Is there a Google app to make phone calls?

Google is the world’s most popular search engine and technology company. Founded in 1998, Google started with their namesake search engine and quickly expanded into other web-based services and applications. Today, Google offers a wide range of apps for productivity, collaboration, communication, organization and more. Some of Google’s most popular apps include Gmail, Google Maps, YouTube, Google Drive and Google Calendar.

In 2006, Google launched their suite of web-based apps for businesses and schools, now known as Google Workspace. This includes popular apps like Gmail, Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides and Meet. Over 5 million businesses now rely on Google Workspace apps for productivity and collaboration.

For consumers, Google offers many free apps that integrate with Android devices. Communication apps like Hangouts and Duo make it easy to chat or video call others. Google Voice provides phone service and voicemail through the app. Google also develops helpful organization apps like Keep for taking notes and Tasks for managing to-do lists.

Google Voice

Google Voice is a telephony service by Google that launched in 2009 that provides calling, voicemail, SMS, and integrated voicemail-to-text features. Users are given a single phone number that can route incoming calls to cell phones, landlines, and VoIP lines (1).

Some key features of Google Voice include (1):

  • A single Google phone number that rings multiple phones
  • Free SMS
  • Voicemail-to-text transcription
  • Call screening and blocking
  • Conference calling

Google Voice aims to centralize most telephony features and consolidate multiple phone numbers into one easy-to-use service. The service is free for domestic calls in the US and Canada (1).


Features of Google Voice

Google Voice provides several key features, including voicemail transcription. With Google Voice, voicemails are automatically transcribed and sent to you as text messages or emails so you can read them instead of listening to them. This makes it easy to glance at your voicemails quickly. The transcription can be very helpful if you are in a loud environment or prefer reading over listening. However, it’s important to note that the transcription is generated by an automated system, so it may not be completely accurate for every voicemail. Overall, voicemail transcription is a useful feature that sets Google Voice apart from traditional phone services.

According to How Google Voice Works – The Complete Guide, Google Voice transcribes voicemail messages automatically using speech recognition technology. Users can choose to have the transcripts delivered via text message, email or viewed on the Google Voice website or mobile app. This feature allows users to quickly determine if a voicemail needs immediate attention without having to dial in and listen to the message. It’s an innovative feature that can save time and increase productivity.

Making Calls with Google Voice

One of the key features of Google Voice is the ability to make phone calls for free from within the United States and Canada. With the Google Voice app, users can call any number in the US or Canada without being charged any fees, even on mobile devices. This is because Google Voice is a cloud-based phone service that utilizes Voice over IP (VoIP) technology to route calls over the internet rather than traditional phone networks.

According to Google’s support page, “With Google Voice, you get a free phone number for calling, text messaging, and voicemail. Place calls from your phone, tablet, or computer with the Google Voice app. All calls to the US and Canada are free from the US.” [1]

The free calling is possible because Google Voice is based in the US. As long as the outbound call originates from a US number and terminates at another US or Canadian number, Google does not charge any fees. This makes Google Voice a very cost-effective option for keeping in touch with people across the US and Canada.

Google Hangouts

Google Hangouts is a communication app developed by Google. It was first launched in May 2013 and enables audio and video calls, messaging, and group conversations.

Some of the key features of Google Hangouts include:

  • Free voice and video calls – You can make free calls to other Hangouts users. Video calls support up to 10 participants.
  • Instant messaging – Send texts, stickers, GIFs and photos to individuals or groups.
  • Group conversations – Create group chats with up to 150 participants.
  • Screen sharing – Share your screen during video calls for meetings and presentations.
  • Cross-platform – Available as a web app, Android/iOS app and Chrome extension.

Hangouts uses your Google account for authentication and integrates with other Google services like Gmail for easier collaboration.

Features of Hangouts

One of the key features of Google Hangouts is video calling, allowing multiple participants to join video calls from a web browser or mobile app. Hangouts support high-definition video calling with up to 25 people at once (Source). Video calls can be scheduled ahead of time or started immediately. Participants can join via invites or links shared by the host. Video quality automatically adjusts based on a user’s bandwidth to prevent freezing and glitches.

Some additional features of Hangouts video calls include screen sharing, which allows presenters to share their desktop or an open app during a call. There is also support for closed captioning, virtual backgrounds, and integrated YouTube streaming (Source). The mobile apps allow users to switch between front and rear cameras and apply filters or stickers during video chats.

Making Calls with Google Hangouts

One way to make phone calls with a Google app is using Google Hangouts. Hangouts allows users to make voice calls over wifi or their data connection, without using cellular minutes. To make a call, users simply open the Hangouts app and tap on the phone icon next to the contact they want to call (Source).

Some key features of making calls with Hangouts include:

  • Ability to call any phone number in the U.S. and Canada for free
  • International calling rates are inexpensive
  • synced across devices like iOS, Android, and web
  • Record calls and save transcripts

Overall, Hangouts provides a convenient way to make calls over the internet without needing a cellular signal. It can help reduce phone bills by allowing wifi calling and low international rates. Users praise Hangouts’ reliability and call quality (Source).

Google Duo

Google Duo is a video chat mobile app developed by Google, launched in 2016. The app is available for iOS and Android devices and is designed to provide a simple, high quality video calling experience.

According to TIME, Google Duo was first announced at Google’s developer conference in May 2016 and began rolling out to users in August 2016. The app was designed to be a fast and easy way to video chat with contacts across Android and iOS.

Some key features of Google Duo highlighted at launch included:

  • Mobile-only, optimized for smartphones
  • End-to-end encryption for video calls
  • Fast and reliable video quality
  • Minimal interface with Knock Knock video preview

Overall, Google designed Duo to provide a simple but high quality solution for video calling from mobile devices when it was introduced in 2016.

Comparing the Apps

Google Voice, Hangouts, and Duo each offer distinct features for communication. Here is an overview of what each app offers:

Google Voice focuses on phone calling and text messaging. With Google Voice, you can make and receive calls, send texts, listen to voicemail, and more, all through your Google Voice number. According to Tutorialspoint, the key features of Google Voice include call forwarding, voicemail transcription, and international calling.

Google Hangouts offers messaging, voice and video calls, as well as group conversations. With Hangouts, you can communicate one-to-one or with groups via text chat, audio calls, or video calls. As explained on Pocket-lint, Hangouts makes it easy to collaborate and connect with contacts across devices.

Google Duo focuses specifically on high-quality video calling. Duo provides secure and reliable 1-on-1 video calls that can work well even on low-bandwidth networks. According to GeeksforGeeks, Duo’s main advantage is the simplicity of its video calling interface.

In summary, Google Voice is optimized for phone calls and texts, Hangouts for messaging and group collaboration, and Duo for one-on-one video calls.


When it comes to the best Google app for making phone calls, Google Voice is likely the top choice for most users. With its ability to provide you with a free phone number, voicemail services, call screening, and advanced call routing features, Google Voice offers the most robust calling capabilities of any Google calling app.

Google Hangouts would be the next best option, though its calling features are now somewhat limited compared to Google Voice. Hangouts allows you to make voice and video calls, both one-on-one and with groups. The main benefit of Hangouts is integration with your Google account and Gmail.

Google Duo is an excellent app for video calling, but has very limited functionality for voice calls. Duo would only be recommended for voice calls if both you and the recipient have the Duo app installed, limiting its broader utility.

In summary, while Google offers several apps that allow you to make calls, Google Voice stands out as the top recommendation if you’re looking for a full-featured Google calling app that provides you with a free phone number and robust features like voicemail transcription, call routing, conference calling, and more.

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