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Screen Shot 2013-10-18 at 5.08.56 PMGoogle has just released an update to its Google Hangouts app for iPhone and iPad that brings some really nifty functionality, including the ability to call people through Google Voice.

Now, when you get a call to your Google Voice number, it can go straight to the Hangouts app, and you can use your data plan rather than cell phone minutes to talk with people on the go. In addition, you can also place calls out to any number in the U.S. or Canada from the app, free of charge.

While that may seem like a small step from Google, it’s actually a fairly significant move to compete with voice calling over FaceTime, a feature newly enabled in iOS 7 which allows iPhone users to call one another free of charge through Apple’s VoIP service.

In addition, the update brings with it the ability to see which of the people you’ve been corresponding with is actually currently active on the service, which is a major step up from sending missives and hoping that the person you’re looking for is around.

If you want to pick up the update, it’s available from the App Store now.

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