Nearly two weeks ago, we received word that Google was working on some updates to Voice, the company’s voice-over-IP system that hasn’t received a valuable upgrade in years (according to Google, it’s been five). It was unclear exactly when the time would come that Google’s efforts would make theirselves known, but thanks to a fresh blog post, we now hear that the time has come: Google Voice is getting a much-needed refresh, complete with all-new Android and iOS apps as a part of version 5.0.
When we first introduced Google Voice our goal was to create “one number for life”—a phone number that’s tied to you, rather than a single device or a location. Since then, millions of people have signed up to use Google Voice to call, text and get voicemail on all their devices. It’s been several years since we’ve made significant updates to the Google Voice apps (and by several, we mean around five 😉), but today we’re bringing a fresh set of features to Google Voice with updates to our apps on Android, iOS and the web.
First off, a new material design is present for Android, iOS, and the web, while tabs along the top (Android) and bottom (iOS) create a more intuitive way to navigate. Google’s also upgrading SMS with added support for photo MMS and group messaging right from within the Voice apps, features that have remained oddly exclusive to those who port their number over to Hangouts. The company’s also working on bringing over Spanish voicemail context which will likely open the door for more languages to be added in the future.
In addition, Direct Replies in Android Nougat, a fresh app icon (with round icon support for Pixel owners), and 3D Touch support for iPhone users are all now included as well. Currently App Shortcuts for users on Android 7.1 aren’t supported while the company’s still working on bringing RCS messaging to Voice, so it looks like we’ll need to give the platform some time to adjust to 2017.
According to Google, “regular” updates will be provided to users of Voice so they don’t get left out in the cold like they have in the past five years. Google promises Voice to no longer sit as a forgotten platform, so it’ll be interesting to see just how much effort the company pours into their highly-used service.
- SOURCE: Google