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

Screenshot 2014-03-18 09.30.06

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 SVP Sundar Pichai denies it bid on WhatsApp

Sundar Pichai

Sundar Pichai at D: All Things Digital conference

Despite widespread reporting that Google bid and failed to purchase WhatsApp ahead of Facebook’s $19 billion acquisition of the messaging platform company, Google SVP Sundar Pichai went on the record during a panel discussion at Mobile World Congress to put that claim to bed, The Telegraph reports.

“Whatsapp was definitely an exciting product,” he said. “We never made an offer to acquire them. Press reports to the contrary are simply untrue.”

The source of the reports that Google attempted to pick up WhatsApp for $10 billion source back to a report by Fortune citing “two separate sources” claiming Google had previously underbid Facebook. Read more

President Obama hosting ‘Road Trip’ Q&A via Google Hangouts on Friday, January 31st

Obama Hangout Road Trip

Next Friday, January 31st, President Obama will embark on a Presidential Hangout Road Trip promoting his State of the Union address to Congress and responding to questions submitted via Google+ and YouTube.

The Presidential Hangout Road Trip is actually a Google+ Hangouts session allowing the President to respond online to user submitted questions and topics he addressed in Tuesday night’s State of the Union speech.

YouTube will be live streaming both the SOTU address and the Republican response starting at 9pm EST next Tuesday. Check below for how to submit a question to the President during the Hangout Road Trip: Read more

Google adds a few more goodies to Glass before years end

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Google just dropped a few more updates for Glass via Google+ to help end 2013 in the best way possible. Included in this shiny new update are the Wall Street Journal, Weather Alerts, Winkfeed (different from yesterday), Upload to YouTube and Hangouts. All in all, it’s a pretty hefty update for Glass fans and offers a few more reasons to consider shelling out $1500 courtesy of the money you got from returning all those ugly sweaters your grandparents are preparing to give you on Christmas day.

Read more

Google releases XE12 Glass update w/ wink gesture for photos, screen lock, Hangouts, much more

Google today officially released its latest update for Google Glass, XE12, alongside the news that its MyGlass for iOS app will arriving later this week. The app briefly made an appearance on the App Store today but was quickly removed. The update also includes a number of new features including enhancements to the Google Play music feature it first started rolling out earlier this month, a new screen lock security feature, improved integration with Hangouts and YouTube, and brand new winking gestures.

For those times you might miss a shot, try capturing the moment with a wink. The Wink feature is a exploratory feature that lets you take a picture with a wink. It’s even faster than the camera button or voice action and it even works when the display is off…Wink is a exploratory feature. To use it, you’ll need a device purchased or swapped after October 28th, 2013. If that’s you, give it a shot and tell us what you think in the Explorers Community.

Also new in the update is a new “Listen” action menu for Google Play Music, new YouTube options, the ability to set up a unique pattern as a screen lock much like on Android, and Hangouts Glassware for sending and receiving video calls. Read more