UPDATE: More information came out today (01/27/2017) about the future of Google Voice and Hangouts ;tldr VOIP coming (back) to Google Voice.
Everyone is talking about the latest update to Google Voice and speculating1 as to the future.
One constant theme questioned how it fits together in the ecosystem with Project Fi (Google's phone service).
Well, after deducing that an upgrade to the apps (Play Store, iTunes) probably came with a web update, I had to go see if anything changed. Low and behold there is an updated GUI with some modern styling, but it looks pretty much the same... That is until I noticed this in the settings:
Despite claims by Google, and even after converting my phone number from Voice to Project Fi, I opted in for the Hangouts integration but did not change my voicemail from Google Voice. Consequently, I was able to keep the transcriptions and web interface for my voicemail, with the hope that one day they eventually would work on the integration. Well, it looks like that is happening and I expect more to come.
Now, if they would just combine Hangouts, Voice and Fi into a single interface, the world would be a happy place. At the very least, they would be well advised to make all of this stuff compatible so you can have your messages/sms/voicemail despite the client you choose to use (looking at you: Messenger, Voice, Hangouts, Allo, Duo, whatever). I have no issue with multiple interfaces that focus on different features, but at least use the same data across all of them so we, the consumers, can choose which one is best in the true Google fashion of experimentation.
Links below: ↩
https://www.reddit.com/r/Android/duplicates/5pq3hg/ringingin2017withupdatestoourgooglevoice/ https://www.reddit.com/r/ProjectFi/comments/5pq9nk/googlevoiceupdatestartsrollingout/ https://www.reddit.com/r/ProjectFi/search?q=google+voice&restrictsr=on&sort=relevance&t=day