September 10, 2014 Last Updated 2:23 pm

Google adds free voice calls from Hangouts

The search giant Google has announced that it has added free voice calling to its Hangouts messaging app. The app, available for both iOS and Android, has been updated.

“Starting today you can make voice calls from Hangouts on Android, iOS and the web,” the Google Official blog announced. “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.”

The feature is obviously intended to lure more users to the messaging app and to get users to encourage others to begin using the app, as well.

Apple’s new iOS 8 has added new features to its own Messages app such as the ability to record audio or video right through the app and have them sent to Messages users (something Hangouts users are already able to do). Apple is also adding iPhone calling though Macs and the ability to make calls on WiFi when there is no apparent cellular signal – though that function is currently limited to just those using the T-Mobile (US) or EE (UK) services.

Google’s Hangouts play might seem to be only important for Android users, but a look inside the Apple App Store shows well over 10,000 user reviews – anecdotal proof that the app is popular even with those using iOS devices.

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