Over the last couple of days great things have happened for users of Google Voice. First, a couple days ago Google slashed their prices on a lot of international destinations. The countries I used to call the most, Denmark and Norway got slashed from 15 cents per minute to 3 and 4 cents per minute, respectively. That’s for cell phones. Landlines was already 2 cents, but I mean, who uses landlines anymore? I haven’t checked, but I’m sure they slashed their prices to a lot of countries.
Second, Google Voice got integrated into Hangouts on Android. Now you can do VoIP calls through the Hangouts app (which means you can receive and make calls when on a WiFi but outside coverage. Or while abroad, as long as you have a data connection. Not only that, but you can also choose to receive and send text messages from your Google Voice number from Hangouts, so no more need for the severely outdated Voice app to send texts. That’s good news for owners of the new Moto 360 (and other Android Wear devices) as they can read and reply to texts right from their wrists. That was not supported with the Google Voice app.
To enable the new Google Voice powered VoIP dialer you need to download the new Hangouts Dialer app. You also need to update your Google Voice app, and open it once. The Hangouts 2.3 app is rolling out slowly, but you can download the APK from here, here or here if it hasn’t hit your device just yet.
The design of the app was also updated to more closely resemble the “material design” that will launch with Android L later this year. It doesn’t quite follow the material design principles yet, but it’s getting there. Oh, and it’s very green.