In response to the attacks on the Istanbul Ataturk Airport on Tuesday night, Google is offering free voice calls to Turkey via Google Hangouts, Hangouts Dialer, and Google Voice. They are providing this as a courtesy to help those in need stay in touch with friends and family affected by this tragedy. Google is among many companies offering aid to their customers in the aftermath of these attacks. Major U.S. wireless carriers, including Verizon, T-Mobile, AT&T, and Sprint are also offering both calling and texts to Turkey at no charge.
Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint are offering this service for two days, while T-Mobile will keep it available until July 5. This is not an uncommon response from large corporations. In the past, they have taken similar approaches to these kinds of situations. Still, it’s always a huge relief to see companies step forward to assist in times of crisis. In addition to free calling, Google is also issuing cards within the Google app with relevant links to and emergency resources. The same information will be readily available from Google searches as well. The cards will be available through the Google app for Android and iOS, and the related search results will be available from any browser through Google’s main web page when conducting a search.
In order to take advantage of the free calling from Google, you will need to have the Google Hangouts app installed on your device, available from the Google Play Store for Android or the App Store for iOS, or alternately you may use Hangouts on the web, available through Gmail. To use the emergency cards, you’ll need the Google App, also available on the Google Play Store for Android or the App Store for iOS, or you can use Google in your browser and relevant results will be presented. The response from Hangouts users on Google’s Twitter page has been positive. It is clear that they feel comforted by the fact that in an emergency situation, companies are willing to step forward and extend their services at their own expenses in efforts to help those in need.