Google is not planning to kill off Voice integration with Hangouts, after all. It has emerged that the company plans to reintroduce support for making calls using the revamped chat service within Gmail.
In a Google+ post, a Google employee Nikhyl Singhal wrote that while Hangouts doesn’t currently support outbound calls on the web and in the Chrome extension, the company is working towards adding support for inbound as well as outbound calls. Users who have Google Voice numbers in countries where the feature is available still have support for inbound calls. Meanwhile, you can continue using Google Talk in Gmail, he writes.
Will be back soon
Users who had upgraded Google Talk to the new Hangouts feature within their Gmail accounts were in for a surprise when they realised that besides the status availability feature being missing, voice call functions were nowhere to be found, too. Even while Google had promised to add SMS support – a Google Voice feature – into Hangouts soon, there had been no word of Voice calls before today.
Quelling rumours about Voice’s future, Singhal also added, “Hangouts is designed to be the future of Google Voice, and making/receiving phone calls is just the beginning. Future versions of Hangouts will integrate Google Voice more seamlessly.”
There has been no timeline revealed by Singhal as to when any of these older features will be reintroduced to Hangouts. We hope it will be sometime soon, though. Google’s support groups too are full of posts in all-caps, complaining about the lack of Voice and SMS support in Hangouts.
Meanwhile, you can still go back to using old Google Talk temporarily within Gmail if you’re not ready to use Hangouts just yet. Just click on your name within the chat dialog in Gmail and select “Revert to old chat” and wait till Google manages to sort some chinks out with Hangouts.