If you’ve found yourself frustrated by all the disparate messaging apps you need to keep up with on your Android phone, yesterday’s Android 4.4 launch probably came as great news to you, integrating text messages sent through your wireless carrier with your chats in Google’s Hangouts app. For others, though, it didn’t go quite far enough, and users of Google Voice were left a little let-down, with Voice SMS not getting the same Hangouts support. Why can’t two Google services just play nicely together? Luckily, rather than leave us hanging, Google’s Nikhyl Singhal took to Google+ to explain just what’s going on.
First up, Hangouts most certainly will start integrating text messages sent through Google Voice, and that should happen early next year. Actually, it already does in specific cases, but only then for Sprint users who are taking advantage of that carriers’ special Voice support.
Singhal also touches on MMS, another feature Google Voice users have been demanding. Unfortunately, there’s no ETA this time, and it sounds like carriers aren’t being too helpful in getting this working. Similarly, Google’s aware that a lot of you from outside the US would like to try Voice, but there’s once again no schedule for when availability might spread.
There’s also word that existing applications which rely on Google Voice might be forced to make some changes, as Google’s cracking-down on those that perform actions outside the scope allowed by the service’s ToS. Google’s giving any offenders (it declines to name any in particular) until May to get their apps in line.