18
Mar
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Google's messaging situation has been a mess. When Hangouts first appeared, it replaced Google+ Messenger and Google Talk, bringing the company's list of similarly-named Android apps from four down to three. Once Hangouts gained SMS support and replaced Messenger, that dropped the number down to two. Voice is all that remains, and if a report by 9to5 Google is to be believed, we only have a handful of months to wait for it to kick the bucket, with a possible Google I/O announcement seeming increasingly likely.

Hangouts

It's no secret that Google is working on integrating the two services, and this information lines up with Google's intent to shut down all third-party Voice apps in May of this year.

The updated Hangouts app will reportedly be able to make VoIP-to-phone calls on both Android and iOS, a change that could draw ire from carriers who may not smile upon such competition from an app that comes pre-installed on millions of devices. Only time will tell what limitations Hangouts may eventually launch with.

Keep your fingers crossed. Google I/O will take place June 25-26. Hopefully by then Google will have its communication apps situation better under control.

Source: 9to5 Google

Bertel King, Jr.
Born and raised in the rural South, Bertel knows what it's like to live without 4G LTE - or 3G, for that matter. The only things he likes sweeter than his tea are his gadgets, and while few objects burn more than a metal phone on a summer day, he prefers them that way anyway.

  • Nick

    Sounds like it would be on track for a new Android version.

  • Michael Pahl

    ah man! When will this be available in Cambodia! Stupid Google!

    /sarcasm

  • moelsen8

    F the carriers, bring it on.

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

    Finally, The Google Voice App needs to be put down.

    • Scott

      I'm perfectly OK with them just making it better.

  • JLishere

    Please please please expand internationally. Google has to. Otherwise, the new 'Hangouts' will be absolutely confusing.

  • Paul_Werner

    Totally downplaying how difficult it must be to merge the two but here I go anyway

  • Steve

    Would really love to see my SMS (and MMS) messages in my hangouts app appear in my gmail history (and in hangouts on gmail) just like the regular hangouts do. No reason the phone can't backup the SMS messages to gmail. Can beggars be choosers?

    • icantremember

      I know it's third party, but SMS Backup+ does exactly what you want.
      https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.zegoggles.smssync

      Been using it for years, seriously.

      • Steve

        Yep, I use it too. Just wishing it would be native (and my SMS chats would show up in the gmail window alongside my hangouts chats so I can read/respond directly from my computer).

        • Chris

          That is something I've been wanting for awhile... Being able to respond to texts via my computer. *drools*

          • Shawn McFadden

            I use Google Voice in my browser to do SMS texts on my computer.

        • nic

          mighty text allows you do see and respond to text messages from your browser. Not as ideal as having it integrated into Gmail, but for a third party app, it's pretty good.

      • Luqmaan Mathee

        I've been using super backup. It backs up call logs, SMS, contacts, bookmarks, apks and calendar dates.

        • ash

          There is a option in hangouts in which if you are offline in hangouts and you are messaged then google sends a sms containing the text the person sent. So I think it can be done vice versa.

          • JC

            Is that option found in the mobile or desktop app? I haven't seen it anywhere.

    • jonzey231

      Its already in your history. If you login to gmail and just use the search box, it will search your Hangouts threads and your emails all at the same time. If the result turns out to be a Hangouts thread, then it'll bring up the entire conversation. My girlfriend and I each use Hangouts and this is a very good way to solve the "he said/she said" debate since it is all archived. Lol.

      Edit: sorry I guess I suck at reading. You said you wanted SMS messages to be backed up, not regular Hangouts conversations. *Inserting foot into mouth*

      • Alex

        Regular Hangouts messages are, but I don't think SMS sent/received via Hangouts are?

    • ynksbsbll2

      MightyText will let you see (and send/receive) texts right from within Gmail. It's also handy to use for texting from a tablet linked to your phone

  • angrysock

    I'm hoping at I/O, they just drop a huge announcement about Voice including this, adding in MMS functionality, a brand new website which shows messages in realtime, and then the eradication of that horrible Voice app.

    • Steven Franklin Jr.

      When's I/o?

      • Mark Curtis

        In the article: "Google I/O will take place June 25-26."

