UPDATE: A Google spokesperson confirmed to Trusted Reviews UK residents will also be able to call other Hangouts users free of charge, call US and Canada for free and take advantage of cheap international calling from the Hangouts app.
Original story continues below...
Google has announced that users of its Hangouts communications platform will be able to make voice calls directly from the mobile app.
A new version of Hangouts (coming in the next few days) builds-in more of the Google Voice functionality as has long been expected. Users will be able to see voicemail transcripts and reply to their SMS messages from within the app.
Hangouts users can call each other for free (just as they can with video conferencing), while for North American users it’s free to call numbers in the US and Canada and international rates are also pretty cheap.
Voice calls through Google credit had already been integrated into the iOS app, but the free Hangouts-to-Hangouts voice calling and the presence of text and voicemail transcriptions are new additions.
The expansion brings Hangouts closer to that one-stop communications tool Google promised upon the roll out a couple of years ago.
We’ve reached out to Google to see if the functionality is coming to hangouts users in the UK (Voice has never been accessible to Brits) and will update this article if a response is forthcoming.
Elsewhere, there’s more good news out of Google today after the firm confirmed the refund window on apps purchased from the Google Play store has been increased, as Android Police notes.
Users can now return apps for two hours after they’d made the purchase. That’s up from 15 minutes previously.
That means Android device owners will have a couple of hours to play games or experience paid-apps, decide whether they're worth expenditure and then send them back to Google. Not a bad deal, really.
Read more: Nexus 5 with Android L allegedly leaks