Google Hangouts Rumored to Be Eating Google Voice

Google's Hangouts service has slowly been improving since its launch. However, to evolve, Hangouts has had to absorb some already established services (like Google Talk, or the default SMS app on Android 4.4). Now, it looks like Hangouts might subsume another Google service.

According to the latest rumors, Google will soon integrate Google's 5-year-old telecommunications service Google Voice. Hangouts users can already make calls, but they don't have access to all the functionality offered by Google Voice (the service currently allows users to call PC-to-PC, PC to phone, send texts and voicemails and also offers voicemail transcriptions). 9to5 Google writes that this could change pretty soon. Apparently, Google will fully integrate Voice into Hangouts. Google will then shutdown Google Voice completely.

Google hasn't confirmed (or denied) the report, but 9to5 Google says the announcement is 'months out.' It'll be interesting to see how users respond to the change. While turning Google Hangouts into a sort of unified communications platform certainly makes sense for Google, not all users will be happy to have everything crammed into one service. Sure, it's more streamlined, but it also forces users to use the full suite as opposed to the specific service they want.

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  • burkhartmj
    If they maintain the voicemail functionality, this would be great. Better to roll it into Hangouts and have consistent updates than have it continue to stagnate.
  • zanny
    If I'm able to have a voice number, place calls to and from it to any phone (or other voice number), and check voicemail / sms for that number fine. Anything else is just destroying features I use.
  • teh_chem
    No surprise there. I only use GV because I like having a universal phone number, and having a phone number I can give to entities that I don't want to have my cell phone number.Other than that, I don't use GV (the app) all that much. I don't care about their voicemail integration. But this wasn't a surprise on many levels. The service hadn't honestly been updated in years.
  • brandonjclark
    Like zanny said. I need to be able to keep my number and functionality.
  • the1kingbob
    Good, keep the functionality and reduce the number of apps on my phone.
    I hated it when Google Maps ate Google Navigation. It should've been the other way around.
  • Daniel Panichelli
    I had my real phone number ported to Google Voice a couple years back, I worry about how this is going to effect both that and my voicemail functions...
  • waikano
    As long as they don't kill it and just roll it into another service that's fine...I don't know what I would do without my Google Voice Number..
  • thundervore
    This can either help or hurt.The last time they integrated Google Talk into Hangouts they messed it up big-time. Right now if I am on my phone in a active chat in hangouts, I cannot see if that person is online, if I press the back button I am taken back to the chat list which is essentially swiping the window to the right. If I press the back button twice it exits the app. When I relaunch the app it takes me back to the main chat window and if I swipe to the left it shows the contact list with who is online.That is the only way I can see who is online if I am in an active chat. I have to exit the app and relaunch it to get back to the contact list. Everyone been complaining about online notifications and they have yet to fix it. It was perfect on google talk for android
  • beans4you
    Voice and hangouts kill my battery as bad as google now. Kill then hibernate with greenify and tasker profiles shouldn't be needed to retain battery but it's the best option I see so far. Using the old sms app with voice frozen.