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Author Topic: Unable To Check Google Voicemail/Google Talk Retirement 6/26  (Read 9854 times)
Steve56
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« on: May 01, 2017, 11:38:08 pm »

Before I'm sharply reminded of this being a support form for Obihai products, I figure it as good a place as any to mention it seeing as how several members have contacts within Google/Google Voice.

In the absence of message waiting indications that have ceased to function with the rollout of OAuth 2.0 and the retirement of traditional password/username logins for Google Voice on Obi devices, the only method through which your voicemails may be checked and listened to is by dialing your own Google Voice number from the phone in question. For example, your home phone number is 555-555-1212. Picking up your home phone and dialing 555-555-1212 will reach your Google Voice IVR system through which you can place a call or check your voicemails.

This simplistic method has been working without issue since Google Voice was unveiled.

With Hangouts becoming the de facto method for placing and receiving calls (thus rendering Google Chat "obsolete") and the full retirement of the "old" Google Chat (accessed through your Gmail inbox) in June, I've grown curious how this will impact those using Google Voice on Obi devices.



I also noticed something peculiar when using Google Hangouts: the ability to dial your own phone number to check your voicemail is seemingly nonfunctional. Attempts to call your Google Voice number from the same account it's registered to receives an error message of "Call failed to connect or disconnected because the number was unreachable."



I've tested this with two separate accounts with separate Google Voice numbers. Dialing using Hangouts through the Gmail inbox or the dedicated Hangouts website both return the same error when dialing your own phone number.

This worries me slightly, what with the retirement of Google Talk around the corner.

I'd welcome anyone sharing my finding with any contacts you might have at Google. The ability to quickly check your voicemail (and manage settings such as greetings or do not disturb) by dialing your phone number (using your GV account) was quite nice. I'd hate to see it become impossible to do so with the next iteration of Google Voice/Hangouts.

Have others noticed this behavior?
« Last Edit: May 01, 2017, 11:40:01 pm by Steve56 » Logged
Taoman
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« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2017, 11:36:30 am »

So I take it you don't believe SteveInWA's post? If anyone on this forum would know it would be him.

Quote from: SteveInWA
No impact.

Quote from: SteveInWA
...the Google Chat setting is/will be still there, for OBi users.

https://www.obitalk.com/forum/index.php?topic=12627.0

Also, don't you have a forwarding number (like your cell phone) set up in your GV account? You can get direct access to your GV voicemail from any of your forwarding numbers.

Personally, I just get any voicemails emailed to me. I am then able to listen to it or read a transcript of it.
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Steve56
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« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2017, 12:46:39 pm »

I did use a forwarding number, but that was only to satisfy's Google's requirement of one before you could select a new number from them. Using another device to check is a solution but adds another step.

I've programmed a speed dial button on the phones (labelled voicemail) connected to the Obi202 in use that will dial the GV number. Checking voicemails this way is quite easy without the need of checking via email, etc. I can just come home after being out and dial my number.

Perhaps SteveInWA can forward this "feature request" to those in charge of Google Hangouts.
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SteveInWA
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« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2017, 01:03:15 pm »

There is a whole lotta nothin' in that post.  OBi devices have always used the Google Chat XMPP protocol to make calls.   Chat was designed and intended to be used with a computer and a GUI.  The assumption was, and still is, that the user can listen to their voicemail messages on the computer.  That hasn't changed, and will not change.  You cannot call into your own GV number from your GV number via the Chat/Talk/Hangouts GUIs to listen to messages.  The same goes for Hangouts...same as before.  There is no MWI, because again, Google Voice is intended to be used with a mobile or web GUI, and it was not designed to provide a signal to a hardware adapter (OBi).

There is no change to the Google Voice service as a result of shutting down the Google Talk application.

It's been clearly stated, many times:  to listen to voicemail messages, do one of these things:
  • Log into your Google Voice account on a computer or a smartphone or tablet that runs the Google Voice mobile app.
  • Call into your Google Voice number from an OBi device that is authorized to connect to the Google Chat service on the Google account that holds your GV number.  *note, this method exposes a security vulnerability, as no VM PIN is needed to listen to messages via this method, again, because the OBi is "pretending" to be a Chat client, and it's assumed that the user is logged in with a user ID and password to a GUI.
  • Call into your Google Voice number from a verified forwarding ("linked" in the new jargon) phone number and enter your PIN and #.
  • Call into your Google Voice number from any other PSTN number, and enter one of your verified linked phone numbers along with your PIN and #.
  • Have GV email you a link to your message.  Optionally, have GV text you when you have a message.