    • hp420

      They have a site that shows realtime messaging at http://www.google.com/voice

      There are also about a half million plugins for every browser on Earth, too.

      Also, MMS works on Sprint and Tmo. Ditch you shitty ATT or Verizon contract and you'll have it too.

  • DarthPugz

    Do I even bother hoping for GV to finally support MMS???

    • Danny Lewis

      Hey, isn't it fun explaining to friends and family why you didn't get that picture they sent you? Google just wants you to be ostracized by your friends and family which will free up more time to use more Google products.

      • DarthPugz

        I hear you. I thought GV was supposed to make things easier, which it usually does, but with the exponential usage of MMS in the past few years, it's starting to become a major problem for me. At this point, I'd be more than happy if they'd just 100% implement a workaround, such as sending the MMS to your Gmail inbox. I don't know enough about phone systems, but it's strange how that feature works for some (Sprint, Tmobile) and not for others.

        • makapav

          Who the fuck are all these people using shitty (in all respects) MMS to send pictures around?

          • Jason Rittenhouse

            I agree that MMS sucks in general but a lot of people still use it because it's what they are used to doing from the feature phone days.

        • Drootz

          I get my google voice MMS messages sent to my Gmail inbox whenever anyone tries to send it to my google voice number...... not sure why it doesn't do that for you.....I am using Cyanogenmod 10.2.1 though not sure if that has any effect on it.

          • Adam Howard

            It works if the sender is on Sprint; not sure if they've made it work for senders on any other mobile network yet.

          • hp420

            Tmo

          • andy_o

            That only counts for mms coming from Sprint users.

          • hp420

            And Tmo

          • Wyatt Neal

            The same thing work for me and still works (VZW-> Tmo) by turning on Gmail notifications of text messages. You'll get more email, but it worked for me.

          • Bob

            It works when the person sending you the MMS is on T-Mobile or Sprint.

        • hp420

          Derp....they use EXACTLY this workaround.......READ, PEOPLE!!!!!

      • hp420

        Then try a carrier that isn't located on the death star. Tmo and Sprint support it.

        • Danny Lewis

          On Tmo, you only get an email of the MMS if it is from another Tmo customer. At least when you use Google Voice Integration on Sprint, it spits it out to the phone's Messaging app.

          I'm going to wait until Google I/O before switching away from Google Voice if it doesn't get better.

    • http://www.prosoftstudio.com/ Brandon Enriquez

      It is something that should have been done long ago. MMS is if anything at it's peak and may decline with the rise of photo sharing on apps like Instagram, Twitter, and now the growing SnapChat (I know they are more as well).

      If anything it is almost too late, but I guess better later than never.

    • hp420

      GV does support MMS. You carrier does not. Tmo and Sprint work flawlessly with mms on GV.

      • DarthPugz

        I still don't understand the issue. My carrier (at&t) does support MMS. If my sister sends MMS to me on my GV number, I get it in a Gmail message (she's on Sprint). If my cousin (also on at&t) sends me an MMS to my GV number, it goes nowhere. I receive no notification that he sent me an MMS, and he receives nothing stating that I never received it.

  • Michael

    I hope they allow MMS through Voice after the update.

    • moelsen8

      that's not google, that's the carriers not playing ball

      • Barnassey

        People on tmobile and sprint can already receive mms but cant send it thru gv.

        • moelsen8

          yes, i believe because google was able to strike deals with them to receive mms via an email. t-mobile and sprint are also the most google friendly out of the big 4 in the US.

        • AngstKeiner

          "People on tmobile and sprint can already receive mms but cant send it thru gv"

          Also People sending MMS (The usual way) can send mms to anyone on GV and you'll get it as an email attachment.

        • hp420

          Yes you can, if you use hangouts. Initiate a conversation with GV....wait for a reply....continue the conversation in hangouts. Now it's an MMS capable conversation, as long as you have Sprint or Tmo

      • hp420

        Omg, someone else who reads!!!! Holy crap are we a rare species!!! lol

  • Eric

    SO.. MANY.. GOOD.. NEWS!

