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The future of Google Voice is Google Hangouts

Google-Voice-LogoThose of you who were worried about Google Voice receiving the same fate as Google Reader, have no fear. Nikhyl Singhal, the Director of Product Management, Real-Time Communications at Google, has recently confirmed on Google+ that Voice will eventually be rolled into Google’s newly-launched Hangouts chat and instant messenger service:

Thanks for all of your feedback on last week’s Hangouts launch. I wanted to quickly talk about 1) making/receiving phone calls in Gmail, and 2) Google Voice support more generally.

1) Today’s version of Hangouts doesn’t yet support outbound calls on the web and in the Chrome extension, but we do support inbound calls to your Google Voice number. We’re working hard on supporting both, and outbound/inbound calls will soon be available. In the meantime, you can continue using Google Talk in Gmail.

2) 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.

This is certainly great news, and it’s what many people were actually expecting already before Hangouts officially launched. However, while this specifically addresses many of the concerns I raised last week, I still would have preferred to see the new Hangouts app a bit more polished before launch.

It’s also still unclear whether or not Google will continue to support all of Voice’s extra features when the merge with Hangouts is complete, such as selective call forwarding, call screening, and call recording. Right now, none of this is available in Hangouts – you can only receive calls and add phone call to video Hangouts. All in all, it’s very clunky right now, but I’m confident Google will make everything much more seamless soon. I just hope that we don’t lose any more features in the process.

[Google+ via Google]
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John F

John was the editor-in-chief at Pocketables. His articles generally focus on all things Google, including Chrome and Android, although his love of new gadgets and technology doesn't stop there. His current arsenal includes the Nexus 6 by Motorola, the 2013 Nexus 7 by ASUS, the Nexus 9 by HTC, the LG G Watch, and the Chromebook Pixel, among others.

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5 thoughts on “The future of Google Voice is Google Hangouts

  • Avatar of Tray Rolin

    so it’ll be a g chat/ video call/SMS /voicemail/ voice application…. I hope they update the desktop client

    • Avatar of David Spivey

      This won’t happen – The future according to Google is the hangouts Google Chrome extension, which runs regardless of whether Chrome is running or not. You need to download it from the chrome store, because Google Talk will never have an update. This is verified by the fact that going to now directs you to the web store to download hangouts. On the upside, the hangouts extension is a pretty nice replacement for google talk.

  • Seriously! My two main reasons for Google voice are voice recording, and especially voice-to-text (so-so speech recognition). Very handy to just look at the voice app or my email and know what the message was, without having to call Verizon and listen to the voicemail…

  • Avatar of Aaron Orquia

    This is good, primarily I’m glad Google Voice won’t get shut down, but it is also nice that it will be integrated with Google’s other services.

  • Avatar of Fifth313ment

    I use Google voice for my VoiceMail as I love the ability to block callers and text messengers who spam. Not to mention I can set different voicemail recordings for different people. I hope they don’t cut too much as the new Hangouts app sucks IMO. I’m happy to hear they are not killing it though. :)


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