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New Google Voice About to Launch? (Updated)

new google voice

Oh boy, are we about to be treated to a new Google Voice? Maybe!

A handful of Google Voice users (including me) are seeing a new banner at the top of our Voice accounts on the web that reads, “The new Google Voice is here.” That note is followed up with a link to “TRY NOW.”Β 

At this point, clicking the “TRY NOW” link only refreshes the page and returns us all to the same spot in the current UI. In other words, we aren’t seeing a new Google Voice, possibly because Google has yet to flip the switch on a new UI or experience. We don’t know for sure, though, but this banner is most certainly new.

It has been years since Google Voice received a major update, so assuming Google plans to keep it around for a while, a major update is probably needed. The Android app experience is quite awful, to put it lightly. And after all, now that Google has backed further and further away from Hangouts, you have to wonder if Google Voice is about to see a refresh that pulls it back into its own world.

We’ll update you as we see or learn more.

UPDATE: Google has confirmed to The Verge that updates to Google Voice are coming. With that said, they didn’t put any sort of timeframe on releasing those updates, only stating that they would share the goodies with us “as soon as [they] can.”

  • nycebo

    Google designed GV without the knowledge of where the industry was going. A lot has changed. At this point, it all seems to haphazard with usernames, landlines, mobile phones, GV phones, SMS, Voicemail, MMS, VOIP, etc. Instead, some vision is required. The GV number is a reasonable idea as a hub for ALL one’s phone numbers. In addition to the gmail account, I would use the mobile phone as an identifier for data messaging akin to what Telegram, Signal, Allo and Whatsapp do…thereby pre-populating a bunch of contacts for quick messaging. Thereafter, if someone doesn’t have GV or Allo (their universe), the message goes out over SMS using the GV mobile (via data) or mobile number (via SMS) as configured in settings. But ALL of the messages would be aggregated in the GV app. Calls would be simple and just pushed out over VOIP or phone as configured in settings or on the fly. That’s it. Voicemail aggregated as already done. Simple and easy. How they got away from this is anyone’s guess but that’s what happens when the devs in Voice, Talk, Hangouts, Allo, Duo, Gmail and Google+ don’t talk to each other.

  • Learjet

    This makes me happy. After Gmail and calendar, Voice is my most used Google product. I’ve been waiting (and expecting) to read about a kill-off, so I am pleasantly surprised.

  • Tom Z

    I had the link yesterday… It’s no longer at the top of my screen.

  • Bill Gates

    One more reason to LOVE iOS. Google ran by a lots of kids happy to know how to CODE and creating new apps and then rework old apps that no one uses. iMessage boy I love you!

  • oh man, I cannot wait!!! hopefully better (more up to date app with wear support)

  • Dylan

    I had switched over to using Hangouts to check my Voice VM back when I thought Hangouts was going to be THE all-in-one messing client. It has that annoying issue where if a phone number is formatted differently than is being displayed in hangouts, it’s not smart enough to associate it with a contact ie) Hangouts having a message from (234) 567-8901 but the contact being prefixed with +1. I don’t know why assumed it was Voice issue and that it would be fixed in the future.

    This post reminded me of that annoyance. But it turns out it’s just a Hangouts issue after all! Opened up Voice for the first time in years only to find it listed out contacts just fine.

    Come on Google! Get it together!

  • mlm5em

    I love Google Voice and Project Fi SMS from computer. Give me a website/app for these things and I could care less what happens to hangouts.

  • Chris_K

    Google Voice, Google Plus, Hangouts, Allo, Duo, Messenger—–>One gigantic MESS. Cleanup your act google.

  • warsaw

    I would love the ability to just erase my recorded name and use the standard greeting again.

  • kirko77

    I place my bet that we’ll be disappointed. Google hasn’t released any awesome “communication related” app updates or new apps since the original Hangouts.

  • LionStone

    “At the Google Horizon event in September 2016, we previewed a new experience for Hangouts focused on meetings. In order to streamline our efforts further, we will be retiring the Google+ Hangouts API that enables developers to build apps for the older version of Hangouts video calls. This API was originally intended to support social scenarios for consumer users as part of Google+, whereas Hangouts is now turning to focus on enterprise use cases.”-Google

    http://www.phonearena.com/news/Google-acquires-Swedish-company-Limes-Audio-in-a-bid-improve-audio-quality-for-conference-calls_id89701

  • Colin Zack

    This is completely random, but I’m hoping someone might be able to help. My mom and I both used Google Voice in the past, but for some time now (maybe about a month?) voicemails don’t seem to go through to it and can’t be accessed. I get the Verizon voicemail notification at the top when GV is turned on and nothing on GV. Tried getting rid of it and re-adding it, reinstalling the app, and setting it back up, and calling Verizon to make sure our voicemail settings haven’t changed, but nothing. We only use it for voicemail. Anyone had this happen?

