This morning’s Hangouts update on Android finally began the process of merging Hangouts with Google Voice, something Voice users have been waiting well over a year for. We know that not everyone has seen the prompt to initiate the merge process, but for those who have (and those who will soon), we wanted to make sure you got everything setup correctly after the fact. Since you likely still have Google Voice installed (you may not be able to uninstall it all yet), there are a couple of boxes here and there that need to be checked or unchecked to get this whole situation in order.
Now that Google Voice and Hangouts have merged, we are starting to dive in and see how things have changed and if new features have been added. The first thing we tested was sending a text through Hangouts using our Google Voice number. After that went through just fine, it was time to see how MMS messages work. For those new, Google Voice has never really built-in MMS (multimedia messages) capabilities, outside of a carrier partnership here or there that allowed them to arrive as emails. In today’s update, though, MMS is fully working, though it is still a bit different than a normal MMS message. (more…)
Last night, we were prompted to merge Google Voice with Hangouts, which we assumed meant that the day of Hangouts becoming the app we always wanted, was here. Google confirmed as much this morning, announcing that free voice calls are now a part of Hangouts on Android, the web, and iOS. They also introduced a new dialer application for Hangouts that should aid in the call making process.
Hangouts calls are free when you call other Hangouts users and when you call to the US or Canada. International rates are also low, just like they have been in Google Voice.
The update for Hangouts will start arriving today (.apk below). The new Hangouts Dialer is already available for download through Google Play, linked below. (more…)
Tough to tell exactly what’s going on at this specific moment in time, but a number of our readers (me included), are seeing a “Migrate Google Voice to Hangouts” message in Hangouts on Android. The box is a familiar prompt that was discovered as a debugging option a couple of months back, but at the time, it didn’t work. Tonight, it appears to be semi-working. (more…)
Google Voice and Hangouts will be merged at some point in the future, at least that is what Google keeps telling us. Google announced back at last year’s I/O conference, again in October, and then again in March that Hangouts is the “future” of Voice, only they forgot to give us another update at this year’s I/O conference. So yes, we are more than a year into this supposed merger of Hangouts and Voice, yet the mystery surrounding the timing of that action is thicker than ever.
Thankfully, we know that at least Google’s Alex Wiesen has not stopped working on Google Voice. He told us back in June that Google is working to improve voicemail transcriptions with your help, and has followed that up with the unveiling of Hangouts calls through the web version of Google Voice. Mentioned on his G+ page last night, Weisen noted that when placing a call through the web version of Voice, you now have the option to call through Hangouts instead of through your phone or “Google Talk.” If you aren’t a G+ user, you can still use the Hangouts option as it doesn’t require a G+ account. (more…)
What happens when you root your phone and tell it to “DebugAllTheThings?” You find interesting debugging menus in apps like Google Hangouts that activate never-before-seen pop-ups that mention things like migrating to Google Voice, so that you can receive voicemails in Hangouts. Wait, that feature isn’t live yet, is it? No it isn’t. It still doesn’t appear to be live either, even if you debugged all the things to find this hidden gem. (more…)
Google I/O may have come and gone without a single mention of the status of Hangouts and Google Voice merging together, but on Friday, we learned from a Google Voice team member that the service isn’t dead just yet. In fact, Google plans on improving it, at least on a voicemail transcription front.
For those new, voicemail transcription is the automated service that attempts to transcribe voicemails into text so that you can read them at anytime without actually having to play the message aloud. Google Voice has been notoriously average with its transcription, so this move to improve it makes a lot of sense, even if the product’s life seems to be up in the air. (more…)
Google Voice received a minor update today on Android to version 0.4.3.8, up from version 0.4.2.82. As you would expect with a minor jump in build number, there isn’t much to see here. This does not appear to be a massive make-over or bring full Hangouts integration or produce unicorn tears.
The only thing I’m noticing that could be new, is how Google is handling international calls. After updating, Google Voice shows a pop-up that leads you to this support page with an explanation on whether or not you are correctly making an international call with Google Voice.
Seeing anything that we aren’t? (more…)