If you’ve been looking at signing up for Google Voice or Google Hangouts for any amount of time, then you might be wondering what the major differences are between the two services. After all, they’re both ways to communicate with other people, so what makes them difference? What makes them uniquely worth downloading and using?
There are actually quite a few reasons as to why you might want to use both of these services, as Google Voice and Google Hangouts are significantly different from each other. The latter, as the name implies, is primarily for voice services. Google Hangouts, on the other hand, can be used for voice, video, and instant messaging services.
So if you’re not sure which one to use or why you might need one over the other, be sure to follow along with us below. We’ve constructed this guide in order to show you the major differences between the two. Let’s dive right in, shall we?
Don’t have the cash for a phone number? Or maybe you want a secondary phone number without breaking the bank? Then Google Voice will be right up your alley. Sign up with a Google Voice account, and you can get a free phone number for calling, texting, and voicemail. All you need to get started with the service is a Google account.
Google Voice makes it easy to get in touch with and stay in touch with the people that you want to speak or talk to. The people that you don’t want to talk to, or the spam callers, are easily filtered out and put on a block list. Google Voice also has a pretty impressive system for managing the text messages from multiple devices.
It’s also one of the best ways to use international calling. International calling through, say, services like AT&T, Verizon, and other carriers are really expensive, though it has arguably fallen down in price over the years. That said, using Google Voice for all of your international calls is a great way to save money, as Google offers you international calling services at a competitive rate.
Google Voice can be really nice for, say, routing calls to a voicemail. If you have spam callers that you don’t want calling you, just give them your Google Voice number and they’ll automatically be routed to that number. You’ll never have to pick up the phone — they’ll always just go straight to voicemail.
Google Voice is also really nice for businesses. Setting up a new business is a frustrating, difficult, and expensive process. That said, Google Voice gives you a way to obtain a phone number and service without breaking the bank — it’s a great way for getting started!
Download it now: Google Play
As we already mentioned, Google Hangouts is different in a ton of different ways. Google Hangouts does allow you to call over voice, but you aren’t assigned a number that will allow you to call anyone you want from. You can picture it as “WiFi Calling,” as if you were starting an online video conference, but without the video. Since you aren’t assigned a number, you can only call people in your contacts list, or with folks that you have already started a conversation with.
Google Hangouts does have video conferencing capabilities as well. Since it’s all free, the software is actually really impressive. You can have a video conference with up to 25 people, and with no time limit. You can have chat conversations with an even larger number, actually all the way up to 150 people, if you so choose. The only downside to Google Hangouts is that quality seems to be a massive hit or miss — and seeing who is talking can be pretty confusing. Google Hangouts uses an algorithm that brings someones picture to the screen when they’re talking, and there’s unfortunately, a major delay with this.
Download it now: Google Play
As you can see, there are some pretty major differences between Google Hangouts and Google Voice, but they both have their place in the market. Google Voice is nice for creating a secondary phone number, or for routing phone calls to another number and/or voicemail machine. That said, one service isn’t necessarily better than the other here — it all just depends on what you need to use out of these services.