Last Wednesday, Google finally announced that VoIP would be coming to Google Voice for Android and the web. A beta program allows users to test out the feature before a wider release, with the first sign-ups getting the feature enabled on their accounts.
For the most part, VoIP does not change the experience of using Google Voice. After receiving an email that confirms “Wi-Fi calling is now available for your account,” there will be a new “Make and receive calls” menu in Settings where you can set “Prefer Wi-Fi and mobile data” over “Use carrier only.”
Upon enabling, users will be asked to grant an audio recording system permission for Voice. Heading to “Incoming calls” will allow users to “Select devices you want to answer calls.” By default, a new “Web” option will be enabled, with users able to select other devices to ring.
Meanwhile, heading to the Calls tab and tapping the FAB reveals a dialer where users can make outgoing calls with a standard interface.
Users are able to receive calls on the web if voice.google.com is open, with a phone-like dialer UI that has a shortcut to jump to that specific message thread. On mobile devices, incoming calls will open the Google Voice app with either a full overlay or notification that features accept/decline buttons.
All these settings are also available on the web. After a call, Google Voice will ask users to rate the call quality and provide other feedback throughout the beta period before a wider launch.
The feature is quite simple, but has been much anticipated given that Google first told us about the feature in early 2017 with last year’s relaunch of the service. It also allows users to stop using Hangouts and Hangouts Dialer, which is what Google wants as it transitions that service to enterprise usage.