The easiest way to do this is to use a forwarding/linked phone number.  Then, program a speed dial key on your telephone to call the GV number from that number.  For example:  GV on SP1, Callcentric/voip.ms/Anveo/Phonepower on SP2.  Program a speed dial key:  **2<1NPAyourGVnumber>

Bottom line:  Google intends that Voice be used as a call forwarding and message management system.  It is not simply a free phone line.  There are specific legal and regulatory reasons for this.  If you want something that works like a simple telephone service, then use a SIP ITSP instead.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2017, 04:02:36 pm by SteveInWA » Logged

Taoman
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« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2017, 03:54:37 pm »


You cannot call into your own GV number from your GV number via Chat to listen to messages.

I'm confused by this statement. I realize this is true when dialing your GV number from any lines that are spoofing your GV number. But it certainly is possible when dialing your GV number from your OBi connected phone that is configured as a Google Voice trunk. It also works when dialing my GV number outbound through the Simonics GV gateway.

Perhaps I am misunderstanding you?
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SteveInWA
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« Reply #5 on: May 02, 2017, 03:58:55 pm »


You cannot call into your own GV number from your GV number via Chat to listen to messages.

I'm confused by this statement. I realize this is true when dialing your GV number from any lines that are spoofing your GV number. But it certainly is possible when dialing your GV number from your OBi connected phone that is configured as a Google Voice trunk. It also works when dialing my GV number outbound through the Simonics GV gateway.

Perhaps I am misunderstanding you?

Thanks Taoman; I was unclear.  I meant that you can't listen to GV VM from the Google Chat/Talk/Hangouts GUIs.  Yes, you can call your own Google Voice number, from a phone that is connected to an OBi device, which is provisioned with the Chat service on the appropriate Google account (or via Simonics GVGW, since it is also using the authenticated access to the Chat service).  I'm going to edit my post to clarify.
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Steve56
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« Reply #6 on: May 02, 2017, 07:08:26 pm »

It wasn't my intention to come across as complaining about something that owes me nothing--it's a free service and I fully understand that. I've learned to live with the minor irritations and limitations inherent in free service.

However, I just conducted a brief test to further verify my earlier statement. If using a browser, such as Firefox (Google Chrome will not allow you to revert to the old "chat" interface) and revert to the old chat, calls to your own Google Voice number will not fail and will instead reach the Google Voice menu system wherein you may listen to your voicemail messages and configure your settings. This is accomplished through the GUI Google Chat interface provided for use on the left side of your Gmail inbox.

To reiterate: this isn't meant as a complaint, merely a realization I had made when "testing" placing calls through the Hangouts interface. Even though alternatives exist for checking voicemail, it sure was nice to check voicemail and enable do not disturb by calling your phone number. (Granted, DND is an option directly on the Obi, but callers will need to wait the 25 seconds before their call is directed to voicemail).

My concern was, and to a minor extent still is, that the aforementioned ability may not work correctly or fail to work with the retirement of the "old" Google Chat interface, as again, calling your GV number through the account it was registered to using the old chat would properly route the call to your voicemail menu system. The new Hangouts doesn't allow for that ability.

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SteveInWA
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« Reply #7 on: May 02, 2017, 07:19:05 pm »

Jeeez, just call your Google Voice number and listen to messages or change the DND option.  BFD.
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Taoman
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« Reply #8 on: May 02, 2017, 08:33:27 pm »


My concern was, and to a minor extent still is, that the aforementioned ability may not work correctly or fail to work with the retirement of the "old" Google Chat interface, as again, calling your GV number through the account it was registered to using the old chat would properly route the call to your voicemail menu system. The new Hangouts doesn't allow for that ability.

Ok, now you're talking about using Chat from within Gmail where earlier you were talking about using a speed dial on your OBi. Which is your main concern?

Using Chat from within Gmail will definitely cease to function after 6/26. But if you're already on your computer how tough is it to just switch over to Google Voice? I doubt Hangouts will ever have that functionality since it uses an entirely different signaling protocol than Google Voice uses. Of course, Hangouts works just fine if you wait the 25 seconds until voicemail kicks in and then hit the * key and punch in a "linked" number. Quicker to just switch to Google Voice. First world problem.

It is my guess that your OBi speed dial functionality to access your GV voicemail will continue to function normally after 6/26.

