Google IO 2016 Coverage

Google could be preparing to kill off Google Voice, merge into Hangouts


It has been a slow haul for Google, but rumors suggest they are getting close to finally merging all of their communication apps into a single platform. Over the past couple years Google merged their Messenger platform into Hangouts and then added support for SMS text messaging, killing off the Messaging app in the process. The final piece is Google’s Voice and sources believe the company is close to merging that into Hangouts. Read more

Free VOIP calls between Facebook users now made available around the world through its Messenger app


Early last month Facebook rolled out free VOIP calls for iOS and Android users via their Messaging app. Sadly, the feature was only available in Canada. While done quietly, Facebook has rolled out a new update to the app that expands the availability of this feature to the US and to the rest of the world.

To access this, make sure you have the app installed or have it updated. In a chat window, simply tap the “i” button and the option should be readily available for you. Links for download will be available after the break!

Read more

Canadian users get voice calling via Facebook Messenger for Android


Ever since Facebook added voice messages as part of their Messenger service, we knew that the next eventual step would be voice calling or VoIP. They already start VoIP through Messenger for iOS users in the U.S., but nothing was available for Android users until now. The latest Android update added it, but only for our friends up north in Canada. Canadian users can now make calls over WiFi or their mobile data connection to other Facebook friends in Canada or even those in the U.S. provided they are on iOS. They can also start and name group conversations.

At some point in the future we will probably only need a data plan from our mobile providers and Facebook is making it that much closer. Utilizing VoIP on our mobile phones makes sense, but it probably won’t take off until the major carriers stop forcing us to have calling plans.

source: ca.ibtimes


Pinger offers free voice calls and texting to Android users

So-called free text and voice alternatives have long dominated the Play Store, each with their own unique set of limitations and caveats. Pinger, however, is a new application, and while it’s mostly more of the same, it also manages to squeeze in a few additional features that direct competitors have been missing.

Similarly to Google Voice, Pinger will provide you with a personal phone number which can be given to friends and family. The same number can be used regardless if the person on the other end is using Pinger or not, meaning mobile to mobile, mobile to landline and vice-versa are all supported. You’ll also get a personal voicemail inbox, so contacts can leave voice messages in the event that you are unreachable. Incoming calls are free, though you’ll need to pony up some extra cash to buy minutes for outgoing calls (new users receive 20 minutes free). Currently the full service is limited solely to the United States and Canada, though free text messages can be sent in an additional 35 countries.

As with these types of applications, there are several limitations. For starters, Pinger SMS works only between two Pinger users, meaning you won’t be able to exchange photos or videos friends who aren’t using the service. Also, because Pinger is a VoIP application, you’ll need an established data connection to utilize any of the service’s functionality. And, with data fees becoming increasingly more expensive, the idea doesn’t seem too tempting. Catch the official PR after the break.

Read more

Use Your Nexus 7 To Make And Receive Voice Calls Through Google Voice

XDA member bongostl has posted a step-by-step guide for modifying your Nexus 7, or any tablet for that matter, to enable outgoing and incoming calls through Google Voice. This requires the editing of system files, so your tablet needs to be rooted. What this method does is make the tablet think it’s voice capable, which allows dialer app voice+ to connect through Google Voice and place a call.

Incoming calls will be handled by any SIP app, such as CSipSimple, which requires you to also set up a call number and routing using other online services such as callcentric and ipkall. Couple all that with Google Voice, an edited and recompiled framework-res.apk file, and the flashing of an, and you’ve got yourself a really large tablet-phone in 16 quick and easy steps.

Or you can download GrooVe IP from the Play Store and skip all the rest.

Ok, that was snarky. To be fair, bongostl’s method has the advantage that you can still receive calls in your Gmail on your computer, whereas with GrooVe IP, it’s one or the other. But seriously, to me this all seems like way too much of a hassle with too many potential points of failure to really be worth it for most people.

Bottom line: Hackers and tweakers only. Everyone else just get GrooVe IP.

source: xda

Rebtel VoIP App Brings Free And Cheap Calls To Both Android Smartphones And Tablets

As VoIP services grow, so does the number of apps that appear on Android devices. Rebtel is an example of this: it was first available on smartphones only, but thanks to its latest software update, the app has now expanded its availability to tablets as well. In case you’re not familiar with the app and it’s features, here’s a quick rundown of what it has to offer:

  • Optimized Tablet Experience – Inspired by Rebtel 2.0 for Android smartphones, the new Android tablet app features optimized high-resolution graphics and takes full advantage of the larger tablet screen real estate to give the user an immersive Rebtel experience.
  • Free Rebtel to Rebtel Calls – Rebtel 2.0 for Android tablets incorporates free calling between users running any one of Rebtel’s apps for iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Android smartphones, PC, or starting today, Android tablets. Calls are seamlessly connected using Wi-Fi or 3G (applicable to 3G-enabled Android tablets only).
  • Low-Cost Calls to Any Phone – Users of the Rebtel Android tablet app are not limited to our free Rebtel to Rebtel calls. Browse through your native tablet address book, select any contact with a number and get talking at rates up to 98 percent lower than an average carrier, and up to 60 percent lower than current Skype Out rates.
  • Native Address Book Integration – No more syncing issues that mess up your address book. Rebtel for Android tablets seamlessly integrates with the regular native Android address book, providing a clear view of which contacts are available to call for free, and which contacts can be reached at very affordable rates.
  • Low-Cost SMS – Prefer texting over talking? Send low-cost international text messages to friends in more than 196 countries with an average cost savings of up to 60 percent when compared to your regular carrier. If you want to ensure your friend can reply without being charged, tick the Collect Reply box and include a link in your message that lets your friend reply via a mobile web page while you pick up the tab.

Yes friends, you have yet another reason to throw away those outdated phone cards if you happen to make a ton of international calls or just want to make cheap calls. We know this strikes your interest and fancy, so make sure you hit the break to get both the Play Store and QR code links.

Read more