04
Nov
Google-Voice-updated-for-Android

Users of Google Voice have long called for the company to pay more attention to the seemingly forgotten service for quite some time. Unfortunately, they may be getting more than they were hoping for. While many people are thrilled to hear Voice will finally support MMS and become a part of Hangouts in early 2014, Google is also planning to close up shop for all 3rd-party apps that relied on the service for free texting and VoIP calling. Sadly, these apps will cease to function on May 15, 2014.

Google plans to shut down the XMPP interface currently used by alternative Voice apps. XMPP is an open protocol developed and made popular(-ish) by Jabber; its purpose was to allow multiple instant messaging networks to interoperate with each other. Google was an early supporter of the protocol, incorporating it into both its Talk and Voice products. As a part of the transition from Talk to Hangouts, announced at Google I/O in May 2013, XMPP support was cut significantly so that alternative clients can still connect and send messages, but many of the interesting features like video chat and group messaging were made exclusive to Hangouts. Third-party Voice clients won't have it so lucky, as the entire interface will be shut down entirely, and no replacement has been announced. For the sake of anybody using an IM client that interacts with multiple networks (Trillian, Adium, Pidgin, etc.), let's hope this is the last time we have to talk about a shutdown like this.

Among the casualties of this change is GrooVe IP, developed by snrb Labs. In a statement made on the app's Facebook page, development efforts are ending with version 1.4.6, posted just yesterday. GrooVe IP will continue to operate normally until Google locks down Voice in May; snrb Labs intends to issue bug fixes if any critical issues arise between now and then.

Longtime Voice users have probably expected a tightening of the reigns for some time. When apps began to pop up with the ability to make free calls through Google's network, there were already questions about the Terms of Service and if such apps would be permitted. At the time, Google remained mostly silent and its inaction was seen as permission. It was understood that undocumented interfaces could change or go away at any time, but the lack of updates to Google Voice over the years meant that breaking changes rarely occurred, if ever. As Google asserts its commitment to bring all of its messaging systems under the same roof with Hangouts, it was time for Voice's aging interface to be completely overhauled. Naturally, violations to the Terms of Service and a need to secure the network are given as reasons.

If you're a regular user of any 3rd-party app relying on the Google Voice service, you may need to start investigating alternatives. Features like texting and voicemail will obviously transition completely to the Hangouts app, so you won't need to worry about those. The future of free VoIP calling is considerably less certain, and Google hasn't made a statement about plans to introduce such a feature, but we can hope. In the meantime, there are still over seven months to work out plans, so you've got some time.

Source: GrooVe IP, Nikhyl Singhal

Cody Toombs
Cody is a Software Engineer and Writer with a mildly overwhelming obsession with smartphones and the mobile world. If he’s been pulled away from the computer for any length of time, you might find him talking about cocktails and movies, sometimes resulting in the consumption of both.

  • Robert Alexander

    As a long-time OBiTalk user this is crushing news. I've got to assume someone will have a workaround. Worst case scenario is I pay for a VOIP service to get a phone # to forward my GV to.

    • rmandtech

      I was about to post about Obihai, this is a shame, but I got my $40 worth and them some.. nice run while we had it.

      • Eric Mendes

        I was right about to buy a Obi in the next few days when I heard about this. Really disappointing, but an alternative would be the GVJackApp. It uses old MagicJacks and replaces them with a Google Voice implementation. The cool part is that the company has stated that this will not affect them since they go through the online hangouts option, not via XMPP. I'll be giving this a shoot.

        "The GVJackApp for magicjack will continue to extend the VoIP based Google Voice calling capabilities that are built into a user's Gmail account to his/her phone and its keypad as it does today. A slightly modified version of the GVJackApp for magicJack that works with the Google Hangouts facility enabled in Gmail has in fact been working in our development lab for several months."

        http://www.pcphonesoft.com/gvjackapp-unaffected-by-xmpp-retirement-may-2014.html

        • TechImpairedMom

          Ok, I know this is old news to you guys but I recently started using talkatone on an iPhone 4 and just got the msg about voice stopping service. All of these comments are thoroughly confusing me. I'm just a mom who wants to save money by not buying phone service! Can someone please tell me what I should use or download to keep phone service? :) thank you so much!

          • knuckhead

            Do you have an iPad or iPod touch? You can make free calls from them using Hangouts from Apples App Store. It doesn't have the integrated Google Voice call history, voice and text messages like Talkatone, but it does have better call quality. I have a Nexus phone with T-Mobiles $30 plan. I just use the phone for messages and short conversations, and shift any long calls to the iPad.

