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Hangouts Voice Calls Via Mobile on Android Sort of Works Already

So, this is interesting. A user over at reddit figured out how you can jump on a voice call through Google Hangouts on Android. This minute. Right now. Using your phone (with a little help from your computer). It works, for the most part, but clearly needs some final touches.

This is the deal – we have been waiting for Google to fully build voice calls into Hangouts on Android for some time. We know it’s coming – Google has said as much. In March, a report claimed that within a couple of months, Google Voice should be fully killed off in favor of Hangouts. Unfortunately, until Google flips the switch or releases an update with call integration baked in (like it has been on iOS), this feature will remain on our list of must-have features. 

But thanks to this method, making a voice call through Hangouts sort of shows that the capability is close to being baked in. Does that mean we are close to a release and full voice call action? Tough to tell. But if you want to make a voice call today, through Hangouts on Android, this is how you would do it.


1.  Initiate a phone call through Hangouts on your computer.
2.  Once the call has been answered on the other side, open up Hangouts on your phone.
3.  You should see an “Ongoing call” listed in your conversations.
4.  Open that conversation and then tap on “Ongoing call” at the top in green bar.
5.  You should then be taken into a voice call with the phone number listed at the bottom.
6.  You can leave the conversation on your computer and continue on through your phone.

Cool, right?

So this isn’t exactly the full integration we were looking for, but it’s still something. The reddit user who found this work-around has noted in a post that he discovered this method two months ago, but that the integration was pretty rough at the time from a UI standpoint. The UI now seems to be updated and primed for voice calling – all we need is a button or option to place calls. Also, I was able to switch between WiFi and LTE on my phone while on the call and it stayed connected, so this isn’t just a WiFi-only thing.

Give it a shot and let us know how it goes.

hangouts voice call2

Via:  reddit
  • Michael

    GV is already sort of integrated with Hangouts. Right now someone can also call your GV number and it will ring your designated phone numbers (as you have defined in GV) as well as your Hangouts on your computer or tablet, all at the same time. If you answer on the tablet or computer you can later join the call on your phone using Hangouts and then hang up the call in Hangouts on the tablet or computer (similar to GV’s current feature of pressing * to transfer the call)

    • Christopher Carr

      Someone calling my GV number does not ring Hangouts on my N7.

  • Kyle Todoulakis

    Anyone know if we will be able to use Hangout/GVoice calls over wifi w/o using mobile minutes?

    • Christopher Carr

      People are conflating GV the service and GV the Android app.

      • Christopher Carr

        Oops.I meant to reply to hoosiercub88.

  • hoosiercub88

    Everyone is all ready and willing to let Google give Voice the ax.. What happens to my Google Voicemail? A service that’s notably already gone by the wayside.. I need that, and I feel it’ll end up entirely left behind :-

    • Christopher Carr

      People are conflating GV the service and GV the Android app.

  • mikeym0p

    Yea I used to do this. It requires the browser plugin to work. On Hangouts 2.0 it looked like a video call without the camera and it caused the app to black screen on me. I got excited when 2.1 rolled out because I saw the new call UI.

  • SP

    You can also place a video call and just turn video off and switch the microphone from loudspeaker to the normal mic

  • Travis Halfman

    Proximity sensor isn’t set up to work with Hangout calls, obviously. I felt like one of those movies where the people are supposedly “talking” on their smartphones but you can clearly see the display has not turned off (or is still the home screen). Still, it works.

  • krudl3rx

    0.5. Start Chrome Remote Desktop.

  • Jason Maloney

    Thanks for republishing my findings. Do you think you could help me add some people to my Framily too? The ID is H01892775Zg and the last 4 are 4109.

  • antwonw

    I was able to do this back in July of last year while I was in Spain. So the ability has been there since the new Hangouts app was released last late spring.

  • Cory Corrupted

    Starting this on the computer isn’t necessary. Start a video call and both parties turn off their cameras. Voice call. Voila.

    • Roger

      This works if the person you are calling doesn’t have Hangouts, or you could even call a land line this way.

      • Cory Corrupted

        Good to know!

    • mikeym0p

      There is small differences between the Voice call and the ‘Video call without camera’

  • BillySuede

    someone apparently wants everyone to know how hard he reps his trail blazers. 😉

    bring on the voice calling for real already!

  • samthomas86

    OK, so here is what I am wondering… is this really new?? I have been doing this for as long as I can remember. I make most of my calls through Hangouts and anytime I need to move away from my computer I switch the call to my phone and walk away. I never thought this was anything special.

    Also, while we still cant call phone numbers you can make voice calls to other Hangouts/Talk users. Just switch a video call from video to voice only and then switch from speaker to headset.

  • Chris King

    So is Google voice WiFi calling?

    • Google voice is a number you get that redirects to whatever other phone number you want. You can hangouts or other things to make WIFI calling through it, but it isn’t up to par. It is great to give your GV number to creeps so you can block them later if you don’t like them anymore.

