Google recently updated their Hangouts app on iOS to include the ability to make phone calls within the U.S. and Canada for free. However, the most interesting new feature is you can now make and receive calls in Hangouts if you have a Google Voice number. This should provide much-needed relief for anyone who’s had to use the abysmal “Google Voice” app to manage their Google-given number.
The update to Hangouts also offers a peek into Google’s long-term strategy for iOS:
- Continue to offer and create better web services than Apple.
- Make those services available in well-designed iOS apps.
It’s not a strategy of direct attack, rather one that allows Google to continue feeding their services to iOS, hoping to lower the barrier of entry to Android later down the road.
—Saturday, 19 October 2013