A few weeks ago, #Google
made a really big - and long-awaited - update to the #Hangouts
app. Namely, #GoogleVoice
integration was finally included. Also, the new Hangouts Dialer app was introduced, allowing Hangouts to finally make voice calls. This is a huge step forward for the Google Voice world. Many of us "power" GV users have been waiting a long time to see any updates to the GV app.
The updated Hangouts app has the following abilities now...
• Send/Receive phone calls made to/from your Google Voice number.
• Send/Receive SMS messages made to/from both your Google Voice number AND your native carrier phone number.
• Send/Receive MMS messages, but in a unique way that is still not as good as normal MMS messages work via the native messing app.
So, after this update came out, I quickly jumped in. I installed the updated Hangouts app and the new Dialer app. I opted in to integrate my Google Voice messages into the Hangouts app. And I started using the Hangouts Dialer to make calls with my GV number. I grew accustomed to the new way of doing things, and saw no need to keep the old forsaken GV app, and uninstalled it from my phone.
That's when I noticed a couple of odd occurrences.
1. Whenever I received calls to my GV number, the call would ring to both the Hangouts app AND the native phone, at the same time. Two notifications happening at the same time. This never, ever
happened with the old Google Voice app.
2. Whenever I was on a GV call using the Hangouts app, the call would get dropped if my data connection dropped or changed. This would happen if I started the call while connected to WiFi, but then walked out of range and the phone kicked over to Mobile Data connection. The call would drop as soon as the WiFi signal was lost. This never, ever
happened with the old Google Voice app.
So what was going on? I was so excited about the new fancy Hangouts thing, but it was getting frustrating dealing with the duplicate ringer notifications, and the calls dropping was infuriating, especially if I happened to be in a spot where the WiFi signal was present, but weak, so it would keep toggling on/off sporadically as I moved around. I could be really proactive when making
calls, by turning off the WiFi and only using the Mobile Data. But if I received
a call while using WiFi, I couldn't do that.
Finally, I figured out what was happening...
It turns out that the Hangouts Dialer makes all of its calls as VOIP over a data connection - either WiFi or Mobile Data - but it will not (in fact, it CAN NOT) make calls without a data connection. It does not use the phone's carrier signal for calls. The old Google Voice app, as cantankerous and left-to-rot as it seemed, did
use the phone's carrier. This is a huge difference in the two apps. This explains why my calls never dropped when I was using the old GV app. It didn't matter whether my data connection was present or not, because it was simply forwarding the call through my native carrier as a true "voice" call, and not as a VOIP call.
Unfortunately, this is not something that Google has been very clear about...at all. I'm not trying to insinuate that that this was purposeful deception, but just that they have not made it obvious that Hangouts is totally reliant on a data connection, and therefore calls will drop if that connection is lost. The big headline is "HANGOUTS NOW HANDLES GOOGLE VOICE CALLING!!!" but the fine print is that it's VOIP and not true "Voice" calling.
Regarding the double call notifications...
Because the Hangouts app receives calls as a data packet, it does not even use the carrier. Therefore, you no longer need to have GV forward calls to your phone's native number. But you probably did
have it doing that when you were using the old GV app. So it is simultaneously sending the call over data to the Hangouts app AND it is also forwarding the call to your phone.
The simple fix for this is to go to the Google Voice web page (yeah, on the internet, not in the app), and in the Settings area, un-check the box next to your phone so that calls will no longer be forwarded to that number. The call will still be sent via data to the Hangouts app, so it will still ring there.
So, here's all the stuff I had to do to get my system back to the way I liked it.
To send/receive GV SMS messages in the Hangouts app:
• In the Hangouts app, go to Settings > your account > Google Voice > Messages - Show SMS & voicemail in Hangouts, and check
You can also make Hangouts send/receive your carrier SMS messages if you want to. That's found in Settings > SMS.
To send/receive GV calls using the native carrier and NOT the data connection:
• In the Hangouts app, go to Settings > your account > Google Voice > Incoming Phone Calls, and un-check
• In the Google Voice app, go to Settings > Making Calls, and choose how you want calls to be made - either by the native number, your GV number, or to ask you every time.
I still sometimes use my native number to call certain contacts, so I opted to have it prompt me every time a call is made.
• In the Google Voice web page settings, make sure that the box next to your phone is checked
so that calls are forwarded to your phone, since you won't be receiving them thru the Hangouts app.
Now, when you want to make a call using your GV number, but not be dependent on a data connection, you can. The beauty of this setup is that you can still choose to use the data connection if you want to, and simply use the Hangouts Dialer to make the call.
I think if they were to update Hangouts to have the option of using the carrier signal instead of a data connection, that would be a really great step in the right direction. #WiFi #MobileData #Carrier #Google #Voice #GoogleVoice #Hangouts #GoogleHangouts #HangoutsDialer #droppedcalls