Google is gearing up for a very big change in the coming months – the death of Google Voice.
According to 9to5Google, the company will be pulling a Houdini on Voice and will integrate all of the features into Hangouts, both for Android and for iOS.
The first step towards this was taken a few months ago, when the company added the ability to phone friends straight from Hangouts, without having to switch apps to do so. The last step, however, could be coming soon and making Voice disappear for good.
Instead, VoIP-to-phones will most likely be integrated into Hangouts, for all platforms. This is already available in the web version of the tool, but Android and iOS would be getting it too if rumors are confirmed.
This would allow users to place and receive such calls directly from their Google phone number, something that telcos may not like all that much. As 9to5Google points out, this could be the end of carrier plans since giving Hangouts VoIP functionality could allow anyone trusting Google to rely on Internet alone for all their phone functions.
Android users can already use Hangouts to send SMS messages to their contacts, although sending texts and online messages is impossible in the same window.
The big announcement could be some months away, so there’s still some waiting to be done. As most of Google’s huge plans, it could be made public during the I/O conference that is scheduled for June 25 and 26.