            Talkatone is supposed to be releasing a new version in a couple of weeks that doesn't use Google Voice -- You might want to check that out.

    • Tony Sarju

      I ordered my OBi device to supprot my local VoIP DID and my Google Voice account. Sad to see that I won't get much use of the latter.

    • M1sta G

      This shouldn't break obi devices as long as Google voice still considers your hangouts account a forwarding phone number.

      • Robert Alexander

        Ask Obi about that. It won't work without xmpp

    • asdasdasdasd

      Ipkall and callcentric (With callcentric just lie and say you don't live in the usa otherwise you have to pay the 911 fee) both offer free DIDs(Incoming phone numbers). If you use Ipkall you have to sett it up with a sip account(I recommenced using sip2sip.info, voip.ms, ippi.fr, or callwithus). If worst comes to worst you can ditch GV and use localphone(One of the cheapest VoIP providers I've seen that still provides moderate call quality and reliability).My suggestion would be GV->Callcentric DID-Callcentric extension(OBi or other ATA) and use callback for calling.

      • http://goodevilgenius.org/ Dan Jones

        This is basically what I'm doing, with IPKall.

        GV -> IPKall -> sip2sip -> Sipdroid

    • Adj

      I hear you, I've had my Obi for about a year now and I just setup a 2nd number for my GV fax line for my computer the other day. I hope I can transition it to hangouts if google decides to integrate voice functionality into it. I can do without the phone because I have a cell, but I hate driving Kinkos and paying every time I need to send a fax because of a business that is stuck in the 90s.

      • msiam12

        free faxing with Voxox.com. Ive been using it for a couple of years and they havent deducted any of my prepay $$, just sayin..

  • https://steamcommunity.com/id/m-p-3 m-p{3}

    I guess this might have an impact on GrooVe IP..

    • Tommy Thompson

      "Among the casualties of this change is GrooVe IP..."

      • simp1istic

        Why would someone actually read the article before commenting?

        • Wyatt Neal

          Are you new here? This is the internet opinions and pointed questions come first, facts second! :)

      • https://steamcommunity.com/id/m-p-3 m-p{3}

        My quick reading skills failed me on that day. Sorry!

  • Linx

    Will apps like "Voice Plus" be affected? For those that don't know, it allows your phone to know which contacts you want to be called via your Google Voice #

    • jpowlus

      I also use Voice Plus and I would hope it would not be affected, as it isn't actually making calls or anything, it is just adjusting how your phone handles them... right?

    • andy_o

      "Voice+" is also CM's integration of Google Voice into any messaging app.

      Regardless, that's an interesting question. I use Groove Forwarder to change automatically my GV settings so that when connected to certain Wi-Fi networks it will forward to Talkatone, and if not, forward to phone. Now I'm wondering if this is also gonna be affected.

      • Michael Reiser

        I use Spare Phone. Guess it'll be affected too.

  • ncs

    sorry for the noob question, but does this "3rd party voice apps" include the likes of Viber,, Skype, ... ? I think even WhatsApp uses some sort of XMPP for their services

    • Freak4Dell

      It only affects apps that are related to Google Voice in some way. XMPP is not Google's to shut down, and XMPP is not going away. Google is just moving from XMPP to a closed protocol.

  • projectmisha

    You mention "The future of free VoIP calling is considerably less certain." Isn't this just what was released on iOS? You open hangouts, press the phone icon, a dial-pad comes up, you call any number for free, and if you have a voice number, that is what shows. That's VOIP, and it was just introduced. I don't think it is going anywhere.

    • florious80

      I'm not 100% sure, but I think the iOS version uses minutes. In other words, that's not exactly VOIP since it doesn't only use data to make the call. Android phones do that already, where the dial pad also comes up, but it routes the call through the cell. GrooveIP and others actually use data exclusively for the calls.

      • Stephen
      • projectmisha

        If works on a wifi only iPad, so no. No minutes

      • andy_o

        I don't think they could use minutes even if they wanted. That would require a level of integration that iOS just doesn't give you. There closest thing I've seen is doing the callback method.

      • Tony M.

        No, it definitely uses VOIP, not minutes since it works from my iPad over wifi at home. And the voice quality in iOS hangouts is superior to any other VOIP app I have tried so I can't wait for Android to get this functionality - will be happy to retire GrooveIP.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/cody-toombs/ Cody Toombs

      You're right, that does make it look pretty good for free calling through Voice, but we still don't have an announcement or clear proof that there won't be limitations in how it functions. For the time being, we're still locked in a holding pattern where we can't be entirely sure of when and how things will happen. All we know with certainty is that several apps people rely on for various use cases are now on a timeline. I'm not suggesting it's the end of free calling, but it wouldn't be a terrible idea for people to have a backup plan, just in case.

