I’m a Google Voice Addict, and I’m Frightened About Its Future
Now 9to5Google’s Seth Weintraub is reporting news which has me worried: He says that Google is getting ready to kill Google as a stand-alone service. The story is that it’s going to incorporate the basic idea into Google Hangouts, the video-and-voice communications component of Google+, and add full-blown VoIP capability so that the virtual number wouldn’t require that you have a real number at all. (Google Voice has mostly been about redirecting calls to your virtual number to a real one, though it’s dabbled in VoIP for years.)
This doesn’t come as a shock. Google Voice has changed very little in eons. Last July, Google added voice calling to Hangouts and declared that it was “the future of Google Voice.” I figured that the other shoe was going to drop, probably sooner rather than later.
As Eric Limer of Gizmodo points out, it’s possible for a Google Voice fan to be optimistic about the merger into Hangouts. It’s pretty clear that Google has lost interest in Google Voice. Hangouts, however, it cares about very much — which means that Google Voice’s functionality is more likely to get attention and resources if it’s folded into Hangouts.