Until a post popped up on Google’s blog earlier today, I had nearly forgotten that the Google Voice app existed. As it turns out, I had every reason to forget about it — Google hadn’t updated it in five years. That drought finally ended on Monday as Google begin rolling out a massive update for the Google Voice apps.
The most obvious change is the user interface, which has been completely overhauled to finally look like something that belongs in the second half of this decade. It’s cleaner, sleeker and fits in much better with the rest of Google’s modern apps, both on mobile devices and on the web.
There are now separate tabs in the inbox for texts, calls and voicemails. Additionally, conversations with a contact all now appear in the same thread, and messaging has been upgraded to support group and photo MMS. Google is also introducing Spanish transcription for voicemails, but says it will improve in time.
“Going forward, we’ll provide new updates and features to the Google Voice apps,” promises Google. “If you currently use Hangouts for your Google Voice communication, there’s no need to change to the new apps, but you might want to try them out as we continue to bring new improvements.”
In other words, it sounds like this is just the beginning of Google Voice’s resurrection, so if you preferred the Voice app to Hangouts, you might want to download it again and see how it has changed. We’ve provided links to the app on the web as well as iOS and Android below: