Remember Google Voice? Google's first stab at a voice-over-IP system is still up and running, though much of its functionality has been absorbed or augmented by the SMS and calling functions of Hangouts. It's a bit dusty in the Voice closet - the desktop web version of the service looks like a relic, and the Android app has only received a couple of maintenance updates in the last year and a half. But users who still rely on Google Voice as their primary phone number (like me!) have reason to be hopeful that the service hasn't been completely abandoned. Read More
It's not often here at Android Police that we talk about good old-fashioned phones. No, not pocket computers. Not portable game consoles. Not point-and-shoot cameras. Just plain old, hold-up-to-your-ear, talk-using-your-mouth, keep-in-place-with-your-shoulder-instead-of-your-hands phones. But Google Fiber is giving us a reason. Read More
There are a lot (a lot) of caveats when it comes to Google's just-announced Project Fi mobile service. Aside from all the phone and network tomfoolery, Google Voice users have some tough choices to make as signing up for Fi essentially nukes your Voice account. It's nice to know that at least you can go back, according to Fi product manager Simon Arscott.
Ever since Google integrated Voice with Hangouts, listening to voicemail has been a highly-focused affair. Unlike traditional voicemail, which we're conditioned to hold up to our ear like a phone call, voicemail in Hangouts comes with a play button that encourages us to treat it more like the audio file that it is. This is the same way Google Voice has treated it on the web for forever.
The downside is that turning off the screen or backing out of Hangouts has, until recently, caused the message to immediately stop playing. With the release of version 2.5, that apparently changed. You can now listen to voicemail with the screen dark or while using another app entirely, leaving the message to play in the background. Read More
Among the feature additions in the latest Hangouts update is the ability to switch between Google Voice and carrier SMS without diving into the app settings. All you have to do is tap on the "spinner," the toggle in the conversation window that already allowed you to alternate between Hangouts and SMS. Now, provided you have a Voice and carrier number, you'll have two SMS options. Read More
At long last, Google Voice MMS works on all major North American carriers. Verizon was the last of the big boys to hold things up, but that changes today. You can now send pictures in a Google Voice MMS to your friends on Big Red and they will actually see them. Read More
As cool as Google Voice's free text message service is, it has always been a bit barebones. Big features like MMS have been missing for a lot of users, with some notable exceptions. Multimedia Message Service, usually used to simply attach a photo to a text message, is handled by completely different servers at most carriers, causing some problems with Google's forwarding system. It looks like Google has addressed these issues, at least for most people in the US and Canada, finally enabling the sending and receiving of MMS via Google Voice.
Google employee Alex Wiesen announced the new feature on his personal Google+ account. Read More
You've probably heard the joke by now. A 20-something job applicant or apartment hunter or a long-suffering customer support victim is talking to someone who asks him, "and what's you're landline number?" To which the young man replies, "what the hell is a landline?" But niche hardware company Obihai aims to bring back the home phone with its line of VOIP phones and adapters that use your broadband connection to make and receive calls without a landline. And now, it works with Google Voice.
At least some of Obihai's products have worked with Google's pseudo-VOIP solution for some time, but now the OBi100, OBi200, and OBi300 adapters and the full Office OBi1032 telephone will officially support calls via your Google Voice number. Read More
We saw Google Voice integration go live last night, but it contained a number of issues which this update is expected to fix. Yet as exciting as this is, what's more immediately striking is the new visual redesign.
With the amount of smudging this post required, I feel like I've been working on classified documents. The new version of Hangouts plasters your email address absolutely everywhere. It's not an issue when using the app, but it does make for some rather swirly screenshots.
Right out of the gate, the new UI is significantly greener. As Google prepares Hangouts for the next version of Android, it has made the app much more colorful, and the toolbar now has a vibrancy that it previously did not. Read More
Update: Hangouts 2.3 is now rolling out to devices in stages. If you rather not wait, we can help you download it manually. And as it turns out, this Dialer just links to a tab within the new Hangouts app. It is not a separate, standalone piece of software.
Hangout's Google Voice integration is finally happening. We started seeing functionality merge into Hangouts overnight, but there remain a few kinks to work out that we're hoping an upcoming app update will fix. Until then, Google has hit the Play Store with a dedicated Hangouts Dialer app.
This app expands upon Hangouts with the ability to make phone calls. Read More