Any viable Google Voice competitors that you use?
It sounds like Google with be shuttering Google Voice (and integrating many of its features into Hangouts) in the next few months: 9to5google.com/2014/03/18/google-plans-kill-google...
I was just thinking this yesterday as I used the (rather horrible) Google Voice app on iOS 7 -- it seems like something that hasn't gotten much recent attention or love from Google. It's something that I've found very handy though, even as an iOS user. It's literally the number I put down whenever I fill out forms requiring a contact phone number -- and it's become an awesome way to screen and filter calls.
So, I'll be a bit sad to see this sort of thing go. Are there any other services around where you can pay for a number and have it forward to your phone (yet you can manage filters and messages through an online interface)?
First, the author assumes that the Hangouts integration will behave just like it does on the desktop, where calls to your phone would be sent over VOIP instead of cellular voice. I'm not sure what evidence there is of that. Before Hangouts was even ever a thing, Google Voice worked on the desktop to make and receive phone calls, it just did this through Google Talk. At that point, if you made/received a call on your computer, it was VOIP, and if it was on your phone, it used your voice plan. I'm not sure why it would be any different, even though I'd really like it.
There's just so much we don't know yet, and a lot that Google needs to do. First off, they need to figure out how they're going to handle voicemail. I don't see any mechanisms for that in Hangouts yet, but I'm hopeful they'll add it. I wouldn't mind integrating everything into Hangouts, it just has to be done well, and currently it's anything but. For example, I can't get SMS to my Google Voice number in Hangouts. It's really annoying. I'm hopeful that they'll fix this.
In the end, I've definitely expected this for a long time. The Google Voice app hasn't been updated since September of 2013, and that was probably for minor issues. The app hasn't seen a major overhaul in years, and has tons of bugs (navigational ones, mostly, but also one where I have to press the play button on a voicemail several times before it'll finally advance past 1 second). I'm hopeful that Google Voice will live on in the form of Hangouts.
We were using Obihai to act as a SIP for Google Voice, but when they announced they were stopping support*** I switched to Ooma.
***Support is stopping because XMPP is being phased out of Google Talk, so who knows when chat clients will stop working with it.
The options are not so great if you don't want to break the bank.
I for one, am not interested in Hangouts integration with my google voice number, not eager for Google+/messenger/whatever they call the chat presence now. I just want a number to be able to make/receive calls, send/receive texts with MMS, and have voicemail. I don't mind paying and thats why I looked into options with my carrier (expensive no matter who...Verizon/AT&T etc), Skype, and Line2.
Skype (www.skype.com/en/features/online-number/) and Line2 for personal (https://www.line2.com/personal) are the best two options I've seen. Skype's call history/log isn't solid, but Line2 is working great so far. I hope they add MMS soon. $9.95 a month is pretty reasonable. Skype's pricing isn't as simple. You need a calling plan such as $2.99/month in the US, then the pricing monthly or annually for the number. Still no text I believe.
If Line2 keeps working the way it is for me, I'll port my Google Voice number over and finally have a one-app/service VoIP solution. About time! (fingers crossed)
I am always leery of anything free, but I pinned them down on their business model and they are offering the consumer version of this free because it is a testing ground for their corporate VOIP services. So far, I have no real reason to doubt the truth of that assertion.
Ok... you don't really say why but I understand if that's your preference. However...
"I just want a number to be able to make/receive calls, send/receive texts with MMS, and have voicemail."
You can use the Hangouts app for all of that and just use it for that, if you want. It takes a little while to get everything set up, but that's essentially exactly what I'm doing with my Hangouts app. In fact, there's one thing the Hangouts app provides over the old Google Voice app that's a giant deal: VoIP! You can now place calls over WiFi or cellular data, which was a big deal for me when I was on the $30/month TMobile plan and only had 100 minutes of talk. I never hit it because I could call over data.
I didn't like the Hangouts app at first either, but it's so very much better than the old Google Voice app. The only problem I have with having my voicemails in Hangouts, however, is that on the desktop it's hard to search or browse through old hangouts.
Does it show your online presence? This is the part I would rather not have. Around August I used Hangouts and yes the voicemail part was an issue, as was incoming calls. On my iPhone, it would buzz once like a regular notification, but it was actually a phone call. I wouldn't know if it was an incoming GV call/text.
The T-Mobile $30 plan is a huge interest to me. I guess I will download Hangouts again and check it out, but Line2 for $9.95 a month is doing the same thing, and it is a simple second phone number wrapped up in a VoIP only app. I believe it can do things like call forwarding and connect via cellular call, but I prefer it to be VoIP and separate my personal life from work/freelance gigs.
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