Google+ Hangouts let you set up group video chats in seconds, but what happens if you want to invite a friend who isn't near a computer or a webcam? Until recently, that buddy would've been left out — but now you can simply add him or her as a voice-only participant by making a phone call through the Hangout.
Google employee — and inventor of Internet Relay Chat (IRC) — Jarkko Oikarinen announced the new feature in a Google+ post on Thursday. He explains that the addition of phone calls to Hangouts is supposed to make arranging party lines and conference calls even simpler.
All you have to do to add a telephone participant to a Google+ Hangout is tap the "Invite" button at the top of the Hangout's interface, click the "Phone" tab on the left, enter a phone number, and click "Call Now." That's it!
It's worth noting that this new feature is initially available only inside Hangouts With Extra — which is simply a version of Hangouts with a handful of additional tools. It currently only supports calls in the U.S. and Canada.
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