The new Google Hangouts has arrived, bringing together Google's Talk, Hangouts, Voice, and Google+ Messenger under one app and umbrella. Google Hangouts offers unified, synchronized chat that retains history across all devices, allowing you to dig into your history wherever you are, delete messages, and check out files, photos, etc. Hangouts naturally includes the previous Google Hangouts video chat features, which allows multiple people to video chat with each other, again, from a smartphone, tablet, or computer.
Hangouts it now available on iOS, Android, Chrome, and within the Gmail web client. Get a look at the video promo after the break.
Google is following up the release of Gmail 2.0 for iOS earlier this morning with a new version of Google Voice that's optimized for the iPhone 5 widescreen display. You can download Google Voice 1.4.4 now from the App Store for free.
Google Voice, the wonderful service that can integrate all your calls to a single number, providing free services like voice mail, transcription and SMS messages, now supports number porting. This means that if you have a phone number which you want to keep, but you'd like to use it for Google Voice, now you can port it over. You may recall that the feature appeared in Google Voice last week, but was quickly pulled, with Google saying it was just a test. The video released by Google shows the process this takes, which seems pretty straight forward. This service has a one time cost of $20. Of course, Google Voice is still only available in the US, at least so far, and if you take advantage of the number porting, you may incur an ETF charge from your wireless provider.
Read More | Google Blog
Word on the street this morning was that Google had quietly made number porting available to all its Google Voice users, but the search giant confirmed Thursday that it is only conducting a test of the option with a few users.
"We're continually testing new features to enhance the user experience. For a limited amount of time, we're making the Google Voice number porting process available to users," Google said in a statement. "We don't have any additional details to share at this time, but plan to offer this feature to all users in the near future."
When Google introduced phone call capabilities in Gmail back in August, they promised that calls to the US and Canada would be free until the end of the year. Now, Google posted on their blog that they will be extending that period of free calling for another year, throughout 2011. They are doing it in the spirit of the Holidays, and hoping it will help people stay in touch in 2011. In case you haven't tried it yet, you can access the feature by turning Google Chat on in your Gmail account, on the left side of the screen, and then click on the "Call Phone" feature. From our experience, calls are not always as high quality as something like Skype, but you certainly can't beat the price.
Read More | Google Blog
Google Voice is a popular service within the US, providing a single phone number to anyone which can then connect to land lines or cellphones, offers visual voice mail, forwarding, SMS, and more. Up until now, it's been easily integrated only on Android devices, while people wanting to access the service on the iPhone were left out in the cold, until a few third-party apps started appearing last month. In fact, Apple famously denied (or rather, "didn't approve") the Google Voice app back in 2009, and it's been sitting there in the App Store review queue for 16 months. However, things changed today when the official Google Voice app was finally made available in the App Store. From it, you can make free calls using the service, access your voicemail, send and receive SMS for free, and more. Of course since this service is only available in the US, so is the app. You need to setup a Google Voice account to use it, but both that and the app itself, are free.
Read More | Google Voice App
Google Voice, formerly GrandCentral before Google acquired it, has been around for a few years, but the company is really just now starting to push the product hard. They’ve put together a great channel on YouTube that describes each major feature (like voicemail transcription, personalized greetings, SMS to email, the mobile app, and more) individually, but we figured we’d throw the Google Voice overview up there so give you a taste of what we mean. Hit up the Google Voice YouTube channel to check out the rest of the video series, and to request an invite to the service.
Today, Google “announced” a feature that technically already existed before now, but giving it a name makes it more real, right?
Google says that by taking advantage of the conditional call forwarding feature your carrier provides, you can forward calls that you do not answer on your phone to your Google Voice phone number, thereby replacing your company’s voicemail with Google’s. This functionality has actually always existed: Google Help forums reveal countless people already were setting up their functionality long before Google made this announcement.
It boils down to setting up your call forwarding feature (*71 or the like) to forward to your Google Voice number (or your “Access Number” if you sign up “Without a Google Number”). Then, when your call is forwarded to the Google Voice number, the voice mail is logged and transcribed and stored online, with delivery options such as email or text message to your cell phone. You don’t get all the features you get if you use an actual Google Voice number for people to call, but it is still a nifty service.
A bit more information about Google Voice after the jump.
Read More | The Official Google Blog