Google Voice features begin trickling into Hangouts


google voice hangouts

One of the oft-requested features of Google after making Hangouts a full-blown SMS app was to integrate the service with Google Voice. Google Voice itself was seemingly abandoned at first, though Google did drop hints that it was something they wanted to merge into Hangouts. It looks like that could finally be happening.

Folks are starting to notice prompts within the Hangout app asking if they want to merge their Google Voice and Hangouts experience. This means receiving voice messages and sending text messages through your Google Voice number is now supported from within Hangouts.

Early reports suggest there are still some kinks to be worked out. For starters, replying to text messages that come to your Google Voice number seems to be inconsistent. For some it’s working just fine, while others aren’t able to reply at all. There also doesn’t appear to be a way to specify which number you want to reply to a message with, something that would likely be crucial for folks who utilize multiple Google Voice numbers.

Logging into the Google Voice site will warn you that your messages are now being rerouted over to Hangouts, so it definitely is a change Google opted to make instead of an early mistake. We’re betting a quick update later this week will clear up any of the issues folks are experiencing, but for now we’re just happy to know that Google is finally getting a move on making this happen. If you fear that you can’t deal with the caveats mentioned above then make sure not to accept the new integration (you have an option to decline it) until we’re sure everything is peachy clean.

[via Twitter]

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. They need to fix not being able to get mms or send it though wifi._.

    1. who’s your carrier? I used to have this issue with T-Mobile.. changed the Access Point to:

      MMS Proxy:
      MMS Port: 8080
      MCC: 310
      MNC: 260

      1. I have Sprint and problems with MMS and WIFI

        1. Was just forced to leave my old provider, and if you’r looking around I have had great coverage around Baltimore (DC too) with Tmob. Only thing miss is decent data coverage on the shore, unless you’r going down the ocean don’t plan on streaming anything.

      2. I have sprint

  2. Really disappointed with the lack of support for Voice. I use it as my main voicemail system on my phone. But recently, I’ve needed the support of having my Google Voice number and my Cell phone number to play different recorded messages, depending on which number was called. Currently, different messages can only be handled by selecting people you know, and giving them a different message. And doesn’t care which phone number was called.

  3. Very dissapointed with Google Voice, used the service for years, ported my number to GV and recently ported it away from GV. Reasons: WIFI/3rd party calling support dropped and lack of MMS support. If at least the person who sent an MMS received a message telling them that your GV number can’t receive it they’d know you weren’t intentionally ignoring them. Cyanogen has had great Hangouts/GV integration support with Voice+ for the longest time but even that, and this update, won’t keep me using GV for anything but voicemail for the sole reason that I hate logging into standard carrier limited voicemail to delete messages.

  4. Is there a way to force this prompt?

    1. No. It’s a server side update. I’m also hoping for an updated APK that resolves the inconsistencies. Update Wednesday is upon us.

    2. It is a server side trickle rollout. This way they can dish it to 1% of users and see if any major issues comming out without pissing the whole userbase off. If that works then they go to say 5% etc.

      They also do this to accomodate for new resources they need to add to keep up. This way their infrastructure can scale more easily, mainly since this is new software and they want to make sure it is configured correctly.

    3. I hate the way Google rolls out updates like this. Sure, it makes sense on their end, but I am never in the initial groups. I usually have to install the APK manually or download the OS update and sideload it. This time, the only thing to do would be to befriend a Hangouts engineer. :(

  5. This is just the absolute best news that could happen today.

    1. Uh, if Google dropped Android L and the new Nexi (plural of Nexus?). I would prefer that :)

      (But, that would be unlikely for today I guess)

      1. Meh. I’ve been waiting for Google Voice integration for years. I don’t want a 5.92 inch Nexus phone either. We should see both L and the new Nexus tentatively around October 15th though.

        1. Lol. I dont use GV. I dont get it?

          1. GV is just an extra phone number you can get to anonymously forward calls and texts to your real number or numbers, and to send texts for free if you or your friend doesn’t have unlimited SMS AND doesnt have a smartphone to use something better than SMS.

            You can also make internet voice calls so you don’t use your carrier minutes if not unlimited.

  6. Pumped about this

  7. WooHoo! I have been waiting for this forever!

  8. I get the feeling Hangouts and Voice were created by two totally separate teams years apart, and built on very incompatible technologies and code. Now trying to merge them is a logistical nightmare. Maybe they’re even trying rewrite Voice or Hangouts from scratch so the two are part of the same product, like when they merged Docs and Drive years ago.

    1. Google purchased a company/product called Grand Central, then it became Google Voice, this was years before Hangouts was created.

      That is what Google does, they acquire companies and technologies that have proven to be successful/popular and integrate them with their own homegrown talent/technology. They do this because for them to create a equivalent product it would take too long and they would miss the market window.

      1. Ah! That explains it. Thanks for clarifying that Elijah.
        I know about Google’s very aggressive pattern of acquisitions, but didn’t think about that angle. The flip side is that they end up with a great slew of ingredients which don’t necessarily all mesh well with their own core apps. But I guess it does buy them the time to be able to rewrite those technologies or pick apart elements that work and incorporate them into existing apps, as they did with Waze’s traffic updates in Google Maps.

  9. Finally! Now these damn “I want voice integration” comments will be no more!!

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