Google Voice remains a popular service that gets far too little attention. Users have been waiting months for a promised voice-over-IP (VoIP) feature, which entered beta testing around a year ago. Google was quiet on the test during that time, but a recent tweet prompted an update from the company: the new VoIP support is starting to roll out and will be available to everyone soon.
The feature’s arrival was confirmed on Twitter this week by Google Voice’s Scott Johnston, who revealed the info in response to a different tweet. According to Johnston, the Google Voice VoIP feature is rolling out right this very moment and will be available to all product users some time next week.
It’s unclear why the feature took so long to arrive following its beta launch, but a number of users have access to it at this point regardless. Once available, Google Voice users can use Wi-Fi calling for their account, choosing to prefer Wi-Fi and mobile data calls if they’d like. The option remains to only use the carrier, though, or at least it did in the beta version.
There’s an obvious benefit to Wi-Fi calling, and that’s a lack of reliance on one’s cellular network. In instances where that network is unavailable — when you’re outside of your coverage area, for example — Google Voice can still be used as long as you’re connected to a sufficiently fast enough wireless network.
Even if the user’s cellular network is available, calls over Wi-Fi may have higher quality and greater reliability. Many carriers now offer their own Wi-Fi calling feature, which chooses to utilize a wireless network first, only using the cellular option if the phone isn’t connected to Wi-Fi.