Once upon a time, I was able to get most of my communication done through Hangouts. Between its support for standard SMS, Google Voice, and normal Hangouts conversations, it was an incredibly useful tool. It could even merge SMS and Hangouts conversations into the same thread, much like iMessage on the iPhone.
Over the past year or so, Google has been separating all this functionality into standalone apps. Google started asking SMS users to switch to Messages, then removed merged conversations, and finally launched a new separate Google Voice app. The company has also been trying to move people off Hangouts itself, with its new Allo and Duo apps. Read More
Google Voice was waning a few weeks ago, then Google suddenly brought it back and gave it a fresh coat of paint. That was just the first step, though. Google promised it would continue updating Google Voice, and indeed it is. There's a new update rolling out today with more conversation management options, GIFs, and more. Read More
Google reawakened the Voice app earlier this week after years of stagnation. It didn't really add anything to the experience, though. The new app just looks more modern. Google has pledged to remain committed to Voice, and now there are some hints about what's in store. According to 9to5Google, Google is working on VoIP calls in Voice. Read More
Google Voice was a big deal when it launched back in 2009—there was a waiting list to get access, and the entire concept felt magical. However, Google seemed to give up on Voice some years ago, offering users the option to port some features of Voice into Hangouts and Project Fi. Now, Google Voice is back and completely revamped. Read More
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