      • notfadedone

        I'm not sure we know what that plan would be right now though.

  • UniBroW

    I have grooveip and i welcome this change, i want to be able to open hangouts and make a call directly from the app. I'd imagine the voice quality is only going to get better. The current situation for voice is pretty lackluster.

  • andy_o

    The future of free VoIP calling is considerably less certain, and Google hasn't made a statement about plans to introduce such a feature

    What about the fact that iOS already has it in Hangouts? Oh mark my words, there's gonna be hell to pay if they don't, I might start a petition or something.

    • mgamerz

      Hangouts comes default on most new android phones, it does not on iOS. I don't feel like carriers are going to like free voip calls on their networks, pulling the same facetime bullshit they did on iOS.

      • brkshr

        I'll bet the carriers that don't like it will block it. I think AT&T still blocks Hangouts video calls.

        • kirk

          Of course they won't like it. They hate everything that doesn't pad the revenues.

          But I don't think they have a legal leg to stand on if you use your data plan, to use data. You've paid for that data. Whether it's youtube, netflix, or a VOIP service that is not something they could prohibit.

          If that's true that ATT is screwing their customers out of service that the customers are paying for. It's time to call in the lawyers, or change carriers (the better option since you'd get the service immediately along with instant savings every month).

          But the carriers might do something really stupid like stop selling Android phones. Of course the irony is that Hangouts users on iphones can already do it. (see the need to roll out that service to iphone first?)

        • Adj

          I bet you can get around the block by setting up an openVPN connection to your home internet through port 443 and directing all your internet traffic through it. I'd like to see them try and block port 443.

          • moon1234

            They are a man in the middle so it is easy for them to decrypt all SSL communications where the initial key is not hidden from them.

            Standard SSL requires an exchange of public keys to setup the initial secure connection. The ISP gets to "hear" all of these public keys. They can then use that information to decrypt and inspect all of the traffic that is supposedly secure.

            This is why banks give fobs to their corporate banking customers. When they use SSL the customer has to push a button on the FOB and a number is displayed. This number is a hash of ssl public key and the number on the fob. The fob number is based on time of day and a random seed that is stored on the server at the bank. This allows the SSL connection to begin without first exchanging keys. This prevents a man in the middle attack.

            Many corporations also do a similar thing, but with SSL certificates. Certificates are less secure in my opinion as anyone who gets access to the certificate can use/copy it as many times as they want, whereas a FOB has a changing number that is only usable on one computer at a time, for a fixed amount of time and is usually coupled with a username and password.
            As to blocking traffic in SSL tunnels, yes it is EASY to do MOST of the time. I do it at my job with a Cisco ASA firewall to keep people from doing exactly what you are trying to do. Although we are more worried about people stealing intellectual property and wasting time watching redirected Netflix than we are about getting free phone calls. The employees treat the corporate phone as free anyway.

      • http://www.kevin-plunkett.com/ CMYKevin

        Except carriers will profit from the extra data usage. Especially now that unlimited plans are hard to come by on a few carriers.

        • http://skorch.co.uk/ Antony Derham

          Unlimited plans are everywhere. I get true unlimited (no fair usage) for £12 a month and with 4G coming in March too, I cannot wait for this.

          • F*ck Telecoms

            Right, 12 *pounds*. If you pay USD for your data, you have virtually no unlimited data plans available. They killed those about 2 years ago in the US.

    • david coffey

      Exercise your rights to be an American and all that, but petitions don't do a gd thing.

      • John Samuel αΩ

        Petitions serve to spread messages about things, which can help lead to change.

    • http://www.facebook.com/lucyparanormal Daniel Tiberius

      A googler on Google+ mentioned that it was coming on Android, it wasn't an official press release or anything though. Looking forward to this.

    • Benny X

      Really? lol it's not like Google Voice is the only option...

  • dethduck

    Well $#!%, without GrooveIP I loose my WiFi calling, barring Tmo actually releasing a wifi calling app. Am I gonna have to return to a landline to be called at home again?

    • Gabernasher

      Isn't voice calling due to come to Hangouts soon anyways, iOS got it.

      • dethduck

        It's not a matter of being able to make calls but being able to receive them as well. My cell number is routed through Google Voice, which for now only works through the cell network. GrooveIP routes Google Voice through data when I'm on WiFi so I can still receive any calls I get.

        • bobEveryman

          Won't you just get a voice call through Hangouts then?

          • dethduck

            Dunno yet. I hope so, I'd hate to have to give up my nexus 4 and future nexus 5 for a Tmobile bought phone just for wifi calling.

