public post from Jarkko Oikarinen, creator of the trusty chat protocol IRC, Google+ Hangouts will now let you conference people in by phone for free. You can use Hangouts with extras to dial in anyone in the U.S. and Canada. It allows anyone with a phone number to participate in a Hangout right alongside the people on video.According to a
Smartphone users have been able to use the Google+ mobile apps to Hangout on video since September, but now there's no video necessary. Hangouts are now an easy way to hold a meeting, even for people away from their computers. It could be used just for fun, but it's also another reason why Google+ Hangouts are a great tool for work.
In September, Google+ Hangouts got Google Docs integration, so participants could collaborate live on documents. That struck us as an excellent tool for the office. At the time, though, organizations who use Google Apps for work couldn't use Google+. But it only took a month for Google+ for Apps customers to arrive. With voice calls in Hangouts, too, it's an even more killer app for collaboration.
In August 2010, Gmail got this same feature through Google Voice in the chat sidebar. It's the second real-time talk feature to be ported over to Google+ from Gmail in recent weeks. Last month, all Google Chat switched to being based on G+ circles rather than email addresses.
Have you used Google+ Hangouts? What do you think?