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Report: Google to Kill Off Voice Within Couple of Months, Functions to be Solely Handled by Hangouts

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It was right around this time last year when news was breaking left and right that Google had ambitions to introduce a unified messaging service for its mobile and desktop platforms. At Google I/O in 2013, Google unveiled Hangouts, which connected all of the various chat and messaging services found in Gmail, Google+, and on Android devices into a single service

Hangouts later took over all SMS duties on vanilla Android devices, further solidifying its place as the umbrella messaging service Google wanted to create for its mobile OS.

Back in May of 2013, it was confirmed by Google that Hangouts would in fact be the future of Google Voice, but we were never given a solid time frame. One post by a Googler indicated that it would take place sometime after May 15 of this year, which during the time leading up to that date, Google would be killing off third party apps that milked from Google Voice.

According to the newest rumor from 9to5 Google, sources indicate that Hangouts will take over all of Voice’s functions, without anyone losing their info/data/profile, in the next couple of months. With a timeline like that, it seems as if marking June 25 and 26 on your calendar for Google I/O 2014 is a mighty safe bet as to when this transition take place.

Not only will Hangouts look to kill off Google Voice completely, but it sounds as if true VoIP functionality will come to the Android app as well, which would allow users to place and take calls over a data connection, without the need of a carrier network.

Could it happen? Most definitely. Will it? We will have to wait and see.

Via: 9to5 Google
  • Keg Man

    they better have it working better than their newstand. They shut down currents and newstand just doesn’t do half has good as a job as currents

  • Greg Montaño

    You think Google will drop Google Voice numbers? I never ported my Verizon # but I’ve been giving out my GV # alone for the last 3 years! I hope they continue to support GV numbers for SMS and voip

  • Tristan

    I hope the get rid of all the available setting; I far prefer a clean UI over the ability to use a product. Or maybe when I call people, I could mid-conversation stop hearing the other person, and have another nearby phone ring where I now can talk to them on two lines as google seems to think is a neat trick in hangouts. Oh! and I really hope that no matter how frequently I call some people, that I still have to type their name in to be able to talk to them, while others who I never speak to are still at the top of the list.

  • Brandon

    I have Google Voice set up as my voicemail but rarely ever use it considering almost no one ever leaves voicemails anymore.

  • Tom Z

    I’m very nervous about this. My Google Voice number is my main phone number… I don’t give out my real cell phone number. Let’s hope it all works out in the end.

  • Jeremy Gross

    no i still use voice on my computer!

    • Luxferro

      and you can currently make calls in hangouts via GV number as well.

  • dbd

    hangouts, like voice lack the quick-reply feature of messaging app. hopefully this consolidation brings changes that benefit the user…

  • Peter Tirrell

    Oh, and now I just still need to get people to use Hangouts. It’s a ton better than the stock SMS app, but I’m still 100% on SMS while everyone else friggin uses iMessage.

  • Peter Tirrell

    Another vote for wondering what’s going to happen to the voicemail features. I don’t use GV, except to have my voicemail setup through it since that was one of the best ways to get visual voicemail on android through Verizon. Don’t make me go back to having to dial *something or other and remembering keypad presses to navigate voicemails! Or I’d actually have to look at paying for the Verizon branded one I guess….sigh…

  • akazerotime

    I’m all for this as long as they bring back the ability to send a call to a recording of “..the call cannot complete as dialed. Please hang up and try your call again”.

  • burpootus

    I use GV to tie my work and personal cell phones together. I also use Picasa to store all of my family’s photos. Awhile back I had to kill off my G+ account because the Picasa photo integration blew everything up. I really disliked the way G+ handled thousands of photos. Now it looks like I will have to choose between keeping GV (by switching to hangouts-re-opening a G+ account) or Picasa. Sometimes they should just leave well enough alone, this really sucks.

    • JMonkeYJ

      It’s possible the photo integration stuff has gotten better in G+. I used to use Picasa and now I much prefer the G+ way of doing pictures. It’s possible our use-cases are different, but you might want to give it another shot.

  • Chad

    Google Hangouts = Disabled on all of my devices!

  • Viet Hoang-Tran

    Soooo will hangout take my voicemails now? I loved how I could read the text version of the voice mail and replay/fwd in voice versus calling in… enter pin… press 4 to repeat… ahhhh!!!

  • trixnkix637

    As long as I don’t lose my voicemails. I’m fine.

  • Tomek G

    It seems that I made a huge mistake to use Google for all my communication needs. First they killed Latitude, Google Talk and now Voice?
    They are like apple now forcing people to use one ecosystem. Maybe if they have support on all platforms (blackberry) then maybe I won’t cry.

  • Erick Wright

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Google did kill it and I lost all my voicemails and saved recordings as well as phone number. I’ve learned not to be surprised At google decisions anymore

  • Dave

    “which would allow users to place and take calls over a data connection”

    Hasn’t that been around in Android for quite some time? I’ve been using VoIP via SIP for a few years now.

    • JSo

      All its saying is that Google Voice features will be in Hangouts now. It’s not saying that its bringing anything new.

