Google Voice adds VoIP function to hangout

Recently, Google has brought in a new feature to its Hangouts app: VoIP calling capability.

While this by itself really isn’t that unusual, the overall rollout strategy may raise an eyebrow or two, particularly since Google brought the VoIP feature to iOS before bringing said feature to the Android edition.

While the addition of a new feature is commonly a welcome development, the addition of VoIP functionality to Hangouts is likely to prove even more welcome than normal. With the VoIP functionality comes new voice call support that allows for free calls to be made to both the United States and Canada by using a user’s Google Voice number. International calls—at least, to other nations than Canada—are available at standard rates using Google Voice credit.

However, it’s important to note that using the VoIP connectivity through Hangouts will use data minutes instead of voice minutes—the number typed in is sent to Google, who then calls the number and connects the parties involved—so it’s worth considering carefully if no Wi-Fi source is around.