          • bobEveryman

            Apparently I will be missing being able to make and receive calls through my OBi box that I have at home, hooked up to some cordless phones...

        • Victor Stuber

          On iOS you can send and receive calls through the hangouts app. I'm more than certain they would bring this to Android

      • mgamerz

        I doubt they're going to have android calling come out in hangouts before google voice is fully shut down. But maybe. It's going to a significant issue on my T-Mobile 100 minutes plan...

    • Ross Keenan

      I am wondering the same there here. I just purchased GrooveIP on Thursday. I am hoping Google doesn't abanden VOIP. It really great to be able to place a call from my wifi-only tablet.

    • http://twitter.com/geoff5093 Geoff Johnson

      This is what I don't get. You can call in Hangouts, but is that actually using your Google Voice number, or is it just like Skype with your Google contacts? If someone calls your Google Voice number, does that go through Hangouts? I always pictured the new Hangouts iOS app as just the ability to make voice calls with other people who also use Hangouts.

      • dethduck

        ^This is what I'm worried about. If it's just calls from Hangouts to Hangouts, it's useless to me.

      • Andrew

        Nope, on iOS you can treat it as your real phone. There's a dialer that let's you call any US number, and any incoming calls to your GV rings the app with a notification. It's pretty sweet and I'm shocked Android doesn't have it.

    • SpanishInsect

      My sister has a TMO wifi calling app. Her service sucks and they provided it for her. That's all I know

    • Benny X

      Yeah I guess if you can't do a bit of research maybe its better that you do return to a landline..

    • msiam12

      use an IPKALL # set up and make it one of the numbers in your google voice, it will ring it when your GV is called

  • Mayoo

    Meanwhile in Canada, we can't use Voice at all. Cherish Voice if you can use it.

    • Jean-Philippe Murray

      Amen to that. I've never understood what law kept them from coming over here...

      • Mayoo

        The name of the law is : "Crybabies-Profit-Driven-Carriers".

        • Rony

          Don't think that's the case.
          Except the u.s. nobody has access to Google voice.

          • mlkkmlm

            Well.....kinda. You cant get a Google Voice number if your outside the us. People outside the us can still use Google voice to make calls(Cant receive calls or do anything useful though).

          • nnate

            I'm canadian and love my free Google Voice with free long distance that I can revive calls and send calls I worked around it by getting a usa number for a couple of hours on one of the trials they run in the usa.... I may have to find another way to get a free phone

          • Benny X

            Just use the 'Burner' app for Android. Gives you a 'temporary' number. I've been using my 'temporary' number for months now, with no problems.

          • Benny X

            wrong!

          • Benny X

            wrong.

        • Jean-Philippe Murray

          I'd say that the CRTC predates the fac that our carriers sucks...

          • Mayoo

            I've asked them often about Music, Wallet, Voice, etc. The only response I had from them was "We don't regulate online content".

          • Jean-Philippe Murray

            Ohhhhhhh.... Canada.

    • karthik nayak

      you mean rest_of_the_world*

    • DirkBelig

      Yeah, I found that out the hard way back in June when I tried to use a Fido pre-paid card to power my Nexus 4 while on a trip to Toronto and got block from configuring GV to forward to the Canuckian SIM #.

      • Benny X

        there was no need to forward in the first place. Someone calls your US GV number, you can receive it on your phone in Canada as long as you have an internet connection..

        • DirkBelig

          How does that work??

    • Benny X

      Not sure what rock you've been hiding under, but yes, you can use Google Voice in Canada. You will have to settle for a US phone number, though.

  • Ryan Stewart

    I personally don't care as long as Google finally finishes making Google Voice good. It really has the opportunity to blow iMessage out of the water.

    • Wyatt Neal

      Agreed. I mean, I feel bad that I'm going to loose things like GrooveIP, but honestly, if Google can make something actually pulls it all together nicely like they've done in hangouts, I'm all for us moving forward in the technology realm.

      • http://benpike.net/ Ben Pike

        As far as I can tell - the only thing I'm losing switching from GrooveIP to Hangouts for VOIP calls is the ability to tweak under the hood settings that I never touched to begin with....

        • VAVA Mk2

          As long as I get call/dialer functionality with the combined app like I do with Groove IP, I will be a happy camper.

        • madpscyentist

          But you can't make calls from Hangouts rightr? Unless you have iOS right? Do you know if hangouts for android will provide this luxury? I hope so because I've been relying on Talkatone and GrooveiP for a while so it sucks to lose them if I have no alternative and currtently I cannot make calls with google hangouts (the android phone app, but you can on the iOS phone app but I don't have an iPhone, I have android and always have).

