Google’s newly unveiled Hangouts service is all kinds of awesome. The much-anticipated app combines typed conversations, images and video into a single app. Since the service has unified all Google chat services, your good ol’, trustworthy Google Talk has changed too – and not just the way it now looks and behaves. It has come as a rude shock to Google Talk users that you can no longer place Google voice calls using the app.
The feature added to the Google Talk service within Gmail in 2010 has been an important one for most users of the mail service ever since. It was possible to make voice calls and eventually video calls from within Gmail, a feature that was appreciated by most users. Google’s support groups are now filled with users complaining about the missing feature. “I HATE GOOGLE HANGOUT… AND IT TOOK OVER MY GOOGLE VOICE.THIS STINKS… HELP!!!!!!!!!!! I NEED MY REGULAR GOOGLE VOICE BACK,” reads one post. The anger regarding Google pulling out voice integration is pretty palpable through this thread, we believe.
No more Voice calls within Gmail
Besides the voice feature being pulled out, users are groaning about the lack of availability status on Hangouts as well. Using Google Talk, earlier you could set your availability to Busy or Invisible, the latter being a feature that has been sorely missed ever since Hangouts came into being.
Google, however, has made the option to revert back to the old Google Talk temporarily for all those who have switched over to Hangouts. This turning back will also solve the problem of not being able to place voice calls too. It must be noted that this is probably a temporarily solution and Google will eventually make it compulsory for users to shift to Hangouts permanently.
Google is also looking at adding features like SMS support – a feature of Google Voice – into Hangouts, amongst others. We can only hope that it will add voice calling and status availability features back to Hangouts.