Google Voice has been a long time favorite of Google fans. It’s allowed phone lovers like myself to get calls and texts across their various devices, including on the computer. But the UI of the apps was terrible and required some workarounds to get it right. Eventually, Google basically gave up on Voice and merged it into Google Hangouts which was a mixed bag — to say the least.
Now, that’s all changing. Today, Google has announced that Google Voice is back with all of the same great functionality, a brand new UI, and the promise of continued support.
First off, it has a completely new UI. The web app shares many design choices from the web version of Hangouts, and the Android app shares design ideas from the stock Android phone app. But, everything is branded with the Google Voice logo and white color scheme. This is completely different from the old Google Voice app, which had one of the most outdated designs from Google. The iOS app looks similar to its Android counterpart, but it has a bottom bar, which fits right in with iOS design.
The good news is that functionality is the same as before — no features have been removed, although none have been added either. The biggest change this time around is that Google wants to make sure people know that Voice is back, and it’s going to be supported for a while to come.
In case you forgot, Google Voice allows you to port your number into their service so you can get calls, voicemail, SMS, and MMS on your computer, tablet, iOS and Android devices. With this new update, existing and new Google Voice users will be able to enjoy a pleasant calling and texting experience across their devices, without the wonky Hangouts integration. Integration with Hangouts is still possible, but Google is encouraging its users to try out the new apps.
The Android app should go live today, and the iOS app in a few weeks. Once your mobile app is updated, you should get the updated website, which can be found at the link below. Everyone should have the update within a few weeks.