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.
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