    • gpzbc

      I experienced something similar. I think I had to go to the Verizon website and disable HD Voice and/or the Advanced Calling feature. I can’t remember exactly how to do it but Google should be able to tell you.

      • Colin Zack

        I do remember turning on HD voice/advanced calling and WiFi calling. Does that mean I can’t have those with GV? That would suck.

        So you think I should get on with Google Support?

        • gpzbc

          If I recall, I had to disable call forwarding to GV, then call Verizon and have them disable HD voice/advanced calling on my account, thenre-set-up GV on my phone. So yes, I don’t think HD voice/advanced calling and GV are compatible.

    • bulldoggolfer74

      Deactivate call forwarding and reactivate. Worked for me.

    • Casey

      Voicemail started working on my 6P with 7.1.1 on Verizon in the stock dialer. I assume this fix also happened for the 5X. Is this your case? You might not need to use GV any longer, unless you want to.

      • Colin Zack

        We want to use it, but apparently it looks like HD calling and some other advanced Verizon features won’t work with it

  • digitalicecream

    that t-mobile DIGITS is starting to get the attention of Google.

  • iCoerce

    Hangouts API is being killed. Google voice is seeing update… Google is pushing development of Allo, they have already stated that allo and Duo will eventually merge… SMS with Allo is a no brainer…So eventually Google voice can and will merge with Allo and SMS and it can be a one stop shop app. Especially with Google fi?

  • Armorthane

    If you think the Android app is bad, try using the iOS version. Total joke. I swear Google is just messing with Apple when they wrote this app.

  • LaFave07

    Nice. I give out my Google Voice number to everything/everyone who is not family or friends. Basically my spam box for phone calls.

    I get emailed if I get a voicemail, but other than that I don’t get bothered from it.

  • Indianajonze

    i just want to know how you all discovered it. i haven’t been to that site in probably a year

    • LionStone

      For myself, I only would need to go to the website to tweak any settings or set up a new device. Since I use Hangouts for my messaging and to get my VM, I don’t need to use the GV app to get my VM.

  • Ryan

    Probably going to be a completely new service you have to sign up for that has a new name but half the features of Voice.

  • friguy3

    Oh great, maybe they can make me switch apps yet again! So how many messaging/calling apps do they have….four now? They cant even kill off an app, they just, kinda stop supporting it, till they bring IT BACK TO LIFE!!!

  • MadJoe

    The link was there, now it’s gone.

  • A M

    The banner was showing up for me but disappeared now.

  • Nayners

    Ha! I JUST moved away from Google Voice because of the crappy app and sub-par Hangout integration. Figures this would happen, after waiting years for improvements. We’ll see what we get!

    • kirko77

      1. What exactly do you use the app for? It’s only required to configure your phone for outgoing calls.. literally just one check box.
      2. Hangouts integration actually surprisingly good. You get voice mail and can make Wi-Fi calls

      • Nayners

        You’re talking to me like I haven’t used Google Voice for the last 6+ years. Everyone has different uses. I’m quite aware of the services strengths and weaknesses.

        • kirko77

          Sure,
          But you complained without explaining and still haven’t explained with second post.

  • CabbageHeadCat.

    Pretty sure iost Google voice when I switched that number to hangouts. Hevent really looked though.

  • Jellybelly Bean

    I’m an Android user for years, but have no idea what Google Voice is?? Can someone explain it to me?

    • You sign-up for a GV number, and then filter all your other numbers under it. Let’s say you have work and personal and home numbers. You attach all of them to your GV number, and then give everyone you want to contact you, your GV number. Then, whenever anyone calls, you, it rings through to all of your different phones. Also, you get visual voicemail, free SMS, and some other options, like cheap international calling, an internet UI to place calls, check SMS and email, etc.

  • Brent S.

    I sure hope they don’t do like Inbox and the new G+ interfaces, and strip tons of features just to make it look simpler and prettier.

  • helpful55

    I usually react to this kind of thing with dread. I find something I like and even if not perfect get it set up for me. Then the next thing you know the geeks that are enthralled with playing with themselves make a mess out of it all. I’m hoping, but we’ll see.