    • Luxferro

      You can’t do phone calls over data with the android Google Voice app, unless you use 3rd party apps.

      • TSON1

        Wait, really? What does “Call using Google Voice” do then?

        • Luxferro

          It uses your carrier voice connection. The only way to have GV use data on android is by using 3rd party apps. That is until the fully integrate it into hangouts and have real VOIP, like they already added to the iOS app.

  • d-rock

    I hope they enhance the messaging in hangouts to be on par with the simplest of sms apps that let you reply from the notification.

  • Hector E. Gaxiola

    we can already make calls from my Hangouts with Wifi connections. My daughter was in Mexico calling me through Hangouts last month. She has her sprint phone integrated with Google Voice.

    • LionStone

      Yes, that’s because Sprint is, I believe, the only carrier that has it integrated with GV.

  • teevirus

    Google’s visual voice mail is hands down better than anyone else’s. With that said Gvoice could use a UI update and im sure they can increase the speed of transcriptions. I look forward to what they are going to do in Hangouts.

    • Brady

      “Google’s visual voice mail is hands down better than anyone else’s.”

      Reply: iOS. *drops mic*

      • teevirus

        I’m not sure if you are being sarcastic but I hope you are aware Google Voice will give you a text version of the voice mail and you can access it from any computer among other features standard iOS is lacking. But fear not, voice and hangouts are available on apple products. *picks mike up, here you dropped this*

        • Brady

          I must’ve misunderstood what you meant by “visual voice mail”.

          *…here you dropped this* — that was awesome! ;-)

    • xp84

      If you had left me that as a Google voicemail it would read,

      Goo residual boy smell is Lansdowne better the nanny one L. Sid. With that sad gee voice could use a you why update and I’m surely cannon crease the speedo trends Crip shuns. I look for word to what they Argo wing to do in Hangouts.

  • rekem

    It better not require a G+ account.

    • Smashley

      Hangouts currently requires G+ so I’m sure it will :/

  • jamisles02

    Long as they keep the voice mail feature then Voice will be one less app I need on my phone. Just hope that they also allow different text alerts for different contacts to Hangouts (like the stock messenger for the S4), but that’s a different story.

  • MaddHatterr

    I don’t use hangouts and have little use for its features. I like voice, don’t fix what isn’t broke damn it.

    • TylerCameron

      Google Voice has been broken for a while, just look at how it handles threads. Or rather how it doesn’t. And the app is so ugly. SMS is way better than Voice for UI alone. It isn’t like texting costs money anymore, since all the carriers now force us to get unlimited talk and text.

      • gambit07

        I agree, I’ve had issues with how long it takes to pull up google voicemails for the last 6 months or so.

  • http://www.deathbycone.com Jared Kotoff

    Come on Google!

    • Gideon Waxfarb

      LOL, I don’t even know how my carrier’s voicemail works. Been using GV since I got my first smartphone (Droid Incredible) in 2010. I don’t mind the integration, as long as my G+ contacts don’t get lumped in with my GV contacts. That would suck.

      • xp84

        are you kidding? Google pass up an opportunity to foist Google+ on you in another way? You can bet it’ll be renamed Google Plus Hangouts Voice and GV will be bolded on everywhere. Leaving a message on your voicemail will probably automatically add the caller to a ‘Callers’ Circle (or vice versa).

  • MichaelFranz

    This makes me sing the pharrell happy song in my head…

  • guod

    what will happen to our numbers?

    • JSo

      I’m guessing they will still be there in the Hangouts App and work the same way as they do now.

  • JSo

    And everyone cheers…

  • Michael Martin

    I am nervous about this…i havent used my carrier voicemail in god knows how long since this initially started….the integration better be good and easy switch from what we currently have it…

    • Franklin Ramsey

      I’d imagine at the very least, they could just dump all the Voice functionality into Hangouts. No need to be worried or nervous,

    • Intellectua1

      I haven’t checked my voicemail since 10/27/2011 I have 263 voicemails in my Google Voice account…

    • brkshr

      I’m hoping it’s a seamless transition as well. My GV# is my main business line…

      • xp84

        They’ll probably disable sending any calls to real phone numbers, and tell you to just send them to their half-assed web hangout feature (that they’ve been too lazy to build desktop apps for) and the Hangouts android (and iOS? maybe next year) app.

        Fortunately the only thing they are honest about is letting you port out your number. You’ll probably want to go with that option and get a VOIP service of some kind. I moved a GV number to one of the big VOIP providers (not crappy Vonage of course) and it works pretty well. This is after Google just started being super flaky and sending calls to Google voicemail half the time instead of to my forwarding number.

        Caveat!! GV ports like a landline not like a mobile. Meaning it takes 3-4 weeks to port. During which time it’s not down but it’s still on Google. Hopefully they make their Hangout/bastardization announcement a month ahead of the changeover to give people a chance to port.

  • http://twitter.com/geoff5093 Geoff Johnson

    When I first saw the title I thought you were saying Google is discontinuing their Voice service!

