Google Voice VoIP is coming, beta testers wanted

Google has no shortage of communication services and apps, each of them overlapping with one another in some way. Some of them haven't been shown some love, sometimes even for years. Google Voice is perhaps the on that got the shortest end of the stick despite how useful it is. Now, however, Google seems to be preparing what might be the biggest update to the service in a long time. It is putting out a call for beta testers of its Wi-Fi and mobile data calling, a.k.a. VoIP that would, of course, overlap with other Google apps and services that offer the same functionality already.

Google Voice has the advantage of only having one number associated with your user, no matter how many devices you actually have. Using some black magic (forwarding), it uses the very same lines you use for regular voice calls. This day and age, however, cellular voice calls are no longer in fashion. Internet-based ones are all the rave.

In some cases, using (sometimes free) Wi-Fi or even your LTE data plan might be the more favorable option. In those cases, Google Voice is pretty useless. There have been clues that Google is building up the capability to do just that. And this beta test is the first ever official confirmation that it will soon be a reality.

There's bound to be some confusion, especially if you're already using Google's dizzying collection of communication tools and services. For example, while Google Voice works directly from the Android phone dialer or Google Phone app, this new VoIP feature has to be used inside the Google Voice app only. Amusingly, you can also still receive a VoIP call from Hangouts even while you're in the middle of a Google Voice VoIP call, so Google suggests you disable Hangouts if you're going to test it out.

While application form is already available to brave Google Voice users who want in, there is no date yet on when the test will actually begin. And, of course, that means there is no timeline yet for when the feature will actually roll out to all Google Voice users. But at least it's already official and now only a matter of time.

VIA: Android Police