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Google Hangouts Confirmed to be Future of Google Voice

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Last week at the I/O developers conference, Google introduced Hangouts, a cross-platform unified messaging service. Although, the service didn’t quite incorporate all of Google’s messaging services at time of launch, it has been confirmed through Nikhyl Singhal’s Google+ page that Hangouts is in fact, “the future of Google Voice.” 

Hangouts is designed to be the future of Google Voice, and making/receiving phone calls is just the beginning. Future versions of Hangouts will integrate Google Voice more seamlessly.

In addition, if you already changed your Google Talk service to Hangouts inside of Gmail, you might have noticed that it does not support outbound voice calls. According to Nikhyl, Google’s real time communication product manager, this is also getting fixed soon. “We’re working hard on supporting both, and outbound/inbound calls will soon be available,” he said in a G+ post.

This should come as excellent news for all of us that have been either a.) been dying for a Google Voice update or b.) ready for Hangouts to become their one and only messaging application.

Via: +Nikhyl Singhal

  • B T

    How will this affect apps like Talkatone?

  • I thought it was cool that when someone called my google voice number, I could accept the call on google hangouts. This happened in my Chrome browser. So that’s a cool feature, if you live somewhere that doesn’t have cell service. You can answer the phone calls and chat over the wifi. 🙂

  • The Dude

    This is good news, but I’d like to have a better idea of what ‘soon’ means. It could be a few weeks, or it could be Dec when KLP comes out.

    Considering how badly we need a unified solution, I wish Google had spent some more time on this and have it ready for I/O.

    • Johnny Volare

      Yes. Babel was aptly named, and here was a chance to reveal a product that covered nearly everything. Apple and Google then need to come up with a common communication layer (heck, invite WhatsApp to the table while we’re dreaming!) and become compatible. I can send email to anyone I want– doesn’t matter what client they use. I wish the same were true for a tiny chunk of IP-routed text through a mobile device.

  • Total_telecom

    My Google voice number rang today, on my pc, I had Google hangout open. Prior it just rang my phone, I changed the settings in Google voice

    • derek connolly

      Same here. My dad called me and it rang on my computer. I answered it and had a voice conversation in chrome. The cool thing was he wasn’t using hangouts, he was calling from his regular number on his iphone.

  • Cody

    As soon as Hangouts supports SMS (I know google said it’s coming) i’ll make a full on switch to it. Voice would be a bonus.

  • The only problem i have with Hangouts is that I see myself twice on my own list (chatting them seems to do nothing as they are offline).
    Also on my friends phone there is 2 of me as well. And only one of those contacts actually seems to work and sends to my phone.
    I have no idea how to figure out where those extra contacts are coming. Any advice?

  • Zach Tanksley

    My inbound calls for GV gave been going to my computer hen my hangouts addon for chrome is signed in

  • So “soon” I will start caring about this Hangouts that isnt the video Hangouts feature. Now, its pointless.

  • J. Gilbertson

    Not including outbound voice calls had to be a major oversight of the new app

  • JonathonFlores

    With data caps against us, I dont know how these companies expect us to rely on interent services. Although integrated, financially we’re limited on data and have more than enough on minute and texting plans. I’m granfathered into unlimited but for those who are not, I feel for you. Google should get with carriers like ESPN did and pay for some of our data. #wishfulthinking

  • coolsilver

    Get me a Data Only mobile plan. Port number to Google Voice and have $10-15 unlimited nationwide calling and I’ll consider this.

  • ToddAwesome

    Stupid question for the masses, since upgrading my Google “Page” account to Hangouts I no longer have any chat contacts listed or ability to chat through my Page account in the browser while in my email, like I could with GTalk. My mobile Hangouts app still lets this happen with my Page account. My personal GMail account still works fine in both browser and mobile app. Am I missing something, some setting with the Page account, or can we no longer ‘chat’ through them? Yours truly, confused as all heck.

  • Johnny Volare

    “As for me and my House, we will serve the Android.”

  • VicMatson

    Press it, roll it out, and fix it when it’s convenient. Unless the non google Press rolls out some bad press, then patch it just enough to get the fleas off. I removed it because of no SMS support that leaves Hangout a Google only empire. And it screwed up my GV! Can’t believe they didn’t test it first.

  • nvitone23


  • Daeshaun Griffiths

    All hail Google

  • NYAvsFan

    They really need to add some functions to hangouts. i.e. allow us to go invisible like in gchat (personally I have it on at work often but don’t want random messages coming in when I’m busy) and maybe you know integrate our gchat permissions on contacts instead of only showing people with g+. Maybe those two things don’t bother most people but it was enough for me to revert to gchat on my computer.

    • NYAvsFan

      Also, happy something is being done with gvoice but wtf about saying nothing about it at I/O.

  • J Dub

    I like it already. I used GTalk to talk to my closest pals. Now I can copypaste and share all sorts of things via Hangouts. Plus it has cool emoticons.

  • Sam

    what about MMS?

    • Tim242

      Smartphones. Email. Non-compressed images.

  • Stephen Freeman

    I just added it to chrome. But I wll check it out in gmail. Don’t think I’ll need it though.

  • br_hermon

    I’m concerned this is going to mess up my current set up, if you will. I don’t use GV as my cell number, text from it and use it as a visual voicemail. I use it as it’s own entirely separate number, my “work” number in fact. It has it’s own number, texting and own voice mail. And I want them separate for obvious reasons. I hope this merger doesn’t mess things up! :/

    • I use it the same way. Hopefully we can have hangouts for Voice/gtalk and still use our other texting apps with our regular cell phone number.