          • Rake Table

            I use Gmail from tablet to make voice to voice calling (you must have a google voice number).

          • Stephanos

            I am thinking of buying a tablet specifically for this reason, are you running Gmail via an android tablet?

    • Franz

      Exactly.

      We have message. We have video. We really need voice calls through hangouts, which we don't have at the moment.

      Hangouts also needs to integrate tighter with Google Contacts. Some stuff appears, some don't.

      • Rick Archibald

        Actually, you can make voice calls through hangouts. I work remotely and talk to some of my coworkers that don't have have microphones or webcams. I send the initial invite to their phone number, they pick up, I send another invite to their Hangout account, they accept that, and they are now able to view what I send them through the webcam or desktop - very useful!

        • Franz

          Right, I see what your saying. I guess what I mean is, the phone icon shows up with your in an SMS window, but only the video icon shows up when your in a hangout-hangout window. I can understand why in the SMS window, the video icon depends on what app they have installed that can take videos with.

          But for a hangout to hangout window, there should be no excuse to put up 2 icons. One for video, and one for audio. Or when you click the video icon, give the option to display video, and just use audio.

          Just little things like that still need to be ironed out.

    • notfadedone

      Or Google offer new option using webRTC that 3rd parties could use through published api. Devs could use better codecs than groove IP uses and make apps that use your GV number for better VoIP and put a huge stake in apples heart!!! ;^}
      It has to allow incoming calls to your GV number that ring your cell over VoIP data ONLY!

  • My1

    honestly you can make free video calls on Hangouts, so why not introduce audio-only calls as well???

    • OldDogeyes

      Can you make video calls to anyone with a phone number or only Hangouts members?

      With VOIP I can call anyone with a phone number... big difference ...

      • My1

        oh sry, skype and all those services are called VoIP too, but it makes sense since VoIP simply means Voice oover IP and nothing about whether the other end must be a phone or not. but they really should include a skype-like feature to Hangouts, for ppl without can and/or with bad i-net...

      • Mike Horton

        I call people on their phone number from hangouts all the time.

        • ins0mn1a

          from hangouts on an android phone? are you... from the future?

          • Mike Horton

            Oh, I was talking about hangouts from my desktop.

          • ins0mn1a

            i know ;).

        • desert turtle

          Can you get inbound calls to a number as well?

          • david calman

            Apparently, yes. I just got one from my Mom.

    • hp420

      Because it doesn't allow you to dial a phone number to make that call. Not only do I not have a Google account for every single person/business in my contact list, I don't always want to make a video call.

      • My1

        that isnt the point, but Hangouts ppl can chat and video call, so why not add voice too...

  • Mick Collingwood

    Would be nice to actually have Google Voice, still waiting in the UK.

    • ins0mn1a

      i honestly think this will become much more realistic once they go full-voip. otherwise, forwarding calls to cellphones (which is effectively what gvoice does now) in europe would only be possible if the receiving party pays for those calls. with voip, you would receive calls via data connection, and that should be much cheaper.

      • Mick Collingwood

        Sorry for the late reply, never noticed the notification. I hope you're right and this is the way that it proceeds.

  • http://www.twitter.com/ninjustin ninjustin

    That's a shame about Groove IP. I used it a few times on my Nexus 7 but it was never really necessary. It was the easiest VoIP to set up. Guess I'll just have to make calls from My PC with Google Voice.

  • Ma

    To be clear, this ONLY affects apps that are piggybacking (AKA freeloading) off of Googles XMPP backend, Hangouts has transitioned away from it, and they no longer need the service, apps will have to find some other parasitic host to feed from.

    • r4v5

      you can't "freeload" off of a publicly provided API

  • Robert Grimm

    I've been interested in getting an OBiTalk and trying Windows Phone with a 3rd party GV app. I guess this ends both of those possibilities.

  • OldDogeyes

    Will Talkatone by affected by this? I assume yes...

    • Nick

      Yes. Lots of people gonna get butthurt by this.

  • pslim80

    I don't understand this article, is it trolling? IOS just got the ability to make VoIP calls through hangouts in its most recent update, why in God's name would you not think android would follow suit especially after announcing 3rd party apps won't work. They just like iOS better huh? Smh

    • tmd

      I wonder why Google would release the feature on iOS first. Maybe they do secretly like iOS more...

      • timrcm

        It's two separate development teams.

      • Joe Lachovsky

        I think it has a lot more to do with trying to entice iOS users to try Hangouts. With iMessage there really isn't a whole lot of incentive to use Hangouts, but maybe they think offering free voice calling will get some people to at least try it. I'm thinking it might not work as well as they're expecting, as most people have more than enough minutes on their contract already, but that feature is certainly useful for someone like me who's on T-Mo's $30 100 minute plan.