  • Grits n Gravy

    Google just rick rolled everyone, and it’s not even April Fool’s

  • AndrewScottRox

    I’d be ok with this being a SMS app/platform.

  • Dingus234

    While they’re at it, Gmail and Calendar could use a major UI facelift too.

  • Kevin N

    Hmm we have seen this before lol

  • Daniel M.

    On iOS first……..

  • Hhotelconsult

    I am seeing it. What is so odd, is that Google heard me. My partners and I finally realized there’s way too many forms of comm, and email is certainly not working for me as it should. I committed to GVoice prior to it existing, as Grand Central. Now I am down to fewer phone numbers, and I really just need MMS, group texting, and simplicity as it seems my integration into voice and hangouts is a pain in the rear for my partners… namely because stuff just keeps switching around. I was LITERALLY telling them I was dumping GVoice, probably today, and then WHAMMO…. this. OH GOOGLE. I wish I could complain about seemingly free services (other than the data exhaust worth gold)….. but hopefully this is the resolution we were looking for.

    • Seeing the link or a new GVoice?

  • Brian Ward

    I would be happy with just a ‘mark all as read’ button.

    • Hhotelconsult

      How many times have you gone down that rabbit hole, hunting for the one SMS or Voicemail. So funny. Me too.

      • Brian Ward

        I have Firefox installed for the sole purpose of running imacros to programmatically mark all messages read. πŸ™‚ Also, nothing quick like calling to listin to messages and being greeted with ‘you have 127 new messages’. And then have it start playing from the oldest to newest. Meanwhile, I got the gist from the transcriptions 3 months ago.

    • Hayden7200

      You can basically already do this can’t you? Just check the box to show Unread instead of All and then check the box to select all messages and under Actions select Mark As Read.

      • Brian Ward

        Only 10 messages at a time.

      • Brian Ward

        And that includes missed calls and texts. If you are a heavy user the number rises very fast to where you could sit there for 15 minutes doing what you are saying.

      • Lynn Savage

        But you still have to go page by page.
        I have over 500 unread VMs because I read the transcripts instead. Mark All Read is so tedious and annoying…

    • Lynn Savage

      That would be perfect!
      I disabled showing VM in call log because every time I make/receive a call, my VM alerts go crazy with all my old, unchecked GVoice mails…

  • MHD
  • Cnote11

    Bless your hearts. I respect that your hope springs eternal. I, for one, have grown too cynical.

  • Bob Zanis

    Looking forward to the changes!

  • whatever

    I am pretty sure by redirecting us to the same page, someone at google is having a laugh, trolling us for the application we most want to see updated.

    Tomorrow that Try Now page will redirect GV to a EOL/Discontinued page…

  • John Blount

    Just re-directed me to Project Fi page.

    • jonzey231

      Hmmm…

  • Patrick Ryan

    My Google Voice number has been the only one I’ve used for 5 or 6 years. There is much to like it usually works. Hope they don’t screw this up. Fingers crossed.

    • p0k3y

      Yeah, maybe it’s best they don’t try anything “new”, which usually means taking away something useful nowadays in Googland.

    • Gonzales

      I’ve used GV when it was originally Grand Central.

  • Firelight

    Majorly heavy Voice user here and I do *not* see it. Ugh! At least they aren’t killing it off. Can NOT live without it. Been using it since the Grand Central days.

    • We first got tipped to the new banner an hour or so ago, and none of us were seeing it. Now the banner is there. Refresh not working though! Something is happening…stupidly excited hah.

      • I’m a big Google voice user. Hadn’t logged into the web interface in forever! I’m seeing the link right now, just refreshes the page as you said. It’s about time for an update, I thought GV was dead for sure.

      • Firelight

        I wonder if it’s because I turned off Hangouts for Voice and use it natively with Google Messenger?

        • Dee Mann

          What do you mean you use it natively with Google messenger?

          • Firelight

            I turned off Google Hangouts. GV then automatically creates a unique “new” number for each contact (like 916-###-#### when my home area code is 252) and then I assigned that to the proper contact and presto-chango it’s native text messaging. Except MMS.

          • Lynn Savage

            That unique new number thing is why I stopped using the GV apps. I never understood why that was necessary. I’ve been using Hangouts axclusovely for messaging for a few years now, and setting my phone up so my native dialer calls thru my GV number.

        • Dee Mann

          What do you mean using natively with Google messenger?

      • soccerburn55
  • I use this and the old Google voice app daily.

