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.