It looks like Google is adding VoIP calling to its Google Voice service. The possibility of this new service was first discussed a couple of months ago through hunches and rumors. But with today's news, it looks like Google is really serious about making this service available to its users across smartphones and tablets.
Earlier today, Google announced that it was looking for beta testers of its newest Google Voice service. If you are interested to be among the first to try out Wi-Fi and mobile data calling offered by Google, all you need to do is sign up on their website to be a beta tester. You also need to have an updated Google Voice app running on your device so you can be part of this revolutionary service.
As of this writing, the feature isn't live yet. But once you've filled out the form and updated your Google Voice app, you'll be among the first to receive an email once their Wi-Fi calling service becomes available. You'll then be able to make calls using the service. As a beta tester, you'll be expected to submit feedback of your experience.
The Google Voice app currently makes outgoing calls via the regular dialer found on your phone. You can configure the Google Voice app to use either your SIM number or your Google Voice number as your outgoing caller ID. These calls use your carrier's voice circuits and count against your plan minutes. To make a VoIP call with the Beta you need to use the dialer or contacts list built into the Google Voice app.
For several years, its been possible to make and receive VoIP calls with your Google Voice number by using Google's Hangouts app. Google is ever so slowly repurposing Hangouts as an enterprise messaging app. I believe that this Beta signals Google's intention to eventually move the all Google Voice features out of Hangouts and into the Google Voice app.
Google warns users that the Beta service won't work with Obihai VoIP hardware.
Right off the bat, data-based Google Voice calls will work with Android phones and tablets over cellular data or WiFi. As for iOS voice data calls, it's not available yet but Google promises it'll be coming soon.
Source: Google via Android Police