There’s an entire laundry list of discontinued Google services, with some big names on the list: Google Wave, Picnik, Meebo, iGoogle and Google Reader, among many more. According to 9to5Google, Google Voice will soon receive the death knell as the search giant integrates the service’s many beloved features into Hangouts. So Voice isn’t necessarily dying off completely, Google is just consolidating a bit. Google phone numbers will apparently remain, you’ll just do all your billing right through Google’s young messaging service, while Voice will be gently put to sleep.
Voice has been a big component for a lot of people, and the service offers plenty of terrific functionality. You can get transcripts of your voicemails, for example, or ring all of your phones instead of just one; you can also send SMS and make voice calls straight from your computer. Awesome. Hangouts already has some of Voice’s features to an extent, so the transition over isn’t going to be all that inconvenient. But expect Hangouts to become your primary messaging platform (if you’re a Voice user) if it hasn’t already. If you’re on Android, the consolidation means you’ll get VoIP calling, which iOS users already have.
The good news for Voice users is that the service isn’t expected to get shuttered for another few months, meaning Google could use I/O to detail the sad news. So the bad news is that Voice could go bye-bye. But the good news is that all the service’s best features should make a swift transition over to Hangouts, which is quickly becoming a powerful alternative to more popular messaging services. 9to5Google says the move to close down Voice is part of a larger overhaul on the company’s apps, though it’s unclear what other plans Google has.