Google Voice is dead

Ashesh Shah
November 27, 2014


Recently, when Google had introduced its new unified messaging platform – Hangouts, it had created some worry and concern about Voice – Google’s web-based telecom services. This worry was abated to a certain extent when Google clarified that the full Voice functionality would be part of Hangouts very soon.

The concern took hold when many users had quickly discovered that an update to the App had disabled the ability to make outbound calls from a desktop computer. In the absence of a promise that the functionality would return soon, all sorts of speculation were rife that Voice would meet its end in the Google trash can. However, things had changed positively when Google official Nikhyl Singhal commented on Google+ in a post that “inbound/outbound calls will soon be available.” According to his advice:

“Google Talk will remain available for Gmail users until they add full Voice functionality to Hangouts. Hence, if customers need to place outbound calls using their Google Voice number, they will be able to do so.”

Hence, the rumors of the demise of Google Voice became unfounded when the company said that Hangouts is designed to be the future of Google Voice. Hence, it can be said that Google Hangouts was planned for the future launching of Google Voice. Google Hangouts now replaces its predecessors that were implemented by Google. Google’s saga in this arena starts with Messenger, and then progresses to Talk, Messaging, and Voice. When Hangouts was revealed, Google discarded Messenger completely.

According to a post on Google+, by Google official Chee Chew, “Hangouts remains the future of Google Voice, so we’re going to keep bringing the most-loved Google Voice features into the core Hangouts experience, “He also stated that the change wouldn’t affect existing Google Voice numbers, which would remain the same.

According to this post, On Oct 9, 2014, Google rolled out a new Hangouts app, so that users could keep their desktops less cluttered while letting them chat with others. This ushered in a new look for Hangouts on the desktop; however, it borrows heavily from its counterpart mobile app.

The strategic point of interest with this entire discussion is that now that Google Voice is fully integrated into Hangouts, then Google hangouts and Skype will become the biggest competitors in this area. So, let us discuss in brief about Google hangouts versus Skype:

Google Hangouts vs. Skype

Skype is a popular app that allows people to chat online for free. Now, Microsoft is Google’s traditional competitor. Thus, when it comes to providing a platform where people can chat, these two apps leave no stone unturned to offer the best possible features. Now Google is fast closing the gap and moving into a domain which was previously considered Skype’s territory. This means that Google is going to give Skype a run for its money and Skype will have to sit up and take note of this competition

Google has also introduced many features which were considered Skype’s favorites. Features like free video chat with up to 10 people and configuration within Gmail itself are some of the pros for Google Hangouts. Skype only recently allowed group video calls so that its popularity did not diminish. Also, Skype users need to download a file that is compatible with your operating system, which you can then run. In this case, Google scores an edge, because of its ease of use.

Skype also offers a premium account, which does cost a significant amount of money. However, you will also be able to enjoy a great deal of benefits alongside. The same can be said about Google Hangouts, which has a list of different apps integrated with it.

To conclude

Therefore, it remains to be seen that whether Google Hangouts will become more popular than Skype and which folks will ‘Hang Out’ rather than ‘Skype’ each other.

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