Google Hangouts has recently integrated with Google Voice, and version 2.3 has brought Free VoIP Calls as well. The integration unites voice calling, SMS and MMS support to many more users than Google Voice could have reached on its own. While these updates are fantastic, Google Hangouts has upped the ante and is now offering free calls from India to friends and family in Canada and the United States (US). In an announcement, Google India in a Google+ post stated, "Starting today, the Hangouts app on your phone will help you stay connected with your family and friends around the world in more ways than ever. Now you can make voice calls to phone numbers outside of India on Android, iOS, and the Web from Hangouts in Gmail."
In addition, buying extra credit on accounts will allow users in India to make calls around the world at competitive rates. Despite the offer that the first minute of each call is free, Google warns that talking for just one minute won't be tolerated and users who abuse the free minute will be cut off.
The first minute will be free for users in India to 24 different countries including Australia, China, Japan, the United Kingdom and the US. Google added "You can make and receive calls as well as get your text messages and voicemails for your Google Voice number through Hangouts. To use Google Voice with your Hangouts account, you need to have a U.S. Google Voice account and number."
Lucky for users in India, calls from Hangouts to other Hangouts users are free all over the world. However, free calls will can not be made to users in India. Friends and family in North America will have to pay a few cents to call users in India. In order to make the call, users will need to either install the Hangouts app in Gmail on their computers, or install the Hangouts Dialer from the Google Play Store on their Android device. We're looking forward to seeing what Google brings us next! In the meantime, start dialling!