Difference Between Google Voice and Hangouts (With Table)

One of the most famous search engines of the world, Google, was founded in the year 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 to Google Hangouts to Google Docs to Google Drive to Google Meet. Depending on the needs and modern times, it has improved and launched new applications to attract the customer. In the digitalised world, we are dependant on Google for all our online work and meetings.

Google Voice vs Hangouts

The difference between Google Voice and Hangouts is that 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 around the world. Whereas Google Hangouts is a messaging application that works on multi-platform. Earlier, Hangouts was launched as one of the features of Google+, but then it was made a stand-alone app in the year 2013.

Google Voice, launched in the year 2011, provides an option to all Google users to make a call in the United States as well as internationally. Earlier it was launched in few countries along 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 the year 2013, it became a singular app. It works on multi-platforms ranging from mobiles to PC. Facing competitions from other companies, Google decided to provide other features as well, such as chat, voice and video conferencing features in Hangouts. In 2017 Hangouts was fragmented into Meet and Chat.

Comparison Table Between Google Voice and Hangouts

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 for talking 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 option like hangouts. It provides the user to have a single phone number for free of cost, which they can forward multiple times to different phones. It is available on the web, mobiles, ios and PC as well. 

Voice doesn’t change your number even if you have changed your device because it uses Google accounts to contact your friends and families. It specifically uses Gmail for contacting the person, although Gmail signing is not required when you are talking with the other user. It also allows user to block unwanted calls. It gives full control to the user when he/she is making a call through mobiles or telephones. 

Numbers that are given to the customers are basically the local number of the user’s area. So it is very easy 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 calls per day. From PC to PC, it was free in the United States and Canada and around the world. It was very low 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, changes were made in Google Voice with new features. As of 2020, Voice became available for G Suite customers in certain countries. 

What is Hangouts?

Hangouts is a collaboration and communication app that is very 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 future’, Hangouts was broken into two parts in 2017 in 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, not good 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 provides telephone numbers that can be used on different devices, retaining the same number for 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 the year 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 other people, although it uses Gmail for contacts. Hangouts require Gmail to connect with other people as it requires signing and internet.
  5. Google Voice is a singular app. Hangouts is the integration of two apps, namely Messenger and Talks, originally named Babel.

Conclusion

Both Google Voice and Hangouts are available for free of cost and are fully functional, which makes them attractive to use. Although both have some limitations, they provide the coolest features, and you can make unlimited calls with both of them. Both of them are available under G-Suite, and both automatically syncs with your accounts and contacts. For more features and accessories, Hangouts provide a paid platform known as Google Hangouts Meet. Google Voice doesn’t have paid plan.

Although it introduced filter spam recently. It depends on your need which app is best for use. If you want to use it for personal use, then Voice is best, but for business purposes, Hangouts are best.

References

  1. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=Pv3bBgAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PA235&dq=Google+Voice+and+Hangouts&ots=tiaUIn6yR9&sig=HfCCIEf7SDgRm6JstSAACiRkONc
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0378216616000047
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