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Difference Between Google Voice and Hangouts

Communication is all about people and Google Voice is all about giving you more ways to be in touch with the people you love and care about. It bridges the gap between your computer, email, and your phones. Gone are the days of the conventional PCs to bridge the gap between business and address books and their phones. Personal computers and cell phones have become so useful for storing data that people start to have a proliferation of contact information. Google Voice brings all of it together giving you only one phone number that rings all your phones. Then comes Hangouts – the new trend in the next generation mobile communication. Instant messaging and messaging apps have become the new trendsetters. The dominance of social media has influenced the power of messaging apps and social media apps they are connected to. Let’s discuss some basic differences between Google Voice and Hangouts to better understand if you should stick with Hangouts or switch to Google Voice.

What is Google Voice?

Google Voice is an internet-based telephony service that allows you to have a single number and forward it to multiple phones. It removes the barrier between email and telephone communication, saves your voicemail online, and transcribes your voicemail to text. Google announced the service on March 11, 2009 after it acquired the service GrandCentral. The service allows you to retain your phone number regardless of whether you go out on a vacation or change phone services – your number stays the same across multiple devices. Users are allowed to choose any number of their choice from the list of available numbers in selected area codes, absolutely free of cost per user account. Your Google Voice contacts are actually contacts that work across Google – in Gmail, Google Calendar, and more.

What is Hangouts?

Hangouts is a messaging app developed by Google that allows you to send and receive messages, photos and more, and even start free video calls and also includes VOIP features. It brings conversation to life with photos, emojis, and free video calls – one to one or with a group. It is the future of Google’s telephony service which integrated with Google Voice to make phone calls within the app. It allows you to connect with friends and family and start a conversation. The app can be accessed online through Gmail or Google+. However, if you wish to access Google Voice to make phone calls, you need to download a separate app called the Hangouts Dialer to receive regular phone calls within Hangouts.

Difference Between Google Voice and Hangouts

  1. Basics of Google Voice Vs. Hangouts

Hangouts is a messaging app that allows you to send and receive messages, photos and more, and even start free video calls one to one or within a group. It is a unified communication service integrated into Gmail and Google+ to connect with friends and family and start a conversation. Google Voice, on the other hand, is a standalone telephony service that provides you with a single phone number for all your devices so that you could call, text and send voicemail from anywhere you want without changing your number. It retains your phone number regardless of where you go.

  1. Access to Google Voice and Hangouts

Google Voice gives you a single, virtual phone number from almost any area code in the U.S. that you’d like. Once you have a number, you’ll have to setup and verify the phone numbers you’d want to connect it to. The number then rings any or all of your other phone lines – your landline, your cell phone, and so on. This means, you can be reached with just a single number regardless of where you are. You can also access Google Voice via the Google Voice phone app to make calls directly. You can access Hangouts on your computer via the website hangouts.google.com or through the Hangouts chat window in Gmail. 

  1. Dependability 

– Google Voice is a complete telephone management system which provides you with a single phone number for calls, messages, and voicemail across all your devices. You can select any number from the number pool and link that number to your landline number or other cell phones. However, Google Voice calls can only be forwarded to US numbers. Hangouts, on the other hand, use an add-on app called Hangouts Dialer to make phone calls within the Hangouts app. This allows users to make free voice calls within the US and Canada, whereas international calls are chargeable.

Google Voice vs. Hangouts: Comparison Chart

Summary of Google Voice Vs. Hangouts

Hangouts is more like a people’s app mostly used for personal use rather than in professional settings. It is more suitable when you want to connect to people living in different locations. However, it cannot function alone. It requires a Hangouts Dialer plug-in that allows you to place calls within Hangouts. Google Voice makes it easy for you to have your own free Google phone number or an existing number which stays the same for all your devices. Google Voice gives you full control, allowing you to block calls, let a call roll through to voicemail and answer when ready, and so much more. With Google Voice, your phone rings less and you’re in total control when it does.

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References :

[0]Conner, Nancy. Sams Teach Yourself Google Voice in 10 Minutes. London: Pearson Education, 2010. Print

[1]Smith, Bud E., and Chris Dannen. Google Voice For Dummies. Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, 2009. Print

[2]Hart-Davis, Guy. Android Tips and Tricks. Indianapolis: Que Publishing, 2016. Print

[3]Image credit: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/b/be/Google_voice.svg/500px-Google_voice.svg.png

[4]Image credit: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/2/25/Antu_google-hangouts.svg/500px-Antu_google-hangouts.svg.png

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