Featuring a redesigned interface and new features, the first update to Google Voice has just been announced.
Google Voice has been revamped around a new inbox with distinct tabs for text messages, calls, and voicemails. Messaging now has support for group and photo MMS, in addition to search having capabilities for text and call history. A new Security setting has also been introduced to filter spam from all kinds of communications. Old features such as voicemail transcription are still there.
For Android users, the UI is regular Material Design having a FAB and 3 tabs that show missed items. At release, version 5.0 has a rounded icon for the Pixel and support for Nougat’s Direct Reply, but does not include a small conversation view in notifications such as Google Messenger. Support for Gboard’s GIF keyboard, Direct Share, and 7.1’s app shortcuts are also lacking.
The interface looks almost like Hangouts on the web, having tabs on the left side, messages list, and the conversation view. As for iOS app, a dialer has been is added.
Voice feature will be there in Hangouts, enabling users to continue using their current workflow. But, Google suggests trying new apps so that things can be improved in future.
Remember that doing it will disable the ability to send SMS messages in Hangouts. SMS conversations from Hangouts will not show in Voice as well. For a future update, Google is working on a migration functionality.
Google Voice has got a long delayed restructure, but the overall functionality remains the same. The company will continue to provide regular updates to the service, which is in fact the real big news.