  • gk1984

    It took an insider to let this story out? Hmm.... Let's see... Google voice shutting down third party access in May, already stated this is to allow for the integration to happen. They already told us when this was happening without spelling it out

  • http://franklinc.ca/ Franklin

    Get ready for "USA only. Expanding to other countries soon".

    • NoBullet

      Well, thats a problem with laws and regulations in each country, not a google problem. Do people think google doesn't want their products available everywhere?

      • Lexster

        Don't bother, there are always at least five people who post, "Bet it'll be US only" n every announcement regarding Google. You'd think at this point they'd just make that assumption and deal with it.

        • hp420

          Google is US based. Whether people like it or not they aren't entitled to a damn thing....even here in the US.

          • Lexster

            Yep, exactly. There are plenty of things that we have to wait for in the US that other countries get first.

  • Chris

    So much news today. Can't-handle-all-this...... Blood pressure.

    • calmdownbro

      ITS ALWAYS HAPPENING.

      • hp420

        As long as the day doesn't start with an S....in these cases there isn't a single update to be had....like the world stops rotating on weekends lol

        • ash

          I don't think it will be integrated because in many countries the voice is not known google will have to clear regulations barrier first. If they do that in other countries then i will be more than happy.

  • NWSD

    I don't see any backlash from carriers. Hangouts for ios has VoIP now anyways and most plans are unlimited talk.

    • abqnm

      Yes. This. Now (most) carriers make money from data caps, so most should be happy that you want to use more data and give them more money.

      Even Verizon is caring less about the grandfathered unlimited data users because they have gotten the majority to switch by letting them upgrade devices at a discount. There are the die-hard group that will never let go of it, but it isn't enough for them to even mention anymore.

      • Scott Sawyer

        Die hard here on my full priced hardware. But I get unlimited texts and voice as well.

        The value of SMS is the low fidelity, high speed transmission. I don't need but the smallest bit of cell signal to send and receive SMS.

        I am not a fan of merging Voice into hangouts. I have a Google apps account that is tied to hangouts, and my voice account is tied to a separate gmail account.

        Basically, I manage my business and personal by segregation of services, but google has never supported this well. For the last 4 years I have managed this quite well, but Google constantly merging and eliminating services makes it harder and harder.

        • abqnm

          I find Hangouts multiple account handling pretty good. I have 2 Google Apps account and one Gmail account configured in Hangouts and it is easy to switch and I can have separate sounds for each account. The only thing I wish is that they made it easier to sign out of an account. I want to sign out of my work account on Hangouts when I get home. I have to go to "settings//sign out." They need to just put a sign out option in the menu. Otherwise it works well for me.

          I would love to have the option of selecting my GV number when sending a text from Hangouts. Then I can use one app for most of my instant communication needs.

          Edit: ignore the random /work tag that Disqus keeps adding. It thinks my menu location above is code, I guess.

    • hp420

      Ummmmm....what??? No they aren't!!! Most carriers have ONE unlimited voice option. NO ONE has unlimited voice across the board!!

  • Dominic Powell

    what they should do is give everyone their own voice number just for messaging purposes that way they can synchronize everything that way. SMS or DATA message through hangouts.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/09558823023162268203 givitumibeybi

    Availible in Europe in 2095 .

    • Luqmaan Mathee

      And South Africa along with other African countries follows soon thereafter...in 3095.

      • deltatux

        And in Canada in 3.95 million years...

        • Gaurav Arora

          Haha India got it on day 3.

  • calmdownbro

    I hate that I can only video call via Hangouts. Why can't they add a "voice call only" button?

    • Matt

      The iOS Hangouts does; it's coming to Android for sure.

    • abqnm

      You can on iOS, and that is exactly what this article is referring to. Merging Hangouts and GV, and giving users the ability to make VOIP calls from hangouts.

      • calmdownbro

        It's like Google is trolling their own users. I don't even...

        @Matt: Wanted to reply to your post, but Disqus just destroyed my reply when I clicked away.

        • abqnm

          I understand why it was done on iOS first, for a few reasons.

          1. It is easier to develop for a limited set of devices from one manufacturer with strict development guidelines that you don't control.