  • I kinda guessed that when my Hangouts Chrome extension rang me this morning.

  • Stewie

    It is true and has been mentioned several times that Google, while pushing for tighter integration using G+, has failed to see that in the current reality, most do not want an all in one “solution”.

    Let me use the following analogy – Gmail – people use, or like to use, one for personal communications, one for work, and one for the web use, such as shopping, that invariably results in tons of unwanted spam.

    Unification is nice, but they need to look at why some people may not want it shoved down their throats.

    Myself, I’m not too concerned just yet, but can definitely see issues arising from tying it all together such as others have mentioned.

  • ddevito

    YES! Google voice is one of the biggest reasons I haven’t left Android. Good move, Google.

  • Malcalevak

    I’m really hoping they add an online status indicator (at the very least to match what’s in G+ and Gmail) to the android App… and provide actual control over your buddy list…

    • online= full color photos and dark text
      offline= lightened photos and lighter text

      would be nice to be a bit more obvious though

      • EC8CH

        I’ve noticed that on the mobile app it seems that while someone is actually typing a response the “…” by their picture dance around.

      • Aaron Berlin

        It’s actually more sensitive that the “rest after a certain time period” of Google Talk’s status indicator. You only show up as engaged when you’re actively in the chat. I think that’s more useful, frankly.

      • Malcalevak

        Thanks for pointing this out, I’d read it elsewhere, but forgotten to test it. Doesn’t change the control over buddy list, also, that top section of the contacts always shows full color photos (how did it pick them anyway?)

        Also, I think this is sort of like what Aaron is saying, regarding the “rest after a certain time period”, except at least one person was showing as “online” when they were actually “away/idle”. I’d prefer they throw in a colored line indicator like they do elsewhere, and maybe reincorporate the other various status options, though I’m less picky on those!

  • grammar nazi

    oh, and “there”…. I said it… You fix it… please…

  • I’m really excited about the future of Hangouts.

    The future is bright, guys!

  • Yeah, had to disable it in gmail because it was causing problems with my inbound Sprint phone (That uses Google Voice for vmail). My computer would ring 4-5 times, and then my phone, but at that point whoever called has hung up… 🙁

  • Blue Sun

    Looking forward to this release. Google Voice needs an overhaul as it stands & Hangouts seems to be the ideal home for it.

  • counsel dew

    I really don’t like the idea of my GV chats, etc. being linked to G+, etc… – directly. I know there are links along the back-end, but I like to think there is some privacy from some post/call/sms inadvertently showing up as a G+ share…

    • Eventually everything Google will be linked to G+ profile.. G+ is going to be no different than any gmail account, etc. All tied in, unified, seemless.

  • Chris A

    I hope this means that MMS will be available on Google voice soon too.

    • Jimas

      That would be awesome

    • in the meantime, it’d be great for Google Voice to forward all MMS to your Gmail regardless of the carrier… as of now this only occurs when Sprint users initiate the message. seems simply enough, not sure why this isn’t the norm…

      • Chris A

        Not that it really matters that much, but I have found that I can get MMS messages from MetroPCS users as well. Same as with Sprint it is forwarded to gmail.

        • sirmeili

          I believe that might be because MetroPCS rides on Sprint’s CDMA network. I could be wrong it piggy backing on it, but I know that MEtroPCS is CDMA right now. T-Mobile will be changing that and I do believe that they will be phasing out Metro PCS’s CDMA network out and using the available spectrum for t-mobile’s GSM network and HSPA+.

          This is just from the research I did because I’m planning on leaving Verizon in the winter and I was interested in the t-mobile/MEtro PCS merger and how it would affect what phones you could use.

        • Jason James

          And T-Mobile

  • Verizon

    Why was none of this explained at I/O? They went into a full demo for the future of Google Maps, but couldn’t take a moment to say something about this or sms?

    • EC8CH

      does seem odd why they were so coy at I/O about mentioning all of the improvements they had in store

      • mike cignarella

        They really seemed to try and focus on API’s at I/O instead of newly released features. They went in depth about maps and explained a lot about how developers can integrate and work with it. Hangouts is one of their products and I think don’t there are any API’s available for developers to be interested in.

        • EC8CH

          Makes sense, but they should know releasing something like Hangouts with a lot of features left hanging out there would create a ton of questions and bad press. Good to see their plan for Hangouts is what we all have been hoping for though. Except for the name, that still sucks as hard as Play Store.

    • Pdiddy187

      I think this focus of I/O was to release new API’s without announcing a new OS. I personally am loving some All Acces without an OS upgrade.

      • michael arazan

        Pretty cool that all they did was a major update to your music app. Loving all the songs I can download for free then only 7.99 a month after, not to mention comedy albums too.
        I hope the playstore will do this for the TV and Movies in the future, I’d pay $20 a month for all the shows and movies to watch. But I don’t think they could with the licensing deals they have made with all the studios.

    • narbytrout

      They did say Google voice and full SMS would be integrated into hangouts in the near future at the I/O. It was all said in one sentence… You just have to pay attention.

  • redbar0n11

    Their* :-p

  • sc0rch3d


    srsly, yea i saw a problem with phone calls the other day when boss called my GVoice number and Chrome was ringing too but I couldn’t answer either. Definitely a WTF moment b/c my boss needed something urgent.