People complain, at length, about Google forcing them to use Google+. Google’s admirable, if failed, attempts to prevent trolling on YouTube largely centered around Google+ integration. And now, Google Voice users might have to start using their Google+ accounts to get their phone calls.
Yes, Google Voice is going to become part of Google Hangouts, whether you want it to or not. But it will come with benefits, at least if 9to5Mac’s report is accurate:
What’s interesting here is that VoIP-to-phones is expected to be integrated into the Hangouts iOS and Android apps so that, just like with the Web version, you could be able to actually make (and receive) VoIP calls directly from your Google phone number. Whether the carriers and Apple are okay with this isn’t certain, and the thought is that it could be enabled by carrier like Apple’s FaceTime (or could be scrapped altogether) depending on the global market and the carrier.
Cue, of course, lengthy griping about Google+ and how Google is never going to make Google+ happen and stop making us try to use Google+, because we all love Facebook and won’t dump it when it finally gets too annoying. But really, this seems more like Google is just changing the name of Google Voice more than anything else: After all, if you’ve got a GMail account, you have a Google+ account. So this is, for Google, relatively innocuous.
Still, it does mean that Google Voice numbers will be more closely tied to your name, which is a worrying privacy development. So perhaps Google might think about loosening up those rules… or tying block lists to restraining orders.