          2. Google makes money by people using their services. Apple pulled many services away from Google, so Google has an incentive to get its apps there quickly to keep them as Google users. Android users are already tied to Google so they have a little more room to play here.

          3. When making apps for Android, they don't have a set of rules to follow. They are not only thinking about the app, but future changes to the OS and how its app will play into the future of Android. Plus there are many different device manufacturers, screen sizes, chipsets and form factors to build for.

          I am not saying I particularly like the strategy as an Android user, but from a business perspective it makes sense.

          • calmdownbro

            Good points, especially the second one.
            But still, this business plan makes Google look like an asshole. Especially in the eyes of it's own users.

            Seriously, I would have gone iPhone if I knew this beforehand. ;_;

          • hp420

            Take your username's advise.

          • calmdownbro

            Yeah, I do that all the time. But I'm always mad.

          • Alessandro

            The main reason for the holdback on android I assume is because hangouts is preinstalled on all play store certified devices.... Good luck getting hangouts past carrier certification with free unlimited calling to Canada and the US. they need to find a solution that will please everyone, not just users, but the carriers.

          • abqnm

            Eh, I only partially agree with this. Most carriers would be happy to let you use data to make calls since most everything now has limited data buckets, and data overages are the new minute overages.

            Obviously some may take issue out of principal, but the tide is shifting. AT&T finally allowed FaceTime calls over 3g/4g just recently so I don't thing it will be as big an issue as you think.

            Plus, to appease the picky carriers, they could always use the same integration that the existing Google Voice client uses where the call is still routed over the voice network. And then just hangouts to hangouts calls would be VOIP.

            Also carriers don't seem to be blocking it on iOS. I know it isn't preinstalled, but carriers have a nortious reputation for blocking apps that don't fit with their network policies as it is, so if they were that concerned, they would already be blocking the app in the iOS app store.

          • deltatux

            Hangouts is updated through the Play Store. Just for the fact that it's already included, they can always update it and circumvent carriers completely. That's why they built Google Play Services, it's to directly update things workout relying on carriers abs manufacturers.

          • hp420

            Carrier certification????? lmfao!!!! This is when Google says "You're in too deep and your customer base is deeply invested in android content. Take it or leave it."

          • hp420

            Wrong. They held it back because of apps using voice apis. Google closed these off and they gave devs an ultimatum. They have until May to stop using the api or remove their app from the store. At this point hangouts will start supportimg voip.

          • abqnm

            Can you cite a source for this? Why did they release the iOS app when the iOS app store still had competing products using the GV protocol?

            Your theory doesn't make sense. Google is actually switching from an open platform called Jabber/XMPP to their own closed system with their own (yet to be released) APIs. There were no threats to remove apps from Play because they don't need to. When Jabber/XMPP support ends, the apps that use it just won't work anymore. Apps that make calls over GV using VOIP (like GrooveIP) were never officially supported anyway. They worked, however, because of the open protocol used.

            Yes Google has made it plenty clear that they will stop supporting Jabber/XMPP in May for some time now. They gave notice so developers had time to figure out how to retool their services and apps before the sunset of the protocol. Google isn't simply waiting to allow for app developers time to make other plans. The new infrastructure is already there. The iOS app uses it. Hangouts uses it on all platforms. Android is just a much bigger beast and Google seems to be going for a more integrated approach, so there is a lot more work to be done with Android.

      • calmdownbro

        It's like Google is trolling their own users. I don't even...

        @Matt: Wanted to reply to your post, but Disqus just destroyed my reply when I clicked away.

    • abqnm

      You can on iOS, and that is exactly what this article is referring to. Merging Hangouts and GV, and giving users the ability to make VOIP calls from hangouts.

    • PhineasJW

      You can make audio only calls ... but it's buried in the settings, and I think you may need to turn it to Audio-only after you connect.

  • fer

    No more pure sms anymore? and still no international? uhrrrrrrrrr

  • Willie D

    I for one Do NOT want them to merge. I like having different apps and different numbers for different people. Its integrated fine as it is for myself.

    • abqnm

      I don't see them merging your GV number. You will likely just have three options instead of two when selecting how to contact the other party. The same drop down that let's you switch between hangouts and SMS will likely include GV as the third option. Otherwise they would be eliminating the messaging features of GV, which I don't see happening.