  • Christopher Robert

    I am happy gVoice is being integrated. Hopefully it is done well enough that i don't miss any of the 3rd party apps.

  • NateCress

    I am enjoying the effort Google is making to bring all of it's messaging systems into Hangouts, but I am not liking the exclusive concept. Maybe XMPP just isn't the right protocol. Maybe Google is going to work on a better replacement for it. I don't really know, but I wish that the major messaging systems that are being developed would eventually have some kind of interoperability. Services like Hangouts, iMessage/Face Time, and Skype should work together instead of against each other, but current competition between the major platforms seems to be causing each to lock down and protect its ecosystem and users. I understand this in part, but I still think that this is a protective action rather than some proactive and beneficial. A few years from now, I expect things will look differently. We will see.

    • Dmitri Smirnov

      Don't kid yourself. Google is just locking down the garden, not that they have enough users. XMPP is neither bad, nor outdated. Google could have kept at least text interoperability, but Hangouts is about push to G+ exclusively, not about interoperability. Heck, this gimp won't even open contact card, like GTalk did, it will throw you to a G+ profile page. On a phone, dammit, so I can't even call the person I'm chatting with, or send them an email quickly. All interoperation and usability killed, just so that Google can push their users to G+.

      • Eric Mendes

        I was going to say the exact same thing. Let's not forget Google is moving all the good stuff from ASOP to Google Services in order to keep Samsung and the like fully under el Goog's thumb.

      • Worried

        Very true. Hangouts is just an attempt by Google to force users onto G+ in its quest to increase its social network numbers. Google's steadily turning closed source and disregarding users' privacy too through various Google services.

  • Zak Taccardi

    I'm very suprised T-Mobile hasn't announced Google Voice integration (like Sprint) yet. With their new "Uncarrier" business model - it wouldn't be so surprising.

    AT&T and Verizon on the other hand..

    • Wyatt Neal

      I'm betting there's got to be a "sprint exclusive" in there somewhere. You'd have to think that T-Mo has figured it out that data is the future of everything at this point the way they are pushing the plans.

      • Zak Taccardi

        true - all their new plans are unlimited minutes/texts, so allowing users to easily text over data wouldn't hit their bottom line at all.

        Although it's been about 4 years since the sprint exclusive started (I think it started in 2009)....I can't believe the contract would last much longer than that.

  • Zak Taccardi

    I know we can port our number to Google Voice, but what I would really like to see is the ability to send/receive text messages from Google Voice with my data off no different than the process flow with data on. Currently you can send/receive texts from your contacts with a strange Google number, but that process isn't very comfortable to me, nor would it be to the average user.

  • Stephen Diniz

    iOS announces Free VoIP Calls on the Google Voice Application.. Why are we worried? Another thing: "The future of free VoIP calling is considerably less certain, and Google hasn't made a statement about plans to introduce such a feature, but we can hope." The future of free VoIP calling is certain with iOS's update.. ???

    • dhruva

      yes but free voip calls in us/canada is just a promotion (part of google voice), they extend it every year. i think 2014 will be the last extension.

      • Stephen Diniz

        Why update the latest Google Voice app on iOS to do this if it's only going to last 1 year?

        • dhruva

          im just saying they are doing this promotion on web for the past two years (i think)

  • Enigmatic Psychotic

    I'm torn on this. While I like the idea that I'll be able to have MMS I hate to see VOIP disappear as I don't get coverage at work.

  • baconslayer09

    I ported out my Google Voice number because of the delay. I was tired of Google not updating their app and using somewhat erratic third party apps instead.

  • Ruben Martinez Jr.

    Wait, so this means my GV client on Windows Phone is going belly-up? :(
    Damn you, Google!!!

  • KanishkSingh

    I don't think it matters if you loose access on mobile apps since there will be a better integration in hangout, except for windows phone since they do not have a hangout app yet.
    On the other hand I used Google Voice with OBI 100 as a land line which will stop working as well, no more free land line I guess.

  • duke69111

    I love Groove IP, I don't use it a ton, but there has been multiple times when I had an ounce of data, but no voice connection and was able to call out using GrooveIP. It's to bad really. Hopefully they will make something available before then.

  • Oli72

    Great for Google. Tighten up the ship.

  • http://thedangerbrain.com/ Alfonso Surroca

    I'm guessing that merging Voice into Hangouts is the last piece of the puzzle we need to be able to send SMS/MMS messages through the web (as several Android+Chrome apps already do).

