When Google decided to make changes to Voice, they did so with the aim at unifying services. Part of their focus was in getting some third party apps, which they noted violated terms of service, to shut down. One of them, GrooVe IP, has announced they will be shuttering their service on May 15th, 2014.

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.

Via their Facebook page, snrb labs, designers of GrooVe IP, noted they’d be shifting their energy from supporting GrooVe IP and onto other projects, one of which is Tether It, a simple app which makes your device a Hotspot without root or carrier permission. The app is brand new, having been released on October 15th, but the utility is just as sublime as GrooVe IP is — or was.

Google has tightened the reigns on their services, which can be good for those who intend to use them. It can also be a problem for users who have come to rely on third party apps like GrooVe IP. GrooVe IP may be the most notable of apps affected, but certainly not the only one. It’s fair to consider the future of VoIP calling at this point, or at least the free nature of it.

  • With Google Voice SMS coming early next year to Hangouts, maybe voice calling will come as well to the Android version?

    • Richard Prince

      Doubtful. I’m thinking like Talk’s elimination, using Hangouts requires Google+ and only works on those protocols. I think Google Voice will be remade to connect only to Google+, minus using POTS.

      Google will probably also axe GMail’s calling feature along with this eventually to force the free-beer crowd to use Google+ or get lost.

      • Christopher Carr

        Why do you suppose there’s some VoIP and GV functionality in the iOS Hangouts app, but not in Hangouts for Android?

  • Raging Nerd

    So much for the wonders of open source, soon it will all be proprietary.. Starting to reconsider my dependence on Google services.

  • makro

    You can use the talkatone app to make and receive calls with Google voice

    • guest

      Not after may 2014. Talkatone relies on XMPP just as all the other 3rd party tools do.

  • anony

    Well, been looking for an excuse to wean myself from dependence upon Google and this looks like as good a reason as any. The GV free ride was good while it lasted and saved me much money but I refuse to be a part of Google’s NSA pimping ecosystem any longer. Besides, I need to figure a way to re-purpose my Obi. 🙂

    • Axxell

      My god, how can people be so stupid…you do know GrooveIP was just using Google Voice’s backend to make calls, right? They always went through Google; this doesn’t change anything.

      • AxxellMyNutsInYoMouf

        dumbass. he realized that. he like many, used it because it was free. now it won’t be and this like every goog move of late is sound reason to move on. fuck google.

      • Axxell

        LOL…you keep making yourself look dumber (seriously, you’re not fooling anyone by changing names…). GV will still be as free as it was, until they actually announce something.

      • GoghGirl

        GV is still free… But Google is shutting down services that they dont have any alternative for.
        I have the google voice app on my tablet and its ok for texting servies but there is no way to make or recieve phone calls through their app.
        If Google was just trying to direct people to their own services that would be one ting but they DONT currently have a solution so instead I may be forced to stop using their environement altogether.

      • Axxell

        That’s a valid concern. But at least if you’re gonna complain, do so with facts.