How to use Hangouts Dialer
Google Hangouts Dialer is a free add-on for Android which is installed on the smartphone or tablet together with the default Hangouts mobile app. Unlike the version for iPhone/iPad, which includes all the options of this popular service in one build, Android version consists of two parts:
- The free default client for mobile devices with the options of exchanging instant messages and free audio and video calls between the internal accounts (users only need to have a Gmail account to get full access to this service).
- Hangouts Dialer, the free add-on which must be installed together with that default client to enhance its functionality. When is it done, Hangouts will get the additional option of calling to usual numbers (landline and mobile).
VoIP service becomes more popular with each day, as it makes the international audio connection much easier and cheaper than it was with the phone providers only. The option of calling from the software to phone is present in such instant messengers as Skype and Viber, and it is available in Hangouts as well. Besides, phone communication provided by this Google's product is the most cost saving, as the service offers lower rates in comparison with other products. Calls to Canada and the USA are free of charge.
You can get the necessary calling feature in the web version of the product and in mobile apps: this way you can turn even the tablet without the SIM card into the full-functional telephone.
Thus, if you want to have a possibility of contacting usual phone number from the Hangouts app installed on the Android device, you will need the following things:
- The Google Voice account.
- The mobile app for Android — it is free of charge.
- The free Dialer which much be installed on the phone or tablet additionally.
How to use Hangouts Dialer for phone calls from the application
Configuring the Google Voice settings
Before you start to make calls from the application with the Dialer, you need to create and configure your account with Google Voice. This service is needed to obtain a separate number which should be used for the Hangouts phone call. It will identify you: people whom you address will see that number when they receive an incoming call from you. Also, people will be able to call it back. Besides, in this account you also configure all settings for making calls, getting voicemails and text messages. The service is absolutely free of charge.
The “Voice” service is available for each Google user, so, if you have an account, just log in at the official page. If you don't have a Google account, register the Gmail address, and it will be used as your identifier for every Google product.
Get a special phone number for your calls. Click the cogwheel icon in the interface, then “Choose”:
It will offer you to select a free number, just pick one from the list.
Then you will need to verify the phone number which is already in use. This way you will make that number default for receiving incoming calls which are addressed to your Google Voice.
This application is optimized to work properly even on low-powered devices, however, you will need a good Internet connection to use the service.
Required bandwidth for voice communication is:
300 kbps — minimum (bad connection)
2.6 mbps — preferred.
Data usage per minute for the Hangouts Dialer phone calls:
4.5 Mb per minute minimum (with a very bad connection), more data with better quality.
Thus, check the Internet connection before calling. The best option would be having the stable high speed Wi-Fi connection. If you are going to use your own mobile Internet resources, you'll need 3G minimum, 4G will be better.
Using Hangouts Dialer for calling phone numbers
Follow the steps below:
Download the Hangouts main app for Android OS and install it on your smartphone or tablet. The Dialer add-on can't work separately: it is not an independent application. Even if you need Hangouts for phone calls only, it is impossible to use only the Dialer itself.
Open the main Hangouts application and get recognized: the app is the Google's product, and it will be automatically tied to the Google account you used for that Android device.
Note that the interface of the default Hangouts app does not show any calling options. That's why you need now to get the new add-on to update the main application — the Dialer.
The Hangouts Dialer installer is very small, only about 55 kb. Download the Dialer and install it on your phone, then tap its shortcut — you need to open it this way at least once so that the add-on could get connected to your account.
It will open the main Hangouts app, and you will see its changed interface right away – a new tab will appear, the new functionality for making calls from the application will be added.
You can use both the main and the Dialer shortcuts to launch the application, they both will activate the same piece of software.
It has been already mentioned that phone calls to North America (USA and Canada) are not charged for. However, small fees can be taken for calls to some of regions of these countries. Besides, users may need to contact other countries. Thus, you should recharge the account and put some credits on your balance for a paid phone call made by the Dialer application.
Google Voice uses the “credits” payment model, not the subscription. There should be some funds on your account. The money will remain on it to be used for the phone calls only, according to the calling rates per minute for the definite country.
On the caller's tab, navigate to the “+” icon:
Select the amount to put on your balance and complete the payment.
You will be notified about the price of each paid call before it will start. If you need to track your expenses, just refer to the billing section in the Google Voice account.
To make a new phone call, go to the caller section in the Hangouts Android app and tap the dialer icon.
Enter the number of your contact, and the service will define the price of that call per minute.
You can set the application to record your conversation if needed.
Your counterpart will see the Google Voice number defined for your call.
Refer to the setting menu of the application and pay attention to the incoming calls alerts settings — you might want to configure different notifications for the Dialer:
After the call is ended, the information will be saved in the history section of the Dialer app. You can refer to it any time if you need to check something or delete the data from your side.
Hangouts Dialer app can't make calls to the emergency numbers, for them you will have to use the standard calling means of your telephone.
As you see, Hangouts Dialer phone calls are the best solution for international phone calls to the North America, as this service is not just cheaper – it is free for calls to these regions. As for the other regions, you can benefit from the lower rates for calling there. There are also countries where Hangouts service is not available, but for the rest of the world you can use this powerful Google's tool and just launch the Dialer app to make or receive calls.