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Beta Testers are Needed to Try Out New Google Voice Service

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Today's technology has made it a lot easier for people to enjoy conversing with one another without worrying about incurring expensive monthly fees. This is all thanks to VoIP calling over Wi-Fi, which allows users to talk over the phone without running out of monthly minute allocations. The prevalence of this service has made people heavily rely on apps like Skype, WhatsApp, Viber, Google Hangouts and many others.

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. Any calls made through Hangouts will require manually muting the app's ringer. If you currently use Hangouts for Google Voice calling, Google recommends turning off incoming calls in Hangouts so both apps don't ring at once on incoming calls. Lastly, 911 isn't supported by this app. In times of an emergency, you'll have to use your main dialer to call for help.

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

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47 comments:

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  1. Google is treading a fine line. How long before Google Voice is considered the same as every other VOIP provider and will have to start collecting telecommunications taxes and have to proved 911 service? Google's position of voice not being a phone provider and simply being a forwarding agent is becoming less tenable.

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  2. Latency is a deal breaker for me with Wi-Fi calling & only used as a last resort. It even sucks with a strong, clean Fios signal. Not sure if this can ever be fixed.

    Cellular is so much better for voice calls (except VoLTE, but don't get me started on that . . . . . )

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  3. How is it different than voip calls made through Hangouts?

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    Replies
    1. It's not. Google is repurposing Hangouts as an enterprise IM tool. I expect the Google Voice features to be added the the Voice app and removed from Hangouts eventually.

      Delete
  4. Glad to see Google working on this again.

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  5. Yeah! I'll do it :)

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  6. This might be great depending on the options. However, Disappointing that -

    "Google also reminds users that the service isn't compatible to work with Obihai VoIP hardware. Any calls made through Hangouts will require manually muting the app's ringer. Lastly, 911 isn't supported by this app....."




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  7. "Any calls made through Hangouts will require manually muting the app's ringer."

    ???huh???
    Not getting this. Can anyone elaborate how / why making a call requires muting hangouts ringer?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It doesn't. Google actually said that if you use the Voice Beta VoIP feature you should disable incoming calls in Hangouts so both apps don't ring at once. I've updated the post.

      Delete
  8. So, what's happening with duo?

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    1. Nothing, AFAIK. They are different platforms.
      - Voice: Call forwarding plus global calling and US, Canada messaging to any phone. The other party doesn't need Voice to receive calls and messages.

      Duo: Global video and voice calling and messaging. Both parties need Duo

      Delete
    2. What is duo?

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    3. Duo is Google's video chat app.

      Delete
  9. I have been using hangouts dialer for android for 5 years lol with incoming and outgoing calls from my google voice number. I don't understand what this article is talking about. We have had this feature for years.

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    1. Revolutionary? basically magic jack on your phone that hangouts already does, and not very well.

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    2. The Google Voice app has never supported VoIP. Hangouts has but Google is repurposing Hangouts as a G-Suite enterprise IM app. This Beta suggests that Google plans to move Google Voice VoIP calling out of Hangouts and into Voice.

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    3. Unkown April 5, 2018 at 7:21 AM

      Not many phones could use that app. You were one of the lucky few, now the rest of us get to try out the convenience you have been enjoying for 5 yr

      Delete
    4. The Hangouts Dialer for making VoIP calls using your Google Voice number has been available to everyone since 2014.

      What's new is that the Google Voice app will be getting the ability to make VoIP calls too.

      Delete
    5. Dennis, I thought he was referring to the android dialer that was only compatible with a few phones that acted as a native dialer allowing you to choose you GV # via VoIP or normal cell call.

      Delete
  10. I can see that Google is preparing to start charging fees for GoogleVoice calls now they have a huge user base. The free service with Hangouts is numbered. Thank you Google for your excellent free service for so many years.

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    Replies
    1. What is your source that Google will start charging fees for Google Voice?

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    2. the guy probably was looking at the credit in the menu that is for international calls which were always charged, and he must have thought that was for all calls. nope. domestic calls free.

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    3. "I can see that Google is preparing to start charging fees for GoogleVoice calls now they have a huge user base."

