Uber is under investigation for spying on Lyft drivers, but they’re also mandating all drivers go electric by 2020. AMD is gaining on Intel FAR faster than analysts thought, and as a father of a toddler, I’m VERY interested in kids clothes that unfold like origami. My favorite tech stories for the first week of September 2017!
A nice little touch for the holidays, Google is cutting Hangouts users a break on international calling for the rest of 2014.
If you have voice calling activated through the Hangouts dialer, the first minute of your call will be free to twenty five participating countries.
Don’t worry, you wont have to memorize which countries are free, as a little pop up will notify you of your first free minute. You can say a lot in a minute, but really, anything that can the edge off of the costs of international phone calls is always going to be appreciated.
Having lived in limbo for a while now, Google is finally updating Google Voice by making it a part of the Hangouts service. Google Voice allows users to send phone calls to multiple phone numbers, and manage text messages and voice mail from a web browser or app.
An update to Hangouts, rolling out over the next couple days will now absorb those Google Voice features, allowing you to make calls and send texts through your Google Voice number, and you’ll be able to make free voice and video calls through the app.
Progress has been painfully slow, but eventually Google Voice and Hangouts will merge into one super app of calling and communication. Recently we’ve been looking for changes to the Hangouts app, but Google has just announced an update to Voice that shows they are walking these two services together.
When I’m travelling I like to call my family from the Google Voice website on my laptop, but without a phone handy, it’s a little hard to use. To make things easier, we’ve just added Hangouts as an option when making calls from the web. It works even if you aren’t using Hangouts in Gmail, and doesn’t require a Google+ account. Try it the next time you place a call from the Google Voice website — I think it’s a much easier way to keep in touch with people.
You can check out the update now logging into Google Voice on a desktop browser. Hopefully this means we’ll eventually see updates to the mobile apps for these services soon.
Google is doing something interesting with their services of late. Instead of continuing to try and tie everything together, apps are being sliced back out to stand as their own services. Recently we saw Google splice out Docs and Drive again. Photos stands as it’s own app, and now we see an interesting tweak to the most recent update to Hangouts.
When you used to tap on a profile pic in Hangouts, it would take you to a Google+ profile. Now, if you have that person in your contacts, it shows you a contact card. If you don’t have that person in your contacts, you wont see anything.
Following Google’s recent turn of not forcing people into combining Youtube and Google+ profiles, it would seem they are changing direction on what they expect of G+. What that will finally be remains to be seen, and we’re still waiting to see if Hangouts will eventually adopt Google Voice to become Google’s primary communication app.
Have you used the new Hangouts update? Has this contact change affected your use?
Google has thrown a lot of muscle into improving the Hangouts experiences. It’s a one stop shop for group IM, video calling, and it can replace your phone’s stock app for text messaging.
Alongside some bug fixes and performance improvements, Hangouts 2.1 also brings a merged conversation interface for SMS and Hangout IM. This makes it easier to move conversations back and forth between SMS and IM-ing as it’s now all under the same view.
There’s also a new widget to throw on your homescreen to help you keep up to date on all your communication endeavors.
The cold war between these two tech giants is heating up fast.
Google is taking an extremely aggressive stance towards Windows Phone. None of Google’s services are currently officially available for Microsoft’s mobile operating system, and Google has been very vocal about not developing for the platform. Recently Google forced Microsoft to remove a nice and functional Youtube app from their Phone Store and replace it with a lame browser based version. Now Google has set their sights on 3rd party Google Voice apps.