Hangouts is Now an Option for Making Calls on Google Voice

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…)

Hangouts Debug Activates “Migrate” to Google Voice Menu, Doesn’t Work

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 Voice Receives Update to V0.4.3.8, Not Much to be Seen

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…)

Google Hangouts Updates to V2.1.223 – Introduces Custom Sounds and Ringtones for Conversations (Updated)

Google Hangouts is receiving a new update today to version 2.1.223. The update, which is a jump from 2.1.100, appears to be pretty minor. So far, all I am seeing are a couple of new options in conversations that allow you set custom sounds for messages, as well as custom sounds for Hangouts calls. Otherwise, that is about it.

To see these new options, open a conversation, tap on the Menu button (“action overflow”), hit “People & options,” and then set your custom sounds.  (more…)

Hangouts 2.1+ Drains An Excessive Amount of Battery, Google Working on a Fix

SMS in Hangouts may have come a long way since its initial integration, but it is still quite rough around the edges. Case in point? A few users on Reddit and the Hangouts Google Group have reported experiencing higher-than-normal battery usage – as high as 30% – caused by excessive wakelocks, potentially as a result of having a large number of saved conversations.

A Google employee acknowledged the issue and said engineers may have found a fix, but was unable to provide an ETA.  (more…)

Google Services Experiencing Issues – How are Yours Holding Up? (Updated)

We are hearing a number of reports from readers who are experiencing issues with Google services. From Google Play to Gmail to Hangouts to Maps, many are not able to access information, receive messages, login, or install apps.

We are experiencing some issues in Gmail, but not in our Google Apps Droid Life account. The Google Apps Status Dashboard is showing green lights across the board.

Let us know in the comments if you are experiencing issues as well. We will update this post as we have more.  (more…)