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Google VoIP Service Gets Long Awaited Updates

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Google VoIP Service Gets Long Awaited Updates

January 24, 2017
By Frank Griffin
Contributing Writer

Google (News - Alert) Voice, a VoIP service, was launched in 2009 as a solution designed to provide a range of communication services for Google account customers. Using IP communications, it let users choose a U.S. telephone number in selected area codes for call forwarding, voicemail, text and voice messaging. In the past seven years, the service has not had the same traction as other free communication services available in the marketplace, but the fact that Google hasn't given up on it must mean it has plans for the app. And the announcement of the recent upgrades to Google Voice after more than five years may be an indication of things to come.

In addressing the many years Google has not announced any new updates, Jan Jedrzejowicz, Product Manager Google Voice, said in a company blog, “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.”

The idea of Google Voice was to give you “one number for life,” which according to the company could be accessed no matter where you are or what device you are using to make calls, text and get voicemail.

The first upgrade Jedrzejowicz highlighted was a cleaner and more intuitive user interface to keep all the functionalities of Google Voice organized. The inbox has a separate tab for text messages, calls and voicemails, and conversations stay in one continuous thread so messages can be viewed from your contacts in a single space. The messaging has also been improved with support for group and photo MMS with in-notification replies.

If you happen to speak Spanish, there is a voicemail transcription service which, according to the blog, will continue to improve its accuracy over time. The voicemail transcription in English is still available as is.

Jedrzejowicz said there will be more improvements with added features to the Google Voice apps moving forward, adding, “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.”

Edited by Alicia Young

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