  • Adam

    I loathe the idea of integrating Voice with Hangouts. I have two separate phone numbers (my main one and my Google Voice one) and I don't like the idea of them getting mixed up. I want to KNOW EXACTLY where my texts are coming from and going to. Same for my Voice calls. I would love to see a tune-up of the Voice app, but not integration with Hangouts.

  • Deeco

    Never tasted Google Voice, so don't know what to expect.

    • Danny Lewis

      The real draw, back when it was new, was the ability to have a unified voicemail set up and the ability to send and receive texts to the number via your phone or through your computer. Nowadays, most people have one phone number, their mobile phone, and there are apps that allow you to use your computer to send/receive texts from your computer. Really, the mass appeal is sort of gone. I guess one could argue it makes it easy to switch carriers, but carriers usually include free number porting when you switch. If you want to know what makes using Google Voice painful, just let me know.

      • atlouiedog

        There are two main uses for me, though they're both situations that don't apply to a lot of people. My last two apartments used an main entry system that rings the occupant's phone. With GV you can get a free local number that will ring all cell phones for people living there. Before explaining this to people I had friends who paid $20-$30 for a landline that was just used to buzz people in.

        The other is that I use multiple phones and giving out my GV number allows people who call to reach me regardless of which one I'm carrying or want to use at the time.

    • hp420

      Voicemail, desktop voice and texts still work if your cellphone doesn't. sometimes I have to wait a day or two to pay my bill and I don't have a cell phone in that time, but I can still do everything my cellphone can from the same number, just on wifi or a desktop.

      Also, integrated (and free) voicemail. I have tmobile for my cell, and a local company for my home phone. I give out only my GV number. when my cell rings, so does my landline. I can check my vm from anywhere. But here's the real kicker....Tmo charges to check my vm from my cell. If I use GV I can open the app, click play, and hear the vm without making a call, and therefore it doesn't cost me extra to erase a vm from a wrong number....or if I have 3 minutes left until my billing cycle refreshes I won't kill them on just getting a vm, etc. There are far more benefits than just the obvious ones, and though there are a lot of drawbacks, the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks.

  • Danny Lewis

    Google Voice used to be a great tool for me. It rings all my lines and I can send text messages through my computer. However, both of those reasons are becoming less and less important now. First to go was having it ring my office phone. The main problem is that my office phone would intercept my voicemail before Google Voice's voicemail would kick in. There was no way for me to adjust the number of rings on either end. I ended up removing it.

    Now, the lack of MMS is getting annoying. My friends and family get upset when they cannot send me an MMS. Many suggest to tell them to use email, but really, one should sort of feel like an a-hole for telling them to re-send their MMS. The sender gets NO notification that MMS messages do not work through Google Voice. My friends just don't understand and I'm getting tired of trying to explain it. Google Voice is making me ostracize myself.

    I guess I will give them until Google I/O before I try to port out the number since it is the one that people use to contact me now.

  • Matt

    Out of curiosity, where did they get this information? They seem to be mainly using Android Police as a source and that's from articles that are 4-5 months old. They don't mention anything about somebody inside the company, so I'm just wondering whether this is pure clickbait from 9to5Google or they're leaving something out.

  • Jim

    what i like about google voice is i text for free so will hangouts go thru the data plan as well once it merges gv to hangouts?

  • Whyzor

    What is the NEW part of this story? The 9to5 link doesn't quote a source, it all seems like old news and what we already know. The speculation it'll be announced during Google IO is still speculation.

    • Danny Lewis

      I thought Google said they would integrate GV into Hangouts by Q1, but I guess the two people on the Google Voice staff didn't meet the deadline.

      • Aaron Berlin

        Did they actually set a target quarter? I assumed that whatever they're planning will happen after they cut off 3rd party app access in May.

  • Whyzor

    What is the NEW part of this story? The 9to5 link doesn't quote a source, it all seems like old news and what we already know. The speculation it'll be announced during Google IO is still speculation.

