Earlier this month, Google had announced plans of a Google Voice update that they have been working on for quite some time. As a matter of fact, it’s been five years since there were any major update in Google Voice. The company has just confirmed that the update is now complete with the addition of a more improved version of its VOIP calling service that is now available on mobile, as well as, the web.
Why the update has come so late
The update was long overdue and was almost overtaken by events and technology. The idea behind the upgrade is to catch up with the ever evolving technology and give the service a more modern feel. In the process, Google has added new services in the upgrade that were not there earlier.
“It’s been several years since we’ve made significant updates to the Google Voice apps. Going forward, we’ll provide new updates and features to the Google Voice apps.” The company promised in a statement, after five years without any upgrades.
History of Google Voice
Google Voice became a Google product after the company bought Grand Central back in 2007. The service then gave its customers a phone number that was unique. This was before numbers could be ported, and voice customers could easily shuffle in between services without worrying how their carrier-owned number would change.
This message service felt like an email service and could be opened up on any computer instead of being restricted on your mobile phone only.
New features with this Google Voice update
As is expected with any upgrade, it gives an opportunity to inject new elements, and that is exactly what Google has done. Although their are not that many new features that came with the latest Google Voice udpate, they are relevant all the same.
Separate tabs have now been provided for messages, calls, and voicemails. This means that conversations on the service will remain under one continuous thread, making it easier to keep up with your contacts.
Group discussions are now a possibility, as well as, enabling users to send files, videos, and photos to each other more quickly. The text message service looks like an instant messaging app and has a thread for each contact. The service can also support Android’s new direct reply feature which allows a user to respond to a message while it is still in the notification panel.
Voicemail transcription now supports Spanish speakers.
Google now plans to introduce rich messaging through RCS to its customers in the future. RCS is an advanced messaging service that allows higher quality picture is messaging of up to 10MB in size, location sharing, group chats, as well as, video calls by default. Recently, RCS was introduced to Android phones through the Roger’s and Sprint networks which have the ability to create groups, add and reject members, as well as the capacity to read transcripts and type indicators.
Google stays true to the original Google Voice script
There are also features that have not changed, according to Google, like the Hangout integration option with Google voice. This means that if a user prefers to use Hangouts as their preferred messaging app, it is still possible.
Hangout is the default app during the set up of the new improved Google Voice. There is also the option of disconnecting Hangouts to keep the apps separate.