Google Voice rumoured to be killed off, Hangouts to get VoIP calling features

Nearly three years since it was first launched, Google's Voice service is rumoured to end up in Google's software graveyard, making way for further Hangouts integration.

The Hangouts application on iOS and Android provides voice and video calling with online contacts, but is now expected to get the ability to call phone numbers similar to what Google Voice does. After this integration is complete, Google will end the Google Voice service.

Google has been rapidly integrating all of its communications services such as Google Talk, Google+ Messenger and regular SMS functionality into the Hangouts application on Android, and with the integration of Google Voice it will finally be able to provide a unified communication tool to its users.

Voice was first integrated into Gmail in 2010 and with the launch of Google+, the company has been replacing chat integration with Hangouts in all of its web applications. Currently, VoIP to phone calling is largely dominated by Skype, but with a specifically assigned phone number, Google could have a successful multi-platform communicator and free the users from expensive calling plans from carriers.

9to5Google expects Google to announce the change at the upcoming Google I/O event in June.

Source: 9to5Google

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No wonder the later Google Chromes continues to insist on installing Hangouts from resources.pak each time I delete it. As long as it remains free, I have no issues. Thanks to Google Voice I spend $10 A YEAR, not a month, A YEAR for all my phone needs. 0$ goes to Google, $10, or to be more exact, $9.75 to callingmart.com (T-Mobile PIN purchase).

Oh god no. I use Google Voice on Sprint. Its a life saver, I wonder how they plan to deal with the transition. Visual Voicemail, Call Routing, Texting from Google Voice tied to your Sprint number.

If they drop this, I'd have no reason to use google anymore. I don't integrate anything, I don't use hangouts, and no I will not use my real name on youtube.

Noooooooooooooooo!!! I've been using Google Voice as a replacement for Verizon's voicemail. I hope this feature lives through the Hangouts integration or I'll have to start paying for Visual Voicemail through Verizon.

I have been using GV for years now. I won't have a problem with this if they do one key thing: release an official app for Windows Phone. Because if they don't, they are killing my ability to use the service as I am now. Killing.

Voice being folded into Hangouts isn't the same thing as being "killed off". Clearly some bias going on here. No surprise.

I'm fine with the "merger" of the two as long as I can keep my Google Voice number. I have that set as my cell number for work. As all calls from my work phone forward to my cell phone when I am out in the field, there is no way I want my personal cell going out by accident. (I work in IT at a Public Mental Health Facility).

It will be interesting to see just how many numbers are freed up as a result of the change. Meaning, in my area, all of our local Google Voice numbers are depleted. If they do this move, then those that have multiple Google Voice numbers will start to lose the functionality if they don't want to use Hangouts.

But since this is all yet speculation, time will tell for sure. :)

Skype needs to be weary.

Google Hangouts is getting better. Voice+Hangouts =
Chat (with emoji), Video Chat, Video Conferencing, Business Services (Google Helps), Personal phone number, Call Forwarding, Call Blocking, Call Filtering, Group Chatting, File Sharing and more....

I use my Google Voice number so I can text without paying $30 extra a month for the ability. When they integrate this into Hangouts will I still be able to text for free in the same way that I do now using Google Voice?

NeoandGeo said,
I use my Google Voice number so I can text without paying $30 extra a month for the ability. When they integrate this into Hangouts will I still be able to text for free in the same way that I do now using Google Voice?

I hope so.

With an unlimited flat rate data plan, I was able to save a little money by cancelling my wireless carrier's SMS services in favor of the Google Voice SMS, paying absolutely nothing.

I use both Hangouts and voice and look forward to the integration. Maybe the ability to send SMS from desktop will be added as well. The name "Hangouts" is the worst though.

While no key feature is being lost by this one thing does change, Google Voice used an open API iirc, Hangouts doesn't, I believe that's the key thing in all this. Google will now control the service fully unlike with Voice which had other 3rd parties connect to it etc. They tossed a fit when MS added Google Voice support to Outlook.com iirc.