    A UI refresh would be amazingggg

  • mcdonsco

    Please be a new app too! Tired of tapping play 3-4 times on every voicemail to get them to play!

    • The GV app is quite possibly the biggest piece of 2010 garbage I have to use still to this day.

    • Firelight

      I made GV the native VM app for my Nexus 5x and that doesn’t happen when integrated with the dialer’s VM functions. But yes, that darned GV app is shite.

      • mcdonsco

        I’ve tried integrating it into the dialer many times and it never works for me. Tried on a nexus, moto, Sammy phones and my current OP3T.

        VM will show in the dialer but won’t play.

    • mlm5em

      Can’t you play and read transcribed messages in the Phone app and also Hangouts? Or is this Project Fi only?

      • C Shwizzel

        Yes Hangouts. Not sure why anyone would still use the GV app. It’s a disgrace to Google and Android.

        • Cole Gerdemann

          I don’t see the Google voice options in hangouts and so I’m forced to use the voice app πŸ™

  • Sean Lally

    Wouldn’t it be cool if Google would pick a direction and stick with it?

    • Hah right

    • Robbie Gerling

      3 weeks ago, I ported out of Google Voice after almost 8 years of service… I honestly wish I had done it sooner. The one thing I liked the most was voicemail transcription and sending to my gmail as an attachment. Now, on AT&T prepaid, I have visual voicemail and can text from my computer(s) using PushBullet.

    • Pedro

      Isn’t that exactly what they’ve done with Voice for the 5 years?
      Minor update last April. Last update before then??

      • Sean Lally

        Voice has felt for a long time like they were about to bail on it. If you go to the Voice website now (as a non subscriber) it redirects to Project Fi. I was on Voice, but ported my number to Fi awhile ago…

    • Kellex

      One more reason to LOVE iOS. Google ran by a lots of kids happy to know how to CODE and creating new apps and then rework old apps that no one uses. iMessage boy I love you!!!

      • Sean Lally

        What?

    • michael arazan

      I usually never condone precription psychiatric medication except in extreme situations, but Google really needs some Ritalin to stay focused

  • Ryan Weber

    This makes me so happy! I was worried with google rolling back hangouts that GV might go the same route, but this is really encouraging. I’m seeing the same banner on my page.

    • Because Hangouts has been thrown on the back burner, it almost makes sense for Voice to come back to the front as a stand-alone service, assuming Google intends to keep it around.

      • Ryan Weber
      • Ryan Weber

        It’s about time…
        http://gph.is/1OQcJ2H

      • Alexander

        I’m kinda hoping they move it into Google allow so that it functions like iMessage. If you message somebody that has allowed it sends an alloy message and if you message somebody that doesn’t have allowed it automatically sends from the Google voice number

      • TheChocolateLady

        good. because i hate hangouts.

  • cadtek91

    I doubt that’s it’s any new features, more that likely it’s just a MD refresh.

  • Derek L.

    Oh boy… I can’t wait to see them discontinue the service…

  • I’m seeing it! But the link doesn’t work.

    I’m a heavy GVoice user. My phone defaults to that number… hopefully they don’t screw it up!

    • Patriciashamilton

      Google is paying 97$ per hour! Work for few hours and have longer with friends & family! !mj121d:
      On tuesday I got a great new Land Rover Range Rover from having earned $8752 this last four weeks.. Its the most-financialy rewarding I’ve had.. It sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it
      !mj121d:
      ➽➽
      ➽➽;➽➽ http://GoogleFinancialJobsCash121TopShopGetPay$97Hour β˜…β˜…βœ«β˜…β˜…βœ«β˜…β˜…βœ«β˜…β˜…βœ«β˜…β˜…βœ«β˜…β˜…βœ«β˜…β˜…βœ«β˜…β˜…βœ«β˜…β˜…βœ«β˜…β˜…βœ«β˜…β˜…βœ«β˜…β˜…βœ«β˜…β˜…βœ«β˜…β˜…βœ«β˜…β˜…βœ«β˜…β˜…βœ«β˜…β˜…βœ«β˜…β˜…::::::!mj121d:….,…..

    • Same here, why do I have a feeling screwing it up is exactly what they’re gonna do.

    • John

      …hopefully they don’t screw it up…

      Oh they will. And bad. But it will give us another free thing to pointlessly bit ch about.

      • Tomek G

        I so fear that they try to do some useless integration.
        Their good ol’ GVoice app is what I have, hangouts never really worked for me

    