Will GoogleVoice stop working on all deployed OBi devices after May 15?

Started by p2pvoice, November 12, 2013, 10:10:18 AM

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gderf

Direct communication between Google Voice (GV) and your OBi will stop working in both directions when Google disables XMPP as stated on May 15, 2014.

But this does not mean that you can no longer use your OBi with Google Voice.

If you forward calls from GV to another phone number that is provisioned on your OBi, incoming phone service will continue. You can get such a number for free from CallCentric. See: http://www.callcentric.com/dids/free_phone_number

To continue making free outbound calls from your OBi using Google Voice you can use GV's click to dial with callback from a web browser.

The above descriptions of how continued service can work depends on Google and OBihai not disabling other things that would prevent such usage.

There is a lot of discussion about this on the forum, look around some to find it.
Help me OBiHai PhoneOBi. You're my only hope.

SteveInWA

Let me also suggest that you get your news and information about Google Voice/Talk/Chat/Hangouts from the official Google Product Forums (GPF), instead of from a highly-opinionated (and at this point, ranting) blogger (Ward Mundy).  He's attempting to twist Google's business and technical direction into some sort of devious and dishonest scheme.  "The lady doth protest too much, methinks."

The "Android Community" blog was also inaccurate:  "This all centers around Google's move away from XMPP, the protocol apps like GrooVe IP were using to latch onto Voice. When Google went from Talk to Hangouts, they transitioned away from XMPP, making things like voice and video chat proprietary. Google is now bringing that energy to Voice, opting to shut down operability with no alternative in sight."

The "alternative in sight" is already here:  Hangouts.  Hangouts can be a forwarding VoIP phone destination for GV calls.  Hangouts can dial telephone calls.  Google Voice never inter-operated with XMPP.  Google Chat did, and Chat is being replaced by Hangouts, which will migrate to communications via WebRTC and HTML5.  Focusing on WebRTC allows the browser to take over functions that formerly required a plugin.  That plugin is a messy kludge, and every time it gets updated, it manages to break people's calling from Gmail.  The latest plugin update broke calling for a lot of Mac users, for example.

The main point of confusion, is that Google Voice is not, and never was, a free phone service.  It's an inbound call management system.  Google's companion products, Talk, Chat, and now Hangouts, provide the VoIP functions.  Yes, the names are confusing, but the important fact is that Google Voice isn't being shut down.  Over time, we expect that most of the GV functions will be better-unified with Hangouts (both on the desktop web browser and the mobile interfaces).  The GV team is working on this, but getting it right, without breaking the complex GV infrastructure, or pissing off the millions (yes millions) of GV users, is the top priority.

These blog articles are not helping people understand their options.  As gderf points out, you can still use Google Voice with your OBi; just not with the Chat pseudo-phone via XMPP, that OBi and GrooVe IP have been using.  And, as he pointed out, there are several other threads where you can read about these options.  Enjoy using GV with your OBi!


giqcass

I love Ward Mundy's articles but I thought he took this one a little too personally.  It's better to look at this change as a new challenge and perhaps a new opportunity.  Many people are doing the work needed to support Google Voice after XMPP.
Long live our new ObiLords!

AndyJ

Quote from: SteveInWA on November 12, 2013, 06:20:47 PM
The main point of confusion, is that Google Voice is not, and never was, a free phone service.  It's an inbound call management system.  Google's companion products, Talk, Chat, and now Hangouts, provide the VoIP functions.
As even Google Voice allows free outbound calls within the US using a traditional phone line (just in a roundabout manner), it's actually also an outbound call management system. Calls can be initiated through the GV web site, or by dialing your own GV number and then continuing the call from there. However, as you indicated, the VoIP/XMPP interface that is being used for outbound calling by the OBi is actually part of Talk/Chat/Hangouts.

SteveInWA

Actually, clicking the red CALL button on your GV web page gets broken when Hangouts is enabled (which in turn, disables old Chat), and so calling via one's GV page isn't supported at the moment.  The "call your own GV number, then access your VM in admin mode and then press 2 to make a new call" method does continue to work, of course.

Again, bottom line is that this is now a somewhat messy work in progress, and I expect more confusion to continue until the products are integrated.

gderf

Help me OBiHai PhoneOBi. You're my only hope.

SteveInWA

Quote from: gderf on November 13, 2013, 07:23:38 PM
So don't enable Hangouts.

Well, yes, for the time being.  What Google now calls "Old Chat" will be going away soon, so I didn't want to give the impression that it's a long-term workaround.

gderf

I have the GV plugin installed in Chrome which allows me to dial by clicking on phone numbers or by selecting numbers from my contact lists by typing letters in the names. Will that no longer work when Old Chat goes away?
Help me OBiHai PhoneOBi. You're my only hope.

SteveInWA

I don't know the details of how the various (not-well-integrated) features and functions will work or not work over time (and if I did, sadly, I couldn't disclose them).  The GV extension's current function depends on the voice and video (aka Chat/Hangouts) plugin.  I assume the extension will migrate to WebRTC support. 

In general, I expect that the functions that are supported today via the browser plugin will either continue to work via direct browser-based (WebRTC/HTML5) support, or they will be replaced by similar web apps under the Hangouts umbrella.  Eventually, the need for the plugin will go away, but not before the equivalent, native support is provided via the browsers.

In the immediate future, if your preferred method of calling is via the GV extension, enjoy using it as long as it works.  If you'd like to try the Hangouts browser extension, that is another way to place calls via the browser, and it also supports video calling between Hangouts users.

giqcass

Quote from: gderf on November 13, 2013, 08:27:07 PM
I have the GV plugin installed in Chrome which allows me to dial by clicking on phone numbers or by selecting numbers from my contact lists by typing letters in the names. Will that no longer work when Old Chat goes away?
Google has been pushing HTML5 / web RTC.  Because Chrome is a Google product  it supports those as well.  Some of the other browsers may need plugins to function.  Interfaces may look a little different  but it will at least work.
Long live our new ObiLords!

gderf

Quote from: SteveInWA on November 13, 2013, 08:40:53 PM
In the immediate future, if your preferred method of calling is via the GV extension, enjoy using it as long as it works.

The GV extension not my preferred way of making calls today. I have used and configured it to the point that I know it works to make callback initiated calls which would be one way to continue on with GV and OBi post May 15, 2014, assuming is isn't broken by Google in the future.
Help me OBiHai PhoneOBi. You're my only hope.

SteveInWA

Quote from: gderf on November 14, 2013, 06:10:38 AM
Quote from: SteveInWA on November 13, 2013, 08:40:53 PM
In the immediate future, if your preferred method of calling is via the GV extension, enjoy using it as long as it works.

The GV extension not my preferred way of making calls today. I have used and configured it to the point that I know it works to make callback initiated calls which would be one way to continue on with GV and OBi post May 15, 2014, assuming is isn't broken by Google in the future.
Which of the various, poorly-integrated features and tools will, or will not work after May 15th, is just speculation at this time.  My point was, you asked if the extension will work.  I said it works now, and I speculated that Google will supply some sort of WebRTC-based replacement for it after that date.  My assumption is that, over time (many months, slowly), features will migrate toward a better-integrated overall platform, and that platform will be Hangouts.  Not the half-assed Hangouts of today, November 15, 2013, but an improved and evolving Hangouts.

My comments, speculations and assumptions are based on my experience with the offering, both as a user and as someone who supports users over on the Google Voice product forum, and some information that I can share without violating the NDA I have signed with Google.

Ansextra

As long as there is a free home phone line available I would continue using GV just as before by "dialing" from the web browser.  My wife also works at home a few days a week so just the home phone line isn't enough.  In my case, I have to have a desk phone for my home office so ended up starting a VOIP account with VOIPO.  This fulfills my phone needs and actually gives me more features than GV ever did.  Yes it costs me a few dollars / month but it's $6.21/month for the first two years (paid in advance) and then goes to approximately $15/month after that.  I can afford that.  I've learned my lesson.  I'm not depending on free services any more.  I have specific teleworking requirements for my convenience.  I'm willing to pay for those if necessary.

telecomm

Thanks in advance for any advice.  I use Obi with GV, but the GV # is forwarded to my free callcentric number for e911.  I understand from this thread that in May when the changes occur, I will still be able to receive calls like I do now.  But, what about outgoing calls?  Right now I use GV for that.  Any ideas on alternatives where I can still have my GV number show as the caller ID when I place an outgoing call?  I assume I may have to use something like Callcentric to place the outgoing call after May if GV will not be able to place it directly from my Obi202.

Koby

Quote from: telecomm on December 10, 2013, 01:46:00 PMAny ideas on alternatives where I can still have my GV number show as the caller ID when I place an outgoing call?

You could set up a FreePBX based system using something like Asterisk for Raspberry Pi and use it as a Service Provider for your Obi, and then see if the old method of placing outgoing Google Voice calls from the pre-xmpp days will still work.  I think it does now, but there's no way of knowing if it will continue to work indefinitely.

gderf

Your incoming calls forwarded to your free Callcentric DID number will continue to work post May 15, 2014, so long as that is a working solution as it is now for you. Some of those free Callcentric NYC area DIDs are having problems now, so there is no telling if those that are working will continue to do so. You can get a free IPKall DID today to play with now if you want to have a backup. Just aim it at your Callcentric SIP credentials.

For outgoing calls post May 15, 2014 you can buy outgoing VoIP service from any number of vendors. They should all allow you to use your GV number for CallerID. I have PAYG outgoing service with CallWithUS. I gave them $5.00 for about 475 outgoing minutes which do not expire. I have only used a few of those minutes to place test calls.

Help me OBiHai PhoneOBi. You're my only hope.

giqcass

A lot of people will be moving to localphone for outgoing calls.  They start at 1/2 cent per minute pay as you go or 1/10 of a cent per minute if you buy a bucket of minutes each month and they will "spoof" your caller ID so it appears the call came from your Google Voice account.  Any service with caller ID "spoofing" will work.

The old Asterisk method will work as well but when Google changes something it can break in which case you must wait for an update.  It has worked pretty well for a long time but you never know.
Long live our new ObiLords!

carl

Quote from: giqcass on December 10, 2013, 03:28:36 PM
A lot of people will be moving to localphone for outgoing calls.  They start at 1/2 cent per minute pay as you go or 1/10 of a cent per minute if you buy a bucket of minutes each month and they will "spoof" your caller ID so it appears the call came from your Google Voice account.  Any service with caller ID "spoofing" will work.

The old Asterisk method will work as well but when Google changes something it can break in which case you must wait for an update.  It has worked pretty well for a long time but you never know.
I would not call it spoofing. You can set any registered number( which has to be verified) as your caller ID, it cannot be just any number. So I can pick any of my Localphone DID's, my 2 GV numbers , My Callcentric number or my 2 cell phone numbers. That's it.