Hangouts gives you better call quality by skipping Google

Direct audio and video chats come to Hangouts on Android.

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Chris Goodney/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Chris Goodney/Bloomberg via Getty Images

If you don't think Hangouts calls on your phone are passing muster, don't worry -- relief might be in sight. The latest version of Hangouts for Android is telling users that it'll boost audio and video quality on future calls by making peer-to-peer connections "when possible." In other words, it'll bypass Google's servers if both ends of the conversation can establish a direct link. The exact criteria for this isn't listed, but it's safe to say that this will at least work between two people using the latest Android software. You likely won't notice much of a difference unless many of your friends upgrade, but don't be surprised if your face-to-face and VoIP chats get that much clearer.

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