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Google Hangouts Phone Service Ending Soon -- Alternatives?


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I live in Thailand and have been using Google Hangouts for free international calls to the US & Canada (including landlines), but just got this message:
Important: Phone calls in classic Hangouts will be turned off in early 2021.

If you are in the US, you can continue to make phone calls by upgrading to Google Voice. If you are not in the US...you can continue to use the Hangouts call phones feature until late 2020.

Hoping there might be viable alternatives (preferably free, of course) for dialling overseas (both landlines and mobile phones). Any suggestions?

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First I would switch/upgrade to Google Voice.

 

Second, get another free number from one of the many providers. I use Talkatone.

 

Can you detail your requirements? calls out, calls in, number of minutes per month, texts in, texts out. The more info you provide, the more focused the recommendations.

 

I switched from Hangouts to Voice ages ago. I continue to be able to make/receive calls and texts between here and the U.S., free of charge. I do not use a VPN.

 

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.apps.googlevoice

 

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.talkatone.android

 

 

Edited by mtls2005
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Thanks for the recommendations. The problem with upgrading to Google Voice seems to be that you can't do it if not in the States (I'm in Thailand and don't have a US address). 

As for my requirements, mostly to be able to call landlines in the States for free, if possible. 

I googled Talkatone and it looks promising, but when I tried to download the app from the Apple App Store, got the message:
"The item you've requested is not currently available in the Thai store."

Any suggestions?

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1 hour ago, Pawpal said:

"The item you've requested is not currently available in the Thai store."

Any suggestions?

 

No clue. In the Android world one just creates a new (second, third, etc.) account in an acceptable country. 

 

In the apple world? Not sure? Pretty sure you can change the country associated with your account. But that's on you to sort out.

 

No clue if you can use a VPN to spoof GV? But you may need another number for verification, hecne Talkatone.

 

Or have a trusted relative/friend in the U.S. register for you.

 

1 hour ago, Pawpal said:

As for my requirements, mostly to be able to call landlines in the States for free

How many minutes per month? Outgoing calls to the U.S. is your only requirement?

 

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I tried Android as well on another device and got the same message. I'll take your advice and see if a relative in the States can register for me.

(Outgoing calls to the U.S. is my main requirement, but it would be great to be able to call other places as well. Monthly usage varies from month to month.)

 

Thanks again!

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15 hours ago, Pawpal said:

I tried Android as well on another device and got the same message. I'll take your advice and see if a relative in the States can register for me.

(Outgoing calls to the U.S. is my main requirement, but it would be great to be able to call other places as well. Monthly usage varies from month to month.)

 

Thanks again!

you can download google voice apk or register on the usa app store {app store is not as easy as apk}  get a good vpn to setup the account and put $10 in it so no one steals your number. 

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29 minutes ago, wombat said:

Every time I d/l Skype in the past my anti virus thingo flagged it as havìng malware 

Bad antivirus software then.  Skype is rock solid.  But, like everything else on the PC, it is open to hacks.  Just don't open anything from others you don't know.

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34 minutes ago, wombat said:

What about whatsapp or line ?

 

These are brilliant apps, but only work if the other party uses them. And these aren't that big in the U.S. as most people have free calling via minutes. And you can't call a 10-digit number.

 

16 hours ago, Pawpal said:

Monthly usage varies from month to month.

 

Range? Out-going? Incoming? Again there may be other solutions. I mean there are calling cards at 1 baht/min, and provider prefixes at 2.5 baht/min.

 

 

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7 minutes ago, mtls2005 said:

 

 

These are brilliant apps, but only work if the other party uses them. And these aren't that big in the U.S. as most people have free calling via minutes. And you can't call a 10-digit number.

 

 

Range? Out-going? Incoming? Again there may be other solutions. I mean there are calling cards at 1 baht/min, and provider prefixes at 2.5 baht/min.

 

 

Yes, not very popular in the US.  Also, can't use on other devices as they are locked to that phone and number.

 

What about Facebook Messenger? 

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On 11/12/2020 at 10:41 AM, mtls2005 said:

First I would switch/upgrade to Google Voice.

 

Second, get another free number from one of the many providers. I use Talkatone.

Google Voice itself gives you a free US number.

 

On 11/12/2020 at 11:26 AM, Pawpal said:

Thanks for the recommendations. The problem with upgrading to Google Voice seems to be that you can't do it if not in the States (I'm in Thailand and don't have a US address). 

Web version works fine with US VPN, not need for US address. You just need an existing US number for verification - I imagine it's not a problem when upgrading.

 

I'm not sure if their app is region-locked once installed, but you can use a free VPN like WARP (1.1.1.1) if needed.

Maybe someone else will advice about this; I'm using Hushed (got a lifetime deal from them some time ago).

 

If you don't need US number for incoming calls, you have many options.

Cheers!

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