    • Jason Kahn

      That sacred me to, as I’m just about out of my VZW contract and was planning on porting it into GV so I can switch to Pre-Paid services at will

  • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

    Cool. Integrate! A lot coming for Google I/O this year.

  • Dick Christmas

    “when this transition will take exactly begin to place.” !?!?

    Has anyone really been far even as decided to use even go want to do look more like?

    • Franklin Ramsey

      What…?!?!

    • El_Big_CHRIS

      RIP English.

      • Franklin Ramsey

        Someone needs to check him and Tim for a stroke.

      • Intellectua1

        I’m actually trying to translate his sentence.. lol. I’m really good at translating bad english.. I can normally understand people no matter how they say it..

        • El_Big_CHRIS

          Lol I tried for a sec to see if I was reading it wrong. Nope, no sense in it haha

        • JSo

          Ok, you get back to us.

        • rfranken

          but tying knots is my specialty

      • http://twitter.com/tarund TarunD

        LMFAO Thank you, for that.

    • adamcorwin

      That was a rough sentence ha

      • Franklin Ramsey

        I’m not even sure that was a sentence.

    • 2Berad

      YEP…. I hear you man.

    • Intellectua1

      He’s saying: when will this transaction exactly take place !?!?

      Has anyone really been as far as deciding what to use even (and for the life of me I can’t get the end of the last sentence)

    • ShadowGTX

      For all of you wasting your time trying to figure out what he is saying. Do not bother it’s a troll sentence from 4chan. I was there when it was originally posted. Just google his sentence it is now always posted in YLYL threads on /b/

      >Inb4 all 4chan kiddies get butt hurt and mad for posting this info

      • JSo

        Oh, that wily Dick Christmas.

    • Ray

      Come again?You Know I Don’t Speak Spanish, Baxter: http://youtu.be/uOpjYE-iPnY

    • Christ Dickmas

      A correction has been attempted but it still reads “is a mighty safe bet as to when this transition take place.”

      It seems we are all left wondering if things finally place when cake even far through pig grass.

  • Bobby N

    This makes me HAPPYYYYYY. No more freaky complicated workarounds using Xposed + sip + Voice+!!!

  • http://www.twitter.com/nblufire12 Nathan Patel

    I still kind of love the voice app and interface. Been using for 6 years maybe? All my texts…

    • Reed Kerr

      You like the Voice app? Seriously? I imagine you typing this on a typewriter while peering through your monocle in candlelight.

      • Chris Hannan

        I don’t see what’s so bad about it.

  • sc0rch3d

    doesn’t make sense leaving a wide gap between killing off the protocol (May) and announcing the new service (June/July). i think a previous google report said we’d see something beginning of 2014 (before June?)

  • Intellectua1

    Second best news I’ve heard all day.. Now Droid-Life is on the roll…

  • QQpayne

    As long as I still have my voicemail in one of the apps im ok with it.

  • https://plus.google.com/107430353005607798966 Kris V

    I love this idea! On a side note:

    Why doesn’t Hangouts have good noise cancelling like FaceTime does? I love being able to use Hangouts, but the background noise is always so horrendous.

    • Me

      Because Google isn’t Apple! And never will be as long as they have so many “irons in the fire”.

  • Chris Hilbert

    As long as I can redirect calls from my mother-in-law to my wife’s cell phone I’m cool.

    • Deeco

      LOOOOOL!

    • BK

      Ha, good on ya!

      So basically this article is just reaffirming the fact that in almost A YEAR, the rumors about Google Voice remain the same while NOTHING has actually changed. I love GV, but come on already.

  • http://www.kovdev.com/ kover

    I’ll be interested to see how they handle voicemails within the Hangouts interface. Will there still be a Voice portal on the web? Lots of questions still to be answered.

    • zepfloyd

      this is probably my biggest question as well.

      • EC8CH

        At least it will be hard for them to make handling voicemails any worse than on the Voice app. That thing has to be the most out of date app Google has.

        • zepfloyd

          My biggest gripe is it seems to take a ton refreshing and time to get the translation to show up in the app for me. If I go to the site, it’s right there. Annoying.

    • Trysta

      +1. Honestly I don’t use the rest of Google Voice. Just the visual voicemail part. I have this bad feeling they’ll forget about this part in their quest to force people to use hangouts. Are there any viable alternatives?

      • John

        Hullomail is a main one for US, Ireland and UK!

      • http://www.deathbycone.com Jared Kotoff

        There’s youmail. Transcription isn’t free though. I just use it to hang up a call If I don’t answer. I hate voice mail. Just text me.

        • Captain Obvious

          It *is* called voice. ..

          • http://www.deathbycone.com Jared Kotoff

            what?

      • Woopwoop

        Yeah, I don’t really even know what “other” parts there are to GV. I only really care about the voicemail. I’d love it if they added VoIP to the Android GV though for low-minute plans.

      • http://www.facebook.com/scott.shuit PhinsPhan

        I give out my GV number to everyone but friends & family so it makes it easy to block numbers that I don’t want. I hope nothing happens to that feature.

  • Victor Who

    DEATH to SKYPE! (lol)