Free phone calls using Google Hangouts
Jesse Simms • October 24, 2019
Free Wi-Fi calling
Did you know that you can make free phone calls from Hangouts on Android and Hangouts on iOS to any number across North America?
Not familiar with Google Hangouts? It’s similar to Skype or iMessage with messaging, voice calls and video chat features, except that Wi-Fi calling through Hangouts costs absolutely nothing. Hangouts also supports animated GIFs… do we need to say any more?! Still though, how can it be free? Doesn’t Google Hangouts use data?
Well, since you likely already pay for Internet at home and often use your phone at work, a library or coffee shop, you probably don’t need to be paying more money or wasting precious data and minutes on something basic like making phone calls. Calls made over Wi-Fi will not count toward your voice minutes or use up personal data. When you use Hangouts, on a Wi-Fi connection, your calls to any number across the US and Canada will be completely free. This can help you lower your monthly bill if you’re with a pay-for-what-you-use provider like Ting.
It’s worth noting that you can lower your monthly bill even further by routing incoming calls (and texts) through Hangouts – just by making the switch from data to Wi-Fi. If you’re not connected to Wi-Fi, you’ll be using your mobile data plan, not your voice minutes. Keep in mind that if you are away from a Wi-Fi hotspot and need to make a call (while out on a drive, for example), you will need to switch your data back on.
Update your current Hangouts app and install the accompanying Hangouts Dialer. Installing the Hangouts Dialer adds a second calling section to the app. Calling a number from this screen will use your smartphone’s Internet connection (whether Wi-Fi or mobile data) to place the call. Detailed Android instructions (with GIFs)
Hangouts is available for all iOS devices running 6.0 and up. If you need to download Hangouts, you can pick it up from the App Store. Voice calls are instantly available inside Hangouts, with no secondary app required. Head to the “Calls” screen and you’re good to go! Detailed iOS instructions (with GIFs)
One last thing
If you already have the app, the Hangouts 4.0 update brings caller ID to your outbound calls, so your friends and family will see your Ting number when you call!
Have any questions? Let us know in the comments.
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