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.
Update: Vic Gundotra, Google's SVP of Engineering, had this to say after posting on Google+ about the new Voice update:
Guys, don't worry. We have massive investment in Android. I promise you will be happy soon. Don't get upset because we show some love to Google users who use iOS. There are a lot of them. And they are good people :-)
So chill out: it looks like VOIP for Voice is coming to Android sooner or later.
While the Google Voice app has always been free, there was speculation that voice calls to the United States and Canada would begin to cost you money at the beginning of next year. However, new Google Voice users are being greeted by a pop-up window when they first use the Call Phone feature in Gmail that indicates otherwise.
See there? Calls to the U.S. and Canada are free in 2012. If there is anything I love more than free voice calling, it's another year of entirely free calling through Google Voice.