  • Cincybearcatfan

    Google needs to make Hangouts group threads from the same people. It's frustrating that I have to find my wife's SMS thread when I want to text her and her Hangouts thread when I want to use Hangouts. Why not ALWAYS use Hangouts unless the other person doesn't then AUTOMATICALLY send it as a SMS? I know that would make too much sense. Also, I hope the add the ability to name group texts like I can group Hangouts. It would be nice to see "Basketball" MMS as opposed to John Doe +9 others.

    • Jeffrey Linton

      If you find one thread, you can click on the name at the top and switch. It's not a perfect solution, but it is faster than scrolling to find the other thread.

    • Sanchez19

      I read somewhere that Apple has a patent on this... I can't imagine Google not wanting to put them in the same thread, but I can imagine Apple making sure no other messaging service can compare to theirs.

  • Cincybearcatfan

    Google needs to make Hangouts group threads from the same people. It's frustrating that I have to find my wife's SMS thread when I want to text her and her Hangouts thread when I want to use Hangouts. Why not ALWAYS use Hangouts unless the other person doesn't then AUTOMATICALLY send it as a SMS? I know that would make too much sense. Also, I hope the add the ability to name group texts like I can group Hangouts. It would be nice to see "Basketball" MMS as opposed to John Doe +9 others.

  • Cincybearcatfan

    My prediction, after seeing last years debacle. They will announce that it's everything that we've dreamed of then offer it ONLY to Nexus devices for 3 months THEN it will be offered to others in a roll out meaning that only about 3% of users will see the app before next fall.

    • hp420

      Oh man, I hope this is true!!! There's nothing better than watching a half million bitchy users moan about how their 3rd party android doesn't get everything the first party ones get the second Google releases it. These are the same people who turn their noses up at Nexii every fall when they launch and say "but it's not made by (insert OEM)" or "but I want a billion apps I'll never use" or "but it doesn't have (insert gimmicky feature you will use exactly once then forget about)”.

      You want fast updates and services immediately after launch? Buy first party. If you like 3rd party, that's just fine. I understand Nexus isn't for everyone....but when it comes time for new services and updates, keep your mouth shut!!! You gave up your right to get these immediately when you went with a 3rd party OEM.

      • esper256

        Hahaha same feeling here. I'd say you nailed it except that the usual complaint is "but it has a PowerVR 486820 instead of the PowerVR 486830" this phone is like so ten years ago.

        *OR* some unqualified, intangible comment on "build quality" made as if the poster has an advanced degree in industrial engineering, and almost certainly before the poster has even had a chance to hold the device.

        "It doesn't feel like the build quality is really there what with that cheap plastic".

      • Cincybearcatfan

        Either Google is in the phone business or they are in the software and information business. Rumor has it they are at the end of making Nexus devices so should Google simply stop making software and apps? That's a ridiculous argument. I like Nexus devices. I've owned them. It's stupid to open up a new service for a small percentage of people. Is Google in the software/information business or the phone business? Neither, they are in the empire business.

        • hp420

          There is absolutely no such rumor. I have no idea where you heard that, but it's not true. It would make absolutely no sense to cut the reference device developers use to create apps and firmware. Google gets a large percentage of their code from the Nexus developers for free. They use all kinds of features found in CM, PA, AOKP, etc. I can think of quite a few things off the top of my head that were created by XDA users and eventually ended up in AOSP. It also gives them a small user base to test new things that may not exactly work. Have you ever noticed there are about 5x as many updates for Nexus devices as there are for others? Most incremental android versions never make it to the mainstream androids, and that's because they basically contain beta features, tweeks and patches. It's good to beta test things like this with a smaller pool of users than the hundreds of millions of android users that are out there, wouldn't you say. I would call it the exact opposite of stupid, as a matter of fact. This way if something breaks, you only affect a much smaller number of people. And by Google keeping the Nexus line oriented towards the tech geeks, they have a user base chiefly made up of users who understand if something doesn't quite work exactly as expected, and there's probably a way to fix it if you don't mind flashing a patch. I think the Nexus program will be around for the life of android, and that's a great thing!

