Google Voice finally gains MMS support on T-Mobile, AT&T, Sprint, more

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Since its inception, one of the biggest pitfalls of Google Voice has been its lack of MMS support. In an era of time when nearly everyone has a smartphone, not being able to share videos and pictures with counterparts was a huge feature gap. This evening, however, Google employee Alex Wiesen announced on Google+ that Voice now supports MMS on more than a 100 North American carriers.

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Google Hangouts for Android updated with Google Voice integration, free VoIP calls

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It’s finally all coming together. As many suspected would eventually happen, Google Hangouts is finally—in an update rolling out over the next few days—going to be getting integration with Google Voice. The latter service seemed to definitely be getting neglected by Google as of late, with much of the company’s focus going to its Hangouts platform. But it appears that Voice may even moreso eventually become a thing of the past because, starting today, Google is putting it straight into Hangouts as part of a new update to its apps across Android, iOS, and the web.

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Google Voice now features calling from Hangouts on the web

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We reported earlier this year that Google has plans to eventually roll Google Voice’s features into its Hangouts service and retire the former product, and we’re slowly seeing that transition play out now. Google’s Alex Weisen, who works on Google Voice, shared last night in a Google+ post that they’re making calling via Hangouts an option from the Google Voice website. Furthermore, the functionality will not require a Google+ account to work either. The option appears to be live on the Google Voice web interface now. Read more

Google Voice working to improve voicemail transcription, asking users for help

 

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With its hit or miss dependability, Google Voice’s transcription feature for voicemail can manage to make an important message read like the ramblings of a friend drunk dialing you from happy hour. Aware of this, Google is launching a new initiative to improve its service, but the search giant needs your help. Now when you log into Google Voice via the web, you’ll be asked if you wish to anonymously share your voicemail messages to help make transcription better.

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Google plans to kill Google Voice in coming months, integrate features into Hangouts

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We’ve heard that Google Voice is getting dragged to the trash can and most of its functionality will be incorporated into the G+ Hangouts apps on both Android and iOS. This has already happened to an extent with the ability to phone friends on Hangouts, but we’re hearing the full shuttering and depreciation of the app is the next step.

What’s interesting here is that VoIP-to-phones is expected to be integrated into the Hangouts iOS and Android apps so that, just like with the Web version, you could be able to actually make (and receive) VoIP calls directly from your Google phone number. Whether the carriers and Apple are okay with this isn’t certain, and the thought is that it could be enabled by carrier like Apple’s FaceTime (or could be scrapped altogether) depending on the global market and the carrier. Read more

Google brings voice back to Gmail w/ new group chat features, free calls to US & Canada from other countries

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When Google rolled out its new unified Hangouts messaging service, some users were disappointed that the new experience within Gmail removed the ability to place free calls within the US and Canada. Google previously confirmed that the feature would be returning and today it announced on its Gmail blog that it is rolling out the free calling feature to Gmail Hangouts and also adding some new features.

In addition to improvements to desktop calling, such as the ability to “add multiple phone numbers and video participants to the same call” and play sound effects, it is also making calls to the US and Canada free from any country with access to Hangouts. Read more

Google confirms voice calling will return to Gmail, says Hangouts is “the future of Google Voice”

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Some of you might have noticed that updating to Google’s new unified Hangouts chat service in Gmail meant giving up the Google Voice calling capabilities that were previously available to users in the US and Canada. We suspected Google had plans to bring the feature back and users currently have the option of reverting back to the old Gmail chat in order to access the feature. Now Google has responded to concerns by promising that “Hangouts is designed to be the future of Google Voice, and making/receiving phone calls” will return in a future update.

Google’s Nikhyl Singhal had this to say about Voice integration in Hangouts: Read more

Google-Dish wireless service is a go, plans for 2013 launch being hatched

Regarding the Google-Dish tie up that was reported last night, we just got word that this is really happening. While the details haven’t been finalized, Google is already deep into development on plans to roll out the service and have it live by mid-late 2013.

Google plans to make the service data-only with voice and SMS only being used as VoIP services, likely with Google Voice. Google of course already has its ISP feet on the ground with its Fiber rollout on the Stanford Campus and its just-opened Kansas City network.

Google is launching its Glass head gear next year and would benefit from total control of the network.  Without full control, Google is seeing its Voice and Wallet services being blocked by carriers, specifically AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile.

Dish has previously said on numerous occasions that it would like to build a wireless network with the wireless spectrum it has acquired since 2008, but the company wants a partner to help fulfill this endeavor. As the Wall Street Journal noted in its report from yesterday, Dish Chairman Charlie Ergen said potential partners include companies that would like to be in the industry and currently don’t have a wireless sector.

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Google+ Circles integrate with Google Voice for improved caller management

Google announced today that it is adding Google+ Circles to Google Voice.

Software Engineer Tom Ford took to the official Google Voice blog to tell users how Circles give callers more control with organizing and managing in Google Voice:

Circles give you more control over how you manage your callers; for example, calls from your “Creepers” circle can be sent straight to Voicemail, only your “College Buddies” circle will hear you rap your voicemail greeting, or you can set your “Family” circle to only ring your mobile phone.

As Ford mentioned, go to the Groups & Circles tab in Google Voice settings to customize Circles.

More information is available below.

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