The problem here is, everyone is writing about this like it is being "killed off". When if they move forward with any changes, it won't be. it will be merged with Hangouts. I would suspect all of the same functionality would be kept. So everyone calm down, it's not what it appears to be.

xendrome said,
The problem here is, everyone is writing about this like it is being "killed off". When if they move forward with any changes, it won't be. it will be merged with Hangouts. I would suspect all of the same functionality would be kept. So everyone calm down, it's not what it appears to be.

Haha you seem new to Google. Google kills off functionality all the time. Hangouts is missing lots of Talk features.

mrp04 said,

Haha you seem new to Google. Google kills off functionality all the time. Hangouts is missing lots of Talk features.

I haven't noticed any missing features in Hangouts compared to GTalk, other that the obvious fact that not being XMPP based anymore I can't use it on third party IM clients.

I was expecting this for a long time. They've introduce free calling for Hangouts on iOS a long time ago, it was only a matter of time before the whole service was merged.

Hangouts is just awesome and getting better by the day. Hangouts to free SMS receiving and soon voice calls although not sure if they will be free.

Soldiers33 said,
except its not free sms, its just online chat like whatsapp. An internet app cant give you free texts.

Google Voice was free SMS. If it's porting over to Hangouts, then I assume the SMS will be free as well.

Only part of voice I use is the phone number . I like having that phone number to give to places that ask for it. I can then change it whenever I want. As long as that feature isnt going away, then fine.

never used it, never used hang out. its a shame I never used my full name on my Google account and one day I logged into youtube and my full name magically came up... 3 days ago I use my Google account to register on a site and my home address was automatically field in the form, the last uni I attended showed up... this are info's I never gave to Google. how did they get them?

I sometimes wonder the same. Google has the exact address I live at (somehow still doesn't seem to know my real name from my fake one though).
While I never gave Google my address. They didn't had my previous address, but they found me within weeks after I moved. Google maps pin pointed my location to my front door.

Google is accessing data I am not giving them on my own accord. One of the reasons I'm kinda anti-Google.
If they just used the info/data I willingly give them, I couldn't be to bothered. But they're obviously accessing data I am unaware off.

xendrome said,
You gave it at one time, one of their services. You just don't realize it.

I never gave them, I have a Google account for youtube and to register on sites that I use to test stuff and I know will spam me.

I use my Hotmail for official stuff where I give out my real information.

how do I close my Google account by the way? I may open new one with different identity when I move away from where I am right now.

Never had a problem and I moved several times while using Google's services. Never have my current or former address popup either. Probably gave them the info and dont remember doing it. Like ordering something from Play maybe. Who knows.

techbeck said,
Never had a problem and I moved several times while using Google's services. Never have my current or former address popup either. Probably gave them the info and dont remember doing it. Like ordering something from Play maybe. Who knows.

Not the case, I'm really specific to whom on the internet knows where I live. Google shouldn't know more then the town I live in, just like Facebook only knows the town I live at and not my exact address. Microsoft also so far doesn't seem to have a clue what my actual address is. At least I never gave it and they don't appear to have it. And Microsoft even knows my phone number and everything. They probably could use the GPS coordinates if they wanted too though.

I don't use Android, nor Google+ or any site where I can login with Google. I only use Youtube and Search. And block their ad server IP's directly through the hosts file.
I have no clue how they obtained that information, but they did.

However I did change my IP ~1,5 months ago. And currently Google only knows the town I live in. Or it is pointing at the wrong street.

I use my Google Voice number as my primary phone number as well as having dozens of rules setup in it to ferry calls around to different voicemail greetings and use it to filter my calls.

I heard and read that XMPP based calling through Google Voice is ending. and the google voice service through pc not ending. that you can still use the service on your computer. and it would forward the call to hangouts. so its just basically ending third-party support.

The only Google product I currently use. Sad to see this go but I can't say I didn't expect this.

Goodbye Google! As I will never use Google hangout.

They better have my phone number transferred to Hangouts then..I use it on Chrome and iOS, and it's way too much importance since I don't make use of Sprint anymore.