Almost Perfect Solution to Google Voice (Updated)

google-hangouts-extension-screenshot

In October I wrote a post on making Google Voice really useful on your Mac (read it here). Recently there have been some changes effecting the way my system works that I want to update you about.

At Google I/O 2013, Google took several of it’s communication applications and rolled them into one, rebranding everything as “Hangouts”. Hangouts was originally created as a core feature of Google+ and is now being branded as a stand alone product that integrates with Gmail, Google+ and on it’s own mobile app. With that rebranding Google changed the “Chat for Google” Chrome extension into “Hangouts”. Unfortunately the upgrade disabled voice calling completely and my system no longer works.

According to Google, voice calls will be returning ‘soon’ but when ‘soon’ is no one knows. Read: Hangouts Upgrade Disables Outbound Google Voice Calls (via Engadget). For anyone that converted to Hangouts in Gmail, it has been disabled too. The only way to use Google Voice outbound calling as of right now is to keep the legacy Google Chat enabled in Gmail.

Any updates to the Hangouts Chrome extension will be reported here.

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