Oh Google Voice, your days seem to be numbered! While I admit having separate chat and voice apps had value, Google hasn’t exactly made Voice it’s top priority for some time. Functionality is limited, transcription is awful and the UI is anything but refreshed. I don’t know how I’m going to feel about the news and actual upgrading of Hangouts to 2.3 (bringing voice dialing integration into it), but it’s here so embrace it I must.
It’s been a long time coming, but Google Voice is finally getting more-or-less fully integrated into Hangouts. Earlier in the day Google migrated Voice messaging into Hangouts, and now with an update to the Hangouts app you’ll be able to make calls make phone calls with ease. With Google Voice in Hangouts you’ll be able to call other Hangouts users for free, place free calls to phone numbers in the United States and Canada, as well as take advantage of low international rates. When you call from Hangouts, it will now use your Google Voice number, and calls to your number will come into Hangouts as well. The Hangouts app will also send SMS text messages via your Google Voice number. Voicemails will appear in Hangouts chats as part of the conversation with both transcription and audio playback. Google hasn’t flipped the switch just yet on these features, but will be doing so imminently!
Do you use Voice, Hangouts or both? Grab the dialer app if you do and let me know how this change effects you!