Google Voice has found a new home within Hangouts in Google+. Last week at Google I/O, the new standalone version of Hangouts was unveiled as an amalgam of all current Google messaging products with the exception of Google Voice.
Users who activated Hangouts for their account found that they were no longer able to make outgoing calls from within Gmail. This raised some alarms among Voice users, as Google is gaining a reputation for killing services that people are quite fond of when they don’t contribute enough to the bottom line. Furthermore, the communication service has been neglected in recent years and hasn’t received updates in quite a while.
Fortunately, Nikhyl Singhal, director of real-time communication products at Google, announced today on Google+ that full Voice functionality would be integrated into Hangouts. Singhal stated that they are working hard to add support for outbound calling from within Hangouts, but in the meantime, users are able to continue using Google Talk to make calls.
For people who don’t want to deal with the inconvenience, there is a method of reversing the change to the new Hangouts in favor of the old Google Chat application. Click on the arrow next to your profile photo near the chat section in Gmail, and select “Revert to old Chat.”
Singhal promises that eventually Hangouts will seamlessly integrate all Google Voice features, but for now, we’ll have to just be content knowing that it’s not going away.