Google has just revealed that web surfers can make Google Voice calls via Hangouts without the need for a Google+ account, in the latest move towards an eventual merge of Google Voice and Hangouts.

Alex Wiesen of Google announced the new feature his his own Google+ account, saying that this should make things easier for people who are working on their laptop but don't have a smartphone nearby to make a call. He stated:

To make things easier, we've just added Hangouts as an option when making calls from the web. It works even if you aren't using Hangouts in Gmail, and doesn't require a Google+ account. Try it the next time you place a call from the Google Voice website -- I think it's a much easier way to keep in touch with people.

At the moment, this feature is only available via the Google Voice site. What do you think of Google adding in this small but very useful feature for Hangouts?

Source: Alex Wiesen on Google+ via Engadget


Reader comments

Google Voice can now handle website calls via Hangouts without Google+


On a somewhat related note, what are nexus 5 users using for visual voicemail, google voice? That is what I have always used. Is there a better alternative? It is hell if you forget to deactivate it when changing phones.

I use Google voice solely for voicemail on both my N5 and my G3. I have used it for quite some time now; since the Samsung Google Nexus to be exact. I prefer it to any other option.

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Oh man, that service is still around? Good for them. I used them back when I had a BlackBerry, but i cancelled when I switched to Google Voice. It worked well, but at the time, GV duplicated all of YouMail's paid services for free.

After all the API access changes to block third party dialer apps. GrooVe IP's new way of doing things keeps me using Google Voice as my main line.

I still use the built in stock dialer, calls go over 3G /4G /Wifi, and it's Google integration settings make things just work.

Who needs Hangouts integration?

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I'm looking forward to Hangouts integration because I want GV functionality in an app that isn't slow, hideous, and buggy. I also really want to see notifications sync across devices like Hangouts and Gmail notifications do.

If they were to wholly redesign the GV app so that its design and notification functions are in line with the rest of the OS, I'd be fine with that, too. Rolling everything into Hangouts so that there's one unified messaging application just seems to make sense, though, you know?

I just use Google Voice. The app is ugly and kind of buggy, but it's not so bad that I'd be willing to go to the trouble of changing to a difference, non-GV number.

I have the Cricket visual voicemail app on my phone, but I don't think anyone has ever called my carrier number, so I don't know how well it works.

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Nice to have the feature back. This was possible back with Google Talk via the chrome plugin. They never updated the plugin after talk died though.

I really hope the next step is using google voice in hangouts. But this is good for the PC end I had to use gmail before and an old version of hangouts through gmail

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Seems pointless to me. It's been possible for quite some time to go to Hangouts and start a New Hangout with a phone number in order to place a voip call from your GV number.

So, this change allows folks that don't have G+ accounts to do the same thing via the GV interface? Goodie? I mean, who has a GV account but no G+ account?

Am I missing something?

It used to be available for the Talk plugin for gmail, before Voice became an app.

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The idea is you can just click a phone number on a web page, or in your contacts and pick for it to connect via your mobile or hangouts.

I have a Google Voice account and no Google+ account. I won't use anything that requires Google+ and I know several other people who feel the same way.

Oh my goodness! Every added feature in Google Voice is hope for me that they aren't shutting this service down. I have become too dependent on it now! Thank you, Google!

Commandeering your photos? You know you have to specifically opt in to auto upload, right? Just turn it off if you don't like it.

I'm so confused by what Google is doing with all of this. I thought they were rolling Voice into Hangouts?

How come Android still doesn't have the abilities that iPhone users do, bit you are still developing Voice when you already said it was going away?

We don't know what it will be called, if they even do rename it. I wouldn't be suprised if it remains Voice but is simply accessed from within the Hangouts app.

"....but only from the Voice site and not using a mobile browser."

There. Fixed it for you.

Using a mobile browser to go to the voice website, you can click the "Hangouts" option to dial and it will inexplicably bring up a video conference even though you intended to do a voice-only call. Fail.

I think that I'm missing something. Can this work from a phone without a SIM card in it? ETA: The phone is connected to Wi-Fi.

Strike that Hangouts on the PC, is a plugin within the Chrome browser. I tried to access hangouts and I was sent to a link to a PC version of the Chrome browser

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I still cant even install the plugin on my PC. My PC came installed with Windows 8.1 and every time I try to install the plugin "GoogleVoice AndVideo" it gives me an error code 1622. I have tried everything I found online short of a full system reset, but the problem remains. I have never had this problem with this software before until I purchased my new PC. So, I think Google's plugin must not work with new Windows 8.1 PC's. I know that it works with Windows 8. And it works fine with windows 8.1 if it was installed on Windows 8 before upgrading to Windows 8.1.

TBH I could give a rats behind about this. To say that android users of GV have been abused would be an understatement. It was bad enough when they closed things that made GV work with other apps. Then at the same moment not have something ready on their part to fix all this. Now it looks like if we are very very lucky we might see this fixed in L. If that's the case it's an even bigger middle finger to a loyal part of their operations. For the life of me I can't figure why they are dragging their feet on this. We already know the notifications are baked into Hangouts. Yet Google won't throw the switch. It leaves a bitter taste dealing with all Google's shenanigans.

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"they closed things that made GV work with other apps" -- evidence please. There was a rumor of a May 14 stop, but it didn't actually happen.

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OK, now how about something useful, like, the ability to send and receive MMS messages via Google Voice? (Currently, anyone who sends an MMS message to my Google Voice number is unaware that the message never reaches me!)

I don't get it...if you sign up for google voice you have a google account so you have a g+ account by default, no?

No, you have to explicitly set up google+. They make it very ambiguous though because they want everyone to use Google+.

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Given the long slow death of google talk for windows, I wouldn't hold my breath for any native Hangouts for the desktop

On my Moto X I use google voice for my voicemail. Not really sure about other phones, but on the Moto X I can set it to show the voice mails in the dialer's missed calls section. That's nice because I don't need to go to a separate app for voicemail. That's about the only thing I use Google Voice for. Also use it for the occasional call to my friend in Ontario, but I tend to not think about that much since it happens automatically in the background. I honestly couldn't care less about this new feature. I think the only time I ever accessed Google Voice on my PC was to set it up.
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I do use Google Voice as my second phone number for my business and to keep my cell phone number as private as possible.

As for it working with Hangouts, well hope it works well or maybe not for now. "Can You Hear Me Now "