          • Cincybearcatfan

            http://time.com/2257/its-about-time-for-googles-nexus-line-to-go-away/

            http://phandroid.com/2014/01/27/nexus-google-play-edition-rumor/

            There is your rumor. Secondarily, my point is not that the Nexus line is a bad thing. I've had one, a cruddy Galaxy Nexus, but still had one. My argument is releasing an app for some devices and not all is a bad idea. If you want beta testers, get beta testers on many devices. Every other app does it this way. GPE phones can test software updates as well as Nexus devices.

          • hp420

            lmfao....and you believe Time is in 'the know' about this, huh? You just lost all credibility with that link.
            Also, if they had beta testers for multiple devices there would be too many variables to actually nail down any real problems when they arise. If the app is causing random reboots because of a cpu incompatibility and you have devices using 5 cpus you'll have a hell of a time figuring out why when you've got 5 cpus that are causing crashing for all different reasons. You don't test you app on more than one device first for this reason. Also, if they had 5 devices and there's a problem they have 5x as many pissed off people with issues.

            Your link is garbage, and your thought process lacks actual critical thinking....and it took you 3 weeks to come up with both. Wow.

          • Cincybearcatfan

            You're a douche. No it didn't take 3 weeks to reply to your idiotic reply. Unlike you I only look at mydiscus replies when I happen to want to leave a comment about something else. Yeah your right Time magazine is a flash in the pan rag that probably won't stand the test of time. That's why I also included the highly reputible phandroid link too so dorks like yourself would feel better. Fact is you're wrong. It was mentioned as a rumor in January. You should read more, might increase your IQ. Your logic makes no sense. All apps are tested in alpha and beta on multiple devices. They aren't pushed to all devices until they are out of beta. Maybe you've never heard of beta testing. I'll explain it slowly for you. It comes with a warning that the user should expect bugs and problems but if you like "living on the edge" it's open. Then there's "closed beta" when closed beta is open to all manufacturers. I think what your tiny brain is having difficulty understanding is the difference between system updates aka Jellybean to Kit Kat vs app updates. System updates can be handled through GPE devices as easily as they can Nexus devices. You're such a moron and Nexus fan boy that you're blinded by your own biases. I like Nexus devices, love Android but saying only Nexus devices should get apps as they come out is ridiculous as your pathetic, sit in my underwear arguing with people that I'd be scared to death of confronting in real life while masterbating to porn in your mom's basement existence is. Move on loser.

  • Cincybearcatfan

    Who isn't on an unlimited texting plan? I can't imagine there are that many people out there that are still on a limited texting plan.

    • ytcracka

      For me i just use it to save 20-30 bucks a month on Verizon. Told verizon to block all texting and I have never paid them a cent. I can also text from my computer at work without missing a beat.

    • deltatux

      Not everyone lives in North America where unlimited texting is the norm. Many Asian countries don't have unlimited SMS. They pretty much traded unlimited SMS for affordable data prices. That's why messaging apps like WhatsApp, BBM and WeChat are so popular in Asia.

    • hp420

      Texting???? who the hell cares about that? This is about VOIP.

  • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

    What took them so damn long?

    • Danny Lewis

      Google usually blames the carriers.

  • Luca Montaguti

    I'd rather like to see Voice available in Italy :(

  • rfgenerator

    Sooo, what it sounds like to me is that the plug will be pulled on the third party apps at least a month or two (or morel) before Google itself picks up the slack and allows Google Voice calling via VOIP on Android.

  • Luqmaan Mathee

    ONLY a few months. Well that's much too long XD.

  • joser116

    I'm just waiting for the update that iOS users got.

  • jonzey231

    I just hope they do away with the separate entities as a whole and force OEMs to use Hangouts as the stock messaging app rather than it being along side the proprietary one from the OEM. Hopefully Google will get Hangouts to the point where it is seamless across all Android devices that have Google Certification just like how iMessage works on iOS.

    • Cj

      While they can "force" OEMs to use hangouts, they can't force them to make it the default stock messaging app.

      • jonzey231

        Based on existing req's they can't but nothing says they can't update their Google Services Certification Requirements to state that "Stock SMS/MMS/Messaging services must be routed through Hangouts" or something similar. Then if they don't use Hangouts, they don't get Google Services; if they do use Hangouts, then they are permitted to use Google Services.

