Google Voice coming to Hangouts
At Google I/O last week, we were formally introduced to Hangouts. The messaging app, meant to replace and cobble together all of Google’s various apps of a similar nature, has been well received. There was only one problem, and it was a pretty big one.
With Google Talk, users could make calls from the app inside of GMail. Hangouts ended that functionality, concerning some who used it for business, or to handle a bulk of their calls. Of course, you can simply choose not to activate Hangouts inside of GMail until the problem is fixed, but many users didn’t know that function was going away, and chose to opt-in. Thankfully, they were also able to revert back to Talk if they chose to.
Today, Google has confirmed that Google Voice will fall under the Hangouts umbrella. This accomplishes the main goal Google has set forth, which is to have one app that rules them all. With Voice, we’ll get our call functionality back, and one less app to worry about.
While Google confirmed the Voice-Hangouts news in a Google+ posting, there was no timeline set for full integration. Rolling Google Voice into Hangouts would also take care of that pesky SMS functionality many want with the service, which is curiously mentioned in the permissions for the app. We’d like to see Hangouts do it all. As it stands, Hangouts is little more than a Google Talk reboot, and that’s just not good enough.