It was being speculated since some time that Google might be planning to integrate Google Voice with Google Hangouts, and now Google has finally made it official. Google has started updating Hangouts with the new Google Voice integration.
The new update lets you enable Voice messages and voicemail through a popup in the conversation list. It does seem to have a few glitches at the moment though, with AndroidPolice reporting that the replies to messages on Google Voice seem to be appearing broken in both mobile and desktop Hangouts. The update does seem to be not working the way Google intended it to. Hopefully another update will fix the issues that seem to be present right now in the early stage.
When you send a Google Voice message on Hangouts now, you will see a “via GV” line attached to it, so you can know that the message has been sent to your Google Voice number. You also cannot choose what number you want to use to reply, probably yet another early bug. The new update will make your voice app redudndant though, so you could probably delete it as everything will now be showing up on Google hangouts.
The update isn’t yet available everywhere, so be patient. You might have to wait for a few days to receive the update prompt. You will, of course, be able to make free VoIP calls. For now, the integration brings only the basic features but Google has promised that more features will be rolling out to Google Voice on Hangouts when all the basics are sorted. The user interface has also been tweaked and now offers simpler and more appealing layout.
It does seem to be a pretty predictable move by Google with the Google Voice app not really getting much attention from Google in the recent past. With the new integration, Google Voice will start received more focus going forward.