  • deltatux

    Hangouts still need better SMS integration and a way to do voice only calls between users without forcing them to do video chat on mobile devices... Google has it right for the most part though.

    • hp420

      That is exactly the point of this article....did you even read???

      • deltatux

        Don't think you read my comment properly. I wasn't talking about Google Voice at all. I was talking about Hangouts to Hangouts calling, not Hangouts to landline/mobile calling.

        • hp420

          Ahhhh....gotcha! My bad :) You can do this still, though. Initiate the call as video, then just stop the video portion. Voila! Voice only calling. Also, if you have no webcam, it's automatically voice only.

          • deltatux

            That's ok, I know but I just wished Google made that easy like Skype. It should really be a simple fix really. Hope it gets rolled out in this super update.

  • br_hermon

    I've said it multiple times before and I'll say it again. I'm probably ok with Google merging Hangouts and Voice as long as they do it correctly. As a service I'd kind of like it to stay separate. I use hangouts to text from my personal cell phone and online. I use voice and it's associated number for business stuff. I hope with this merger I'll be able to maintain that clear distinction... though I fear I'll be let down.

  • Crispin Swickard

    I only use voice for the voicemail aspects of it. I hope they don't remove that functionality.. other than that I am totally down for one less neglected app cluttering up my phone.

    • SES21

      Especially the VM text transcription! Often, if I can't take their call, I can't listen to their voicemail message either. The transcipts are usually far from perfect but they're usually close enough I can get the gist of the message.

      • Crispin Swickard

        Yea that's my primary reason for using it, and If I want to listen when I get a chance it conveniently downloads it for me. No need to make a call. Since I don't have T-Mobile/Visual voicemail anymore I don't have it to fall back on...

  • hp420

    Oh, what a shame....I'd hate to see carriers get upset that I can make free voip calls on my android!! It's a terrible day when something like this goes unfettered....oh, wait...it's awesome and fuck the carriers, they have no say unless you buy the phone subsidized. and even then, they can't stop you from sideloading it. Besides, it's nothing new....we already have skype, vonage, csip, and about 400 other solutions available. This one will most likely just be WAY better.

  • MrWicket

    man, today just keeps getting better and better!

  • SES21

    Carriers won't mind VoIP calling from Hangouts for 2 reasons:

    1. You use more data that way.
    2. It's a great way to get you used to the idea for when they (soon?) introduce so-called VoLTE instead of your usual voice minutes.

    Besides the MMS problem, I think Voice still doesn't work with SMS short codes either but I haven't tried it in a while. I also don't want to lose the unified VM, text transcription & ringing multiple phones. My biggest issue with Hangouts now is the lack of presence/status indicators & having someone know when you receive or read their message. It's like having read receipts on *every* email & it's none of your damn business when I get or read it!

  • Colin Richardson

    Why would 'carriers' care? They give away unlimited text messaging, and more call minutes than most people could ever use for peanuts. The only thing they do charge out the nose for is 3G/4G.. Which is exactly what voip will be using. Even if they were to use Wifi instead of 3G/4G that just means they are still making the call they were going to make anyway, but now not using up their phone masts/cell towers, so they are actually making it cheaper for them.

  • n_a_v

    I just want to be able to receive a text on my wifi nexus 7 and be able to respond to it in hangouts so that my friend receives a text. Basically, to respond to a text from any device, and have it sent as an sms (because not everyone uses hangouts)

  • Sruly J

    I don't use GV anymore, but nice to see that the Google/Android team is "tightening" up the Android ecosystem by combining these apps to make things easier for some people.

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  • Garrett Bridges

    So...say I use Voice only for my voicemails...what's going to happen?

    • Scott

      Me too. I really hope that doesn't go away. Sometimes I go back several months to find a voicemail from a number I need to call.

  • James Devenberg

    If the VOiP to phone calling is true, goodbye AT&T, hello T-Mobile $30 pre-paid plan.

  • LeeroyJ.

    now they need to get rid of Gallery, having 2 photo apps irritates the shit out of me

    • james kendall

      just nuke the google plus one.

  • Erik Tomlinson

    Can we pleeeeasssssseeeeee have Voice in Canada now? Please?

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