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SteveInWA
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« Reply #9 on: May 02, 2017, 08:56:48 pm »

Quote

Using Chat from within Gmail will definitely cease to function after 6/26


Using Chat in a browser has always required a browser plugin.  The reason that Chat will no longer be accessible is that all the web browser providers have removed (or soon will remove) support for NPAPI plugins.  Plugins are an obsolete technology that is responsible for many of the security exploits and browser crashes (cough Flash cough).  Firefox was the last major holdout, and now it, too has removed plugin support.  If Steve56 is still able to use Chat in Firefox, it is only because he is using an old/downlevel version of that browser, a truly foolish thing to do, as it ignores security patches included in new browser releases.

Google Chrome Browser has built-in support for Hangouts, without the use of a plugin, via its built-in WebRTC and NaCl code.  That's not changing.  Google may release plugin-free support for other browsers, but it's a challenging task, since the other browsers don't support NaCl, and their support for WebRTC is inconsistent.

For the last time, this is much ado about absolutely nothing.
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Steve56
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« Reply #10 on: May 03, 2017, 08:02:02 pm »

At first, I will planning a brusque response. I'm glad I just as soon realized you're absolutely right, SteveInWA.

In reference to Taoman's question:
I was referring to BOTH Google Chat through the Gmail inbox and Google Voice access through an Obi device. As mentioned above, with the sun soon setting on the "old" Google Chat inteface in Gmail, I feared access to voicemail (via dialing your GV number from the same account) would no longer work since Obi devices use the legacy chat/XMPP technology to interface with GV. With Hangouts set to replace the legacy Chat system. I had only mentioned my using a speed dial number on my Obi (not an actual speed dial setting in the Obi; just a button on my phone programmed to dial my GV number) to further illustrate my use and concern.

With Hangouts becoming the de facto method for calling using a Google Account, I feared that access to voicemail by calling your GV number (again, from the same GV account that the number is registered to) would cease functioning. So long as XMPP continues to function, I don't see any reason access to the menu system would fail. However, it could be argued that access to it may be removed or just stop working since Hangouts does NOT support the ability to call yourself (dial your own GV number) to access voicemail.

Perhaps this functionality can be ported to Hangouts; I don't see it being very difficult to implement. In fact, I have yet to find a way in which you are intended to record voicemail greetings using the new Google Voice design and Hangouts! You can't call your GV number and the new Google Voice page doesn't offer the ability to record a greeting; you need to revert to the legacy layout.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2017, 08:07:44 pm by Steve56 » Logged
SteveInWA
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« Reply #11 on: May 03, 2017, 08:49:03 pm »

Quote
However, it could be argued that access to it may be removed or just stop working since Hangouts does NOT support the ability to call yourself (dial your own GV number) to access voicemail.

You keep theorizing and speculating based on incorrect assumptions.  There is nothing whatsoever to be inferred about Google Voice support for OBi devices, based on the retirement of the Chat GUI.

I can't make this any clearer:  separate the concepts of Google applications or products from protocols.

There are two control protocols, XMPP and WebRTC.  There are several products that use the protocols.  OBi devices use XMPP.  Chat and Talk used XMPP.  Hangouts uses WebRTC.  WebRTC is specifically designed for peer-to-peer audio/video communications over web browsers, and it has commands that can access the computer's camera and microphone/speaker, and set up calls.  Google has been systematically retiring (or "deprecating", to use the jargon) all of their own products that used XMPP.  They've been doing this in stages, for over two years now.  The last step in that timeline is to shut down the remaining Google products (the Chat and Talk apps) that used XMPP.  Google is leaving the XMPP protocol in service, to support OBi devices.  Hangouts has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with any of this.  Both control protocols use the same CODECs and can both use the same media transport over UDP.  Hangouts adds additional, wideband CODEC support and support for transport over secure connections.  This additional functionality is used by the Hangouts web clients, which are not limited by the narrowband audio standard of the PSTN.

Google Voice is primarily a PSTN call forwarding and message management product.  By itself, it is not a VoIP application (at this time, you cannot make nor receive VoIP calls using Google Voice by itself).

Hangouts was originally intended as a web-based, peer-to-peer A/V app.  As a nifty add-on feature, it was given the added capability of making PSTN phone calls via a VoIP gateway.  It is not intended to fully duplicate Google Voice functionality.

Again:  Google is killing their own XMPP-based apps, but leaving the underlying protocol in place.

If a user has a computer, and can use Hangouts, then they can easily listen to their VM messages by simply playing them on the computer.  GV will text and/or email a notification.  The email notes have a link that takes you to the recorded VM message, playable in MP3 format.  There is no reason whatsoever to use Hangouts on a computer to listen to VM messages.
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