Google Voice & Hangouts Integration is Finally Here With Free VoIP Calls!

I'm so excited that Google has finally announced that the Google Voice & Hangouts Integration is finally rolling out for Android as well as iOS and the web.

I have been waiting for this for quite some time!  Many people have.  For the past few years, Google Voice has been aging without any significant updates at all.  When Google Hangouts was released, Google announced its plans to merge the Google Voice team into the Google Hangouts team to make them one in the same.

I’m so excited to share that Google has finally announced that the Google Voice & Hangouts Integration is finally rolling out for Android as well as iOS and the web.

According to Google,

Starting today you can make voice calls from Hangouts on Android, iOS and the web. It’s free to call other Hangouts users, it’s free to call numbers in the U.S. and Canada, and the international rates are really low. So keeping in touch is easier and more affordable than ever.

To get started on Android, just grab the new version of Hangouts (v2.3, rolling out over the next few days), then install the accompanying dialer to turn on voice calls. On iOS and the web, voice calls will be available the next time you open the app.

So, there are a few reasons why this is so exciting to me and why I’ve been waiting anxiously all this time for them to release it.

Old & Neglected Google Voice App

As a Google Voice user, it has not been the most pleasant experience using the old Google Voice app this whole time.  It has been having so many glitches like delayed texts, not refreshing until I open the app, etc.  It is just an old, neglected app that badly needed a refresh.

More Carrier Cell Phone Plan Options

This offers a lot more options to Google Voice users like me regarding their cell phone plan, minutes, etc.  For a while, I had my wife on a cheap $30/month plan with T-Mobile that offered unlimited data (throttling after 5GB) and only 100 minutes of talk.  We got by without using the minutes by using apps like GrooveIP that enabled VoIP through your Google Voice number.  Well, that solution proved to be incredibly buggy and unreliable.  Finally, Hangouts is not going to be offering this free VoIP calls so hopefully it will be a much more reliable experience.

Unified Messaging

Texting through the Google Voice app while also carrying on text conversations in the Hangouts app has been getting old.  I’ve been waiting on this integration so that I can just have one place for all my texts and chats.

Anyway, it’s finally here, and I’m so excited about it.  Look for the updated Google Hangouts app in the Google Play Store over the next couple days and make sure to download the Hangouts Dialer app.

UPDATE: If the new Hangouts 2.3 hasn’t rolled out to you and you can’t wait, you can download the APK here.

UPDATE #2: Check out How I Ditched My Office Phone for Google Hangouts

UPDATE #3: Google Voice Finally Gets MMS Support! (Except w/ Verizon)

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