Sep 10 AT 11:41 AM Sean Riley 15 Comments

Google Hangouts now offers free voice calls and MMS


The inexorable death of Google Voice is almost complete with the announcement today that Google is bringing voice calls to the Hangouts app.

The functionality is rolling out today to Android, iOS and on the web. It’s a staggered rollout on Android, so if you don’t have the Hangouts 2.3 update available yet, it should show up in the next couple days (or if you are feeling impatient you can track down the .apk pretty easily). On Android you’ll need to download the Hangouts Dialer as well.

Calls to other Hangouts users regardless of their location are naturally free and calls to phone lines in the US and Canada are free as well. If you insist on calling internationally and not just having the person on the other side install Hangouts, those rates can be found here.

MMS support is also available to all for the first time, although it’s not exactly seamless yet, with the images coming through as URLs that you have to click to view. Hopefully they clean this implementation up in the coming months, but it’s good to see it finally arrive regardless.

If you have downloaded the update and given it a shot already, we’d love to hear your experiences.

Source: Google Blog

Sean has been with Android and Me for over 8 years and covering mobile for the last 9. He occasionally muses about gadgets and tech outside of the Android universe at Techgasms.

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  • BlazeHN

    Goodbye Viber and LINE on my phone.

    Until Whatsapp support this.

  • Tarman

    I have it and it works great. Incoming calls to my GV# ring in Hangouts. The separate dialer app integrates into the updated version of Hangouts so you make yours calls from Hangouts over data or wifi. Android Police has the Hangouts apk available & the dialer app is working now the Play Store

  • Nate B.

    It’ll all be good by October when the Nexus is released in new form and fashion.

  • Matt

    I wish they’d fix some of the basic features of Hangouts (like stability and resource management) before rolling everything else into it… My team just had to abandon Hangouts because it lacked so many basic features other clients supported (the 100 user cap, inability to remove members from group hangouts, sort order making managing multiple hangouts confusing, limited notification settings, etc etc…)

  • Dan Jones

    It also works on non-phone devices. Now I can make and receive calls from my NVIDIA Shield, without having to use SIP, and tell the Voice app to call me back on that number. Excellent!

    • Dan Jones

      It doesn’t fully remove the need for the Voice app, though. You can’t text from your Google Voice number from within the app, so if you need to send texts from your GV number, you’ll have to use the app (if you’re not replying to a text from someone else to your GV number).

      • Andrew

        Actually, I just updated to Hangouts 2.3 from Google Play, and they fixed this. I’ve sent a few test messages from Hangouts to friends and they’re receiving them from my GV number, not my actual cellphone number.

      • Ben Taratoot

        It’s a server-side change that you’re waiting for. When it happens you’ll see a popup in hangouts.

  • Adam

    Installed the dialer and when I attempted to open it, it said I needed to upgrade Hangouts to a newer version than installed. However, when I tried to upgrade Hangouts, it said I was at the latest version. Kafkaesque.

    Sprint M7 running Venom Rom. Perhaps that’s why?

    • Dan Jones

      I had the same thing. I downloaded the new Hangouts apk from androidpolice and it worked.

    • bub

      They just haven’t rolled the updated version out to you yet. Give it a while and it’ll become available.

    • Hector

      Download the hangouts 2.3 apk from here

  • Heatfan

    I get parcing error when i try to install the new hangout apk.

  • Brian

    Looks like MMS messages only work when they’re sent FROM Google Hangouts. So you can’t just have anybody send you an MMS from their phone and expect to receive it.

    • Ben Taratoot

      Same for me. Can anyone receive MMS messages?