For years, Google had multiple Voice-over-Internet Protocol (VoIP), instant messaging, and video-conferencing services. Now, Google is uniting those services under Google Hangouts. It wasn't clear though where Google Voice, its main VoIP program that crossed the gap between landline/cellular and Internet calls, was going to fit. We now know that it too is being integrated into Google Hangouts.
Users, who had been making Google Voice calls from inside Gmail, noticed after the introduction of the new Hangouts that this functionality has been removed. These Voice users were, to say the least, not happy. While you could—and still can—revert to the old style Google Chat from Hangout, users were still unable to make Google Voice calls from Gmail.
Nikhyl Singhal, Google's Director of Product Management for Real-Time Communications, quickly responded to the problem with Google's near-term future plans for adding Google Voice to Hangouts.
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On Google+, Singhai wrote, “Today's version of Hangouts doesn't yet support outbound calls on the Web and in the Chrome extension, but we do support inbound calls to your Google Voice number. We're working hard on supporting both, and outbound/inbound calls will soon be available. In the meantime, you can continue using Google Talk in Gmail.”
Looking ahead, Singhai added, “Hangouts is designed to be the future of Google Voice, and making/receiving phone calls is just the beginning. Future versions of Hangouts will integrate Google Voice more seamlessly.”
That's all well and good, but Google Voice and Hangout users want more. In particular, users continue to want Google Voice availability outside of the United States; better texting/Short Message Service (SMS) integration; and better support for Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS). That said, for now, they're happy with the promise that they'll be able to both get and make calls from Google Voice within Hangouts soon.