Google Hangouts for iOS updated with free voice calls in the US

It's been since late-May when Google unveiled its major Hangouts revamp, and now the company is out with a sizable update for iOS users. Available from the App Store, the updated Hangouts app should give carriers a run for their money - especially for those whose customers have limited calling plans.

Now within the app, US and Canada users can call phone numbers directly from the Google Hangouts app - for free. You can dial internationally too, if you want to pay the fee. Users with a Google Voice account can both make and receive calls, using the number provided with Google Voice. Incoming calls can be received too, popping up as a handy notification within iOS.

For the texters in the crowd who want to use their Google Voice number within Hangouts, incoming messages will no longer stop your music. Instead of interrupting your groove, says Google, Hangouts will temporarily quiet your music, then crank the volume back up.

Google looks to be making major moves with Hangouts. It's replaced SMS as the go-to messaging app within Android 4.4 KitKat, and Friday's additions within iOS gel well with Google's cross-platform mission. Find yourself low on minutes and don't mind using a Google Voice number? Check out Google's update on the App Store.

Oh, and animated GIFs will now play in-line - making the app that much better.