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/cody-toombs/ Cody Toombs

      Well, you can already do that with SMS through https://www.google.com/voice, but integration with Hangouts should improve the experience and add MMS support.

  • yankeesusa

    Although its not that big of a deal for most, recently my number was ported incorrectly to another service and while they fixed the issue I used grooveip to make calls. It was a lifesaver. I'm sure another mobile voip option will arise.. i hope.

  • mgamerz

    GrooveIP is going to break? I thought that took Google Talk calls instead.

  • br_hermon

    So this has the same impact on 3rd party hardware too, correct? No more using Google Voice with a VOIP hardware setup paired with standard cordless house phones, right?

  • roberthenderson

    how about a way to erase messages in bulk?

  • ickk

    would this include dashclock extensions that inform you of unread google voice messages, or voice+

  • d3xt3rlab
  • melhiore

    So in the UK as we never had GoogleVoice changes will be minimal or non existent... I have to use other VoIP apps not related to Google....

  • Royal2000H

    Google used to be a proponent of open protocols and interoperability. Now they're going heavily into the way of a closed ecosystem.

  • Crispin Swickard

    I only ever used Google Voice for the voice mail functionality. I wonder if that facet may disappear entirely? It would seem odd to incorporate voice mail into Hangouts. May have to go back to T-Mobile's voice mail app that doesn't have the message transcription without extra cost..

    The transcription is not great on Voice, but at least I can find out what a message is about without making a call, even listening to the message when I am at work, an unable to listen to the actual message.

  • AmicusBrief

    It's pretty safe to assume VoIP will be added to Hangouts in Android since the feature was just added to the iOS version.

  • droidtomtom

    Mixed feelings. But this basically makes Google services useless. The Hangouts client for PC or rather the Chrome Client does not support multiple accounts. However the Android version does and Pidgin and other 3rd parties do.

    Example while doing work logged into my employer's Google drive I can't also listen to music from my personal Google music account without logging out of work. But I have to use a third Google account to communicate with another team. The only solution is using IE, FF, and Chrome for each one. And if you accidentally check you gmail using the wrong one it will take forever to get logged back in as default account. Then the Hangouts client ends up logged into the wrong one for IM or even accepting invitations for video conferencing.

    • Bender411

      Use 2 more incognito pages in Chrome. You can have 3 different account.

      • droidtomtom

        Thanks! Going to give that a try. I imagine I would have to log in every time but still great.

        • droidtomtom

          Too bad plugins are not supported in Incognito. So no Hangouts support in Incognito. Checking gmail without it randomly logging out another random google account works in Incognito.

          • Max Exter

            otoh, you can use portable Chrome to accomplish what you want.

          • Bender411

            You can use plugins too. Go to your extentions/plugins menu and check "use in incognito" under plugins you need.

  • Cuvis

    Bad form, Google. There's a lot of people who are going to be burned by this.

  • ed

    I personally route my international calls through gvoice. I call a lot and Google gets a lot of money from me on this.

  • rzpatel

    Definitely recommend the GVMate Phone Adapter or GVJackApp for magicJack that does not use XMPP signalling and is going to keep working. Have my GVMate plugged into an old unused Windows laptop in the corner. See http://www.pcphonesoft.com/gvjackapp-unaffected-by-xmpp-retirement-may-2014.html .

  • Random!

    You know what would be awesome? If hangouts connected to 3rd part services, such as the Facebook messenger.

  • shutUface

    This doesn't sound very Google'esque

  • hp420

    Good! Kill it today, for all I care! The longer Google takes to bring the boom down on these devs, the more money it costs me in my monthly wireless bill. I honestly don't understand why Google let them get away with using their code for so long if they didn't want them to use it in the first place! Words can't even begin to describe how upset I am that they gave this service to i-whores first!!! People who don't even support Android get to use a service developed by Google first?!?!?!?! Even more aggravating is the fact that Google is giving them so much of a head start!!! Honestly, if it were my call, I wouldn't give apple users access to Google search, even!! You want to use Google products? Buy a device that runs the firmware built by Google....otherwise deal with Apple's god-awful alternatives.

  • Matthew Fry

    I wonder if carrier pressure is a factor. If I were Google and I knew that most of the major US carriers were planning on offering some sort of wifi calling solution for their customers I'd probably back off and let the carriers use their considerable advertising power to sell more handsets.

  • mombear3

    Why CANT I see my messages online anymore? They r not syncing.

  • Nancy

    Just a questions. If I have google voice on my phone do I really need to have hangouts too? Could I just eliminate voice? I really like gv for the mail boxes. What are your thoughts?

