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.
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.
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.
There have been rumors, speculation, hints in Hangouts updates, and now finally Google Voice is being rolled into Hangouts. The Hangouts app is offering to enable Voice SMS and voicemail via a popup in the conversation list. So check your app now!
Google hasn't completely forgotten about Voice – after nine months with nary a peep, the Google Voice app has suddenly woken up in the Play Store. The new version comes with version number 0.4.3.8, which isn't even a big jump from the last one (v0.4.2.82). Actually, the fact that the app has been updated at all is the most remarkable thing about this. There's almost nothing new here.
The selector isn't new, but the popup is
There should be no doubt, Google is getting ready to make a lot of announcements at I/O. If we've learned anything from past experiences, Google starts packing its apps full of surprises in the weeks leading up to the big show. The latest update to Play Services started rolling out yesterday and it has grown by a whopping 4 MB, almost 30% larger than the previous version. There's obviously a lot of stuff to look at, so let's just jump right in.
Sprint got on the Google Voice train early – about when Google got bored and started ignoring the product. At any rate, things have been fine for users on Sprint, who get tight integration with Google Voice on their Sprint number. Well, except this last weekend. There's a pretty big thread going over at the Google Product Forums of Sprint users reporting strange behavior with GV.
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.
Google Voice was a hugely exciting service when it launched a few years back, but it seems like Google has put it on the back burner recently. Maybe things are picking up, though. Just last week Google announced that Voice was finally adding support for MMS, and now there's more news on that front. T-Mobile has opted to allow MMS messages sent from its users to be delivered to Google Voice numbers (sort of).