  • Daeshaun Griffiths

    Can landlines call someone on hangouts? The phone number needs to be phased out. 1 phone with 1 sim. or 1 phone with 2-3 gmail accounts linked and can control who can call at what times on Circles?

  • scruffykid

    A call confirmation button would be great. I accidentally hit video chat all the time! It’s very annoying

  • kevlar

    Stupid question….for those that dont have unlimited data, would this count against our data packages?

  • jakebowenecu

    I really wish Google would buy Republic Wireless and start their own phone company, their ROM’s allow you to make wifi calls through the native dialer and switch from WIFI to Cellular data on the go.

  • Tony G.

    portland sucks -sad rockets fan

    • ki11ak3nn

      Houston sucks. Happy Blazers fan.

      • Tony G.

        at least we keep the economy going for you hipsters who wake up at noon and smoke out

    • Mark Aaron Collado

      That shot though. – annoyed TWolves fan

      • Kevin

        uugghh – someone tired of “that _____ though” and “dat _____ doe” phrases

        • Mark Aaron Collado

          fixed it.

          • Kevin

            haha i appreciate it

  • Guest

    Just please don’t force me to use Hangout to make a phone call in the future Google… Keep Hangouts as an alternative, I already miss stock Messenger on my Nexus

    • NBM

      even after the recent hangouts update? I like the new setup. Although I didn’t mind before either…

      • Michael

        Hangouts is clunky and unintuitive, and it functions like ass. There is zero reason to show every single contact and person one follows on g+. They should have stuck with the aosp messaging app and added the swipe-ability found in the Samsung dialer. One direction for voice calls and the other for video chat, once you have a text/hangouts chat going.

        • NBM

          I have no idea how you’re getting such an experience… Mine looks like my old SMS messages app but my Hangouts convo’s are highlighted in green. Hangouts messages and SMS are even threaded. I seemingly don’t have any G+ influence within my Hangouts app… unless I start typing someone’s G+ contact in the new message contact space.

  • T4rd

    Maybe since the iPhone got this first, that means Apple and Google are going to announce the iNexus this year…

    • Ian

      End of dayz!

  • James

    The fact that iOS has had this feature for so long already really sticks in my craw…

    That said, I will be the celebrating naked in the streets if and when Google Voice is finally handed off to Hangouts, assuming it is done right.

    • gpzbc

      Assuming it is done right is key. I worry it will lose capabilities when Voice is handed off to Hangouts.

      • James

        Yep. Let’s hope all the great Google Voice functionality is kept on, only implemented better than the current crappy app.

    • ThomasMoneyhon

      Google has to do more for iOS because they have to put on the burn to the apple executives that they Google, are building out the software ecosystem on iOS and not apple. Its working. Apple doesn’t have a thing on Google when it comes to software. Glass on iOS was a pretty big burn.

      • James

        I don’t necessarily disagree, but that doesn’t make me any less angry when Google apps on iOS have features their Android counterparts do not.

      • mikeym0p

        Not only does it get Google more customers, it eases the bar of entry for Android converts.

    • Qiy

      I’m an iOS and GV user and trust me, it hasn’t been done right for iOS yet. Calls take so long to relay (GV to Hangouts) that the caller is often moved to voice mail before you can answer. Even when you CAN answer, you aren’t sure exactly when the other person can hear you since the line continues to ring for several times after the connection is made (resulting in you saying, “hello?” way too many times), AND continues ringing at least two more times AFTER you’re speaking to the caller. Sigh … a bit of communication on what to expect would be nice and doesn’t seem too much to ask for. #customerservicepls

  • duke69111

    I knew you could do this in gmail, but I didn’t see the option in hangouts, so here is how to place a voice call.

    How to make a Google Voice call from Hangouts

    Here’s how to start phone calls using Hangouts in Gmail, Google+ or Chrome:

    If you’re in Gmail, go to your Hangouts contact list and click Phone. If you’re trying to make a call from Google+ or Chrome, click the drop-down icon on the top right of the contact list and then select Call a phone.

    When you see the list of contacts, click the person you’d like to call.

    A new Hangouts window will pop up to initiate the call.


  • Droid Ronin

    Not very seamless, but it’s still something. Why it’s taking Google so long to put this feature in is anyone’s guess. Even Chat Heads allows you to make calls through the app.

    • Steven Dolbey

      They probably want to have something to show off at Google I/O.

    • michael arazan

      Probably had to build the code from scratch and make sure it doesn’t copy anything from apple so there will be no excuse to sue over another stupid thing

  • Jigga_Z

    This workaround has existed for several months now. I hope that Google will officially launch this feature soon!

    • That Guy

      Glad you reiterated what was said in the article

  • Nick

    Kellen, some people say that it’s weird to talk to yourself….. I just hope you’re not answering yourself here as well hahahahaha 😉

    • Dre Fay

      No that’s fine, only get concerned if he starts answering in a different accent, then we got a problem!