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.