The Hangouts app for PCs and smartphone allows users to send out instant messages, do video chats, and call phone numbers through an Internet connection. It has also allowed free calls to the U.S. and Canada. The new feature of the app gives users one free minute of talk time with no need for an Internet connection, enough to make a quick hello or say an important message that cannot wait at absolutely no charge.
Google wants people to try the Hangouts app for making phone calls. As an incentive, the company is offering the first minute of calls free of charge. The free call feature is currently available to 25 countries. Most calls that are made to numbers in the U.S. and Canada are free using the Hangouts app.
"The first 60 seconds is on us - what you say is up to you. The first minute of calls to phone numbers in twenty-five different countries is now free with Hangouts," says Google.
In order to get the free one minute call service, users need to remember doing some few simple steps. The first thing they have to do is to add a calling credit to their Google account. Calls can be made one at a time. If several calls are made at the same time using Hangouts, only one of these calls will get the free charge for the first minute of call made. Users have to remember that the free call for the first one minute feature is available in 25 countries and calls are subject to usage and abuse limits.
Apart from the U.S. and Canada where the feature is available, the other countries to make up the list of 25 countries where the new Hangouts feature is accessible include Australia, Belgium, Brazil, China, Dominican Republic, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Peru, Poland, Russia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the U.K.
Of course, receiving a call using the new Hangouts app feature is different from making the call. Since Google reiterates that users need to have credit in their Google account, this would mean that buying for an amount of credit is needed which is actually not available in some countries.
For users of Android devices, they need to download the Hangouts dialer on their device. The dialer turns on the calling feature in the Hangouts app.