Google Voice vs Hangouts: Difference and Comparison

One of the most famous search engines in the world, Google, was founded in 1998 by Larry Page. Google is one of the most valuable brands in the world, and according to Forbes, it is the second in line.

Google offers various services ranging from Google Voice, Google Hangouts, Google Docs, Google Drive, and Google Meet.

Depending on the needs and modern times, it has improved and launched new applications to attract customers. We rely on Google for all our online work and meetings in the digitalised world.

Key Takeaways

  1. Google Voice is a service that allows users to make and receive phone calls and messages from multiple devices using a single phone number.
  2. Hangouts is a communication platform that includes messaging, voice and video calls, and screen sharing, among other features.
  3. While Google Voice is primarily used for making phone calls and sending messages, Hangouts is a more versatile platform that offers a wide range of communication features.

Google Voice vs Hangouts

While Google Voice provides telephone services with call forwarding, voicemail and recorded message features, it can be used free of cost through PC and mobiles worldwide. At the same time, Google Hangouts is a messaging application that works on multi-platform. Earlier, Hangouts was launched as one of the features of Google+, but it was made a stand-alone app in 2013.

Google Voice vs Hangouts

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Google Voice, launched in 2011, allows all users to make calls in the United States and internationally.

Earlier, it was launched in a few countries, including with United States, Canada, Denmark, France, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the UK. Along with Voicemail, it provided a lot of features like free messaging, showing call history, blocking unwanted numbers etc.

Google Hangouts was launched as one of the many features of Google+, but in 2013, it became a singular app. It works on multi-platforms ranging from mobiles to PC.

Facing competition from other companies, Google decided to provide features like chat, voice and video conferencing features in Hangouts. In 2017 Hangouts was fragmented into Meet and Chat.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonGoogle VoiceHangouts
DefinitionVoice provides a telephone service to local as well as international customers to all Google users.Hangouts is a communication app through which you can send pictures, videos and messages.
LaunchedIt was launched in the year 2009.It was launched in the year 2013.
FeatureIt is one of the original features of Google.It was one of the features of Google+.
GmailIt does not require Gmail to talk with other people.It requires Gmail to connect with other people.
IntegrationIt is a singular app. It is the integration of two apps, namely Messenger and Talks.

What is Google Voice?

Google Voice started as a telephone service that provides call forwarding, voicemail, voice and text messaging but doesn’t offer video conferencing options like hangouts.

It provides the user to have a single phone number free of cost, which they can forward multiple times to different phones. It is also available on the web, mobiles, ios and PC. 

The voice doesn’t change your number even if you have adjusted your device because it uses Google accounts to contact friends and families. It explicitly uses Gmail to get the person, although Gmail signing is not required when talking with the other user.

It also allows users to block unwanted calls. It gives complete control to the user when they are making a call through mobile or telephone. 

Numbers given to the customers are the local number of the user’s area. So it is straightforward to contact the local people using Voice.

When Google Voice was launched, it became an instant hit in the United States, with almost 1.4 million customers making 5.7K daily calls. From PC to PC, it was free in the United States, Canada, and worldwide. It was the meagre cost to make calls internationally. 

Acquired from GrandCentral, Google Voice provided a lot of new features, but it did not transition the Ringback Tone feature, which can be done in GrandCentral.

In 2017 almost after five years, new features were made in Google Voice. As of 2020, Voice became available for G Suite customers in certain countries. 

google voice

What is Hangouts?

Hangouts is a collaboration and communication app similar to Google Voice. But Hangouts give you the option of video conferencing, unlike Voice.

Hangouts let you make phone calls without having phone numbers. You can make outgoing calls but not incoming calls. It was the original feature of Google+, and then it was made a singular app in 2013.

Features of Google Messenger and Google Talks were integrated into Hangouts. Believed to be the ‘voice of the future’, Hangouts was broken into two parts in 2017 Google meet and Google Chats.

Hangouts allow communication between two or more customers. It requires Gmail signing and can be used through Google+ apps, android and ios. 

Group Video chats were upgraded from 10 to 25 persons at a time. Chats histories are saved online in the hangouts. Pictures and videos are shared automatically, saved and uploaded to Google+ albums.

All the tools are available under G-Suite. Hangouts are best suited for business purposes but not suitable for telephony services.  


Main Differences Between Google Voice and Hangouts

  1. Google Voice provides a telephone service to local as well as international customers to all Google users. It includes telephone numbers that can be used on different devices, retaining the same number free of cost. Hangouts is a communication app through which you can send pictures, videos and messages. It doesn’t provide a telephone number.
  2. Google Voice was launched in 2009 in the United States and selected countries. Hangouts were launched in the year 2013 officially worldwide.
  3. Google Voice is one of the original features of Google. Hangouts were one of the features of Google+.
  4. Google Voice does not require Gmail for talking with others, although it uses it for contacts. Hangouts need Gmail to connect with others as it requires signing in and the internet.
  5. Google Voice is a singular app. Hangouts integrates two apps, namely Messenger and Talks, named Babel initially.

Last Updated : 11 June, 2023

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