      Since you seem to know about this, how much will the fee be? Will it be a small per minute fee? Should we start looking for a new voip provider?

      Delete
    4. The OP is clearly making a hypothetical statement ("I can see..." means "I wouldn't be surprised if...".

      AFAIK, there have been no announcements or even credible rumors that Google plans to start charging for Google Voice.

      Delete
    5. so it's FAKE NEWS haha lol

      Delete
  11. You still can't receive simple video in gv, let alone send them. Shame on goggle for presenting gv number as a cell # replacement.

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    1. That is definitely an issue. Hangouts can receive and play video MMS, sent to your GV number, as long as they aren't in .mov format, so maybe that feature will come to Google Voice along with VoIP.

      Delete
  12. I wish google had saying competition, hello anti trust laws.

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  13. Funny that this article is about voice but the lead in photo shows a video call .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is what had me asking about duo

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  14. Right off the bat, data-based Google Voice calls will work with Android phones, tablets, and devices that don't have cellular radios.

    How many Android phones don't have a cellular radio? If there are some and the reason for Google Voice is to reduce the amount of minutes used, then, this becomes a special purpose app only? It won't work at all if there is a cell radio present?

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    Replies
    1. Google Voice VoIP calls will work over either cellular or WiFi. data

      Delete
  15. will not do the beta on my main GV number. works great with AT&T calls. do not want to change that for my primary important line.

    but have been converting my other phone for my other GV number for use on freedompop using hangouts (ugh hate hangouts but that has been the only way to do this voip with a GV number on android before this beta). this GV beta would be perfect for that. currently have $4/month data rollover of my free data on freedompop and have accumulated over 3 gigabytes data. if use wifi on the phone most of the time, this is great & cheap for an android phone devoted to GV voip calls.

    always loved GV but absolutely hated hangouts. glad google is putting hangouts to the business enterprise pasture. and finally developing GV to its full potential whether you want to still forward to a real carrier number or to go full voip.

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    Replies
    1. Ya great timing when voice is practically unlimited via carriers.

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    2. Not all carriers offer WiFi calling and this would help people in locations with localized lousy carrier signal who have WiFi.

      Delete
  16. Just recently found dialpad.com; seems like google voice morphed into that and some original people are there too.

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    Replies
    1. Mot really. Dialpad is a freemium VoIP service marketed to businesses.

      I believe Dialpad was started by the founder of Grand Central, which Google acquired and rebranded as Google Voice. Other than that I don't think it has any more in common with Google Voice than any other VoIP service.

      Delete
  17. With most plans giving unlimited minutes, why bother?

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    Replies
    1. VoIP is useful for calling with data only devices and data-only plans and for WiFi calling in when the cell signal is weak or non existent or while traveling internationally.

      Delete
  18. From what I recall, the iPhone app already had calling capabilities for a while now.

    It's only the android version that didn't have a dialer.

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    Replies
    1. The iPhone Google Voice app has a dialer because until recently iOS didn't allow 3rd party apps to use the phone dialer.

      The dialer in the iPhone app is for making calls over cellular voice using your Google Voice number, not for VoIP calling.

      Delete
  19. I have been using GOOGLE voice since 2011 or so.. changed so many SIM cards without having to reveal to my contacts.

    SO whats the impact for mycase with this info?. I am confused.

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    Replies
    1. If you join the Beta you will soon able to make WiFi calls using Google Voice. The current features of Google Voice aren't changing.

      Delete
  20. What does this app do that Whatsapp doesn't do quicker and easier?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Google Voice lets you call and message any US or Canadian phone number. The other party doesn't need to use WhatsApp or any other app

      Delete
    2. GV gives you an actual phone # you van call anyone, anyone can call you, they don't need to have an app. Allows forwarding, calling filtering/rules, VM with transcript emailed to you. If you value, use or need traditional voice type services or messaging it does things WhatsApp doesn't, mainly not requiring others to have/use a specific app.

      Delete
  21. Google Voice WiFi/data calling now working for some after enabling the setting. See posts from 4/10 in
    https://www.howardforums.com/showthread.php/1905833-Beta-WiFi-calling-with-Google-Voice

    ReplyDelete
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