Google has released to Hangouts, its messaging product that is popular for enabling video chats among friends and family for free and among enterprise users at a fee tied to their Google Apps support, an update that shows its vision for not just unified messaging but overall communication as well.
For the non-Android users, the new update brings the ability to call any hangouts user straight from the Hangouts application or the web for free in the United States and Canada (thanks to Google Voice) and at international rates for everyone else outside the two North American countries. The big deal here is that this may be the beginning of the end for Google Voice as we know it as its functionality is being baked right into Hangouts.
Fro Android users, the update includes a separate dialer app that you’ll need to download in order to call fellow Hangouts users anywhere in the world. The Android application also get s the Material Design makeover in anticipation of the official launch of the new version of Android which is currently under preview as Android L any time soon. The update is rolling out in phases so it may not immediately show up on the Play Store depending on your region but it is coming. iOS users and those who use Hangouts from the desktop already have access to the updated app.