  • Sol Gatuno

    I don't know if anyone noticed but since I started using Hangouts app, my data usage sky rocketed through the roof. So those who have limited data access monthly, might think twice about using this app. It has a dark-side nobody sees until it's too late.. I suggest disable it ASAP unless you love surfing on 2G or none at all depending on your mobile provider ha-ha!

  • Sol Gatuno

    Hangouts app is evil... I'm I THE only one who sees how much more data usage this app consumes when used? My data usage went through the ceiling in one week alone compared to a month worth. Another scam to get you to use more data faster without you realizing it and companies can charge you for data access overages. Hope everyone loves surfing on 2G when you data access goes over your limit because of this Hangouts app.

  • Sol Gatuno

    Google and other companies like Xfinity aka Comcast, are taking over the web world to control us and all our personal data is than access easily by private organizations like the FBI and other government agencies. It's truly sad but what the doodles can we the little people do except enjoy what last bit of privacy we have in our homes. Soon everyone will merge on the web through the Cloud. Just think, any hacker or government agency will only need to view YOUR Cloud to access ALL your personal data on everything from financial banking to medical and private photos - everything. Fu** the Cloud, fu** this "Hangouts" app and fu** the politicians who are all benefiting from our dumb asses.

    • notfadedone

      That's what crypto is for. Check red phone app and silent circle. You choose to be "dumb."

  • Jose Valle

    I hope they put out an app to place VoIP calls . alot of us Google fans ported numbers to this service. We would need a good process to port them back out but it would suck

  • Joseph Kennedy

    Google gave Hangouts on iOS the ability to make calls (and receive calls if linked with GV) a little before they gave Android carrier integrated SMS. Android will probably get that feature too once Google Voice is fully integrated into Hangouts, you can already make calls from your Voice number through Hangouts on the desktop, as well as receive calls. This function will probably be coming to the app in time, meaning you aren't loosing the ability of making and receiving calls in general, just the ability of doing it through a third party, you'll have to do it through Hangouts in the future. At least that's how I see it.

  • anony

    Google is going to abandon literally thousands of GV users and force us all into their little NSA ridden drone world and you morons think this is a GOOD thing?

  • 14ghz

    I just set up a VPN server at home so I can tunnel in while overseas and appear online with my home US ip address, which is very helpful for many things, one of those is making free voip.calls with talkatone on my droid. Reading this made me upset! Normally google charges to call the US from other countries. VPN makes it free. I do hope they put the calling feature in their app before closing the others out! Other voip services are not free, thats why i like VPN and talkatone so much.

  • Cory Church

    I think the merge is fine as long as hangouts can handle SMS and voicemail and multiple accounts. Right now I use google voice for my business and hangouts for personal - both under different google accounts. I HAVE to ha a this function.

  • Brad

    The thing I am not happy with here would be that my voicemails are now going to be stuck in my text message inbox...

  • cloud9ine

    tightening of the reins, as in reins of a horse, not the reign of a king

  • Madhur B

    I do not agree to this. Others apps will still work good!

  • piratesmvp04

    Just get the Vonage app. They give you a bunch of free minutes each month to make calls to any number. You just connect your phone number to it and create an account. It works with google voice but you need to use the call method to authenticate as their text message confirmation is not compatible with Gv SMS

  • Victor

    Really, another year? Hopefully they will have for Canadian users as well.

  • Matt

    So far Google Voice itself still works without needing Hangouts. Hopefully it stays that way. Because Google Voice you can talk to anyone, with Google Hangouts you can only talk to Google+ members.

  • DogLoverinKailua

    Really distressed by this change. We use free Google Voice daily for our wildlife saving organization and our personal phone. It has been so ideal. I admit I don't understand Hangouts so maybe once I am up to speed on that it will not be substantially different? Will I still be able to receive phone calls and have voice transcripts? I don't understand why some folks have been complaining about GV. Sure the transcriptions are often hilarious, but no problem. I can listen to them. And I can forward them to my volunteers to reply to with the message voice intact. Really sad as Google Voice has been free and has all the features I need. Does anyone have advice on what we can change to - using the desktop computer that will have these features?

  • Jay W.

    any updates on this?

  • Guest

    Sounds neat, but not much point in this now. 3rd party app access to Google Voice will cease to function on May 15, 2014: http://www.androidpolice.com/2013/11/04/merging-of-google-voice-and-hangouts-will-result-shutting-down-all-3rd-party-voice-apps-in-may-2014/

  • HotRodTodd

    So will Voice still work? Or Will Google force me to use Hangouts? I just want to SMS text thru Voice using my wifi. I like simple lightweight apps.