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Google Hangouts Gets Google Voice Calling Balance Readout

October 22, 2014 - Written By Phil Bourget

Google has been having a busy week since the release of Android Lollipop’s developer previews last Friday morning.  The interesting part, for today specifically, is that there are no real large-scale or numerous updates to its various apps and services. We’ve seen Google Earth get an update, as well as Play Music yesterday.  But this update Wednesday heralded the beginning of Google’s latest service: Inbox.  Inbox is a new mail client, but it isn’t the subject of the rejoice. The reason for celebration is Google has remembered that Hangouts and Voice are merged, and that you can use Google Voice credit to make normal VoIP (voice over Internet protocol) calls.  They remembered to let us know our balance of credits, as well as connect us to the Internet to buy more, should we need or want them.

The Lollipop affairs have overshadowed the small, daily interactions and updates, so we’re here to highlight this Hangouts update for your benefit, folks.  First, is there anything visually different?  As expected, not really much has changed visually, especially since Hangouts got its first taste of Material Design a while back.  Good news is that the design stayed the same, though, with no detraction. Bug fixes?  Yeah, there are probably some bugs that might have existed being resolved, but no big issues seem to be fixed, since there are no real bugs that exist constantly throughout Hangouts and its Dialer partner app.  And no, the Hangouts Dialer didn’t get an update as well; just Hangouts today (so far, anyway).

The addition of Google Voice credit viewing is the biggest deal, and it is especially a big deal if you use Google Voice as more than a second number to text friends while in class on a laptop.  It allows you now to just glance, when on the far-right page, the dialer, up to the right corner, and you’ll see your current balance.  Want to add more, or just see how much adding more would cost?  Just tap the little plus sign, and you’ll be whisked to your default Internet browser.  You can then see the various options for upping the balance on your account.  Do you use Hangouts’ Voice integration, or is just a thing that you ignore?  If you use Google Voice calling a lot or regularly, does this change the experience at all?  Let us know down below.