to direct people away from using traditional cell phone calling using carriers' radio towers and instead use VoIP services like Facebook Messenger voice calling and FaceTime audio.