Earlier this week, after a wait of five years, a new and major update to Google Voice started rolling out for both mobile and web clients. Most of the changes came in a revamped user interface, but Google promised that it would be offering regular updates from now on. Today, the company confirmed that one of those updates will add VoIP integration to the app.
At the moment, VoIP calls from a Google Voice number go through the Hangouts app. However, Google is transitioning Hangouts into a communications tool made primarily for business and enterprise customers. So it makes some sense that the company would like for Google Voice to have native VoIP integration, so it can work without the Hangouts app.
In a statement sent to 9to5Google, a company spokesperson confirmed that “we are working on VoIP integration” for Google Voice. There’s no word on exactly when that will happen, but when it does, we suspect that will cause a bigger separation between Google Voice and Hangouts. Indeed, the story says that Hangouts will also be gaining some “heavy encryption” features in the near future, which would allow it to be more attractive to business customers who would like some extra security.
Google stated this week that it is working with wireless service providers to add RCS (Rich Communications Services) features to Google Voice sometime in the future. 9to5Google also claims that WiFi calling with Google Voice is also in the works. In theory, that means users might be able to make calls with Google Voice on their device, or on the web, without having to connect to a cellular network.
All of this sounds like we will be getting some big changes for both Google Voice and Hangouts in the near future. Are you happy that Google Voice may soon be separated from Hangouts? Let us know in the comments!