The North American MMS party on Google Voice is complete. Verizon now supports Google Voice MMS, Google software engineer Dylan Salisbury recently announced on Google+. Verizon's Google Voice MMS hook-up follows an announcement in early October that included every other major North American carrier was supporting Google Voice MMS. (MMS is the technology that support sending multimedia images via text messages.)
Beyond Verizon support, Salisbury said Google is also adding native Google Voice MMS photo messaging in Hangouts. If you merge Voice with Hangouts on Android, that means photos will now show up natively instead of a text message with a link. Salisbury also promised that group messaging via MMS is coming to Voice in Hangouts very soon.
The impact on you at home: The new update means users can now use their Google Voice number on Hangouts with little difference from using a carrier-supplied number. That's good news for anyone who relies on Hangouts and Google Voice. But it's really not a huge deal if you've already moved your MMS activity to the massive crop of dedicated messaging apps out there such as BBM, Facebook Messenger, Line, Viber, and Whatsapp.
As with the announcement in October, Google Voice's deep integration with Hangouts raises the question of how long Google Voice will stand on its own. In March, rumors suggested that Google planned on killing Voice as a standalone service and folding all of its functionality into Hangouts.
That has happened to a certain extent, but Google Voice still exists as a distinct and separate service with its own Android app and website. The fact that Google Voice is U.S. only while Hangouts is available around the globe may play into the long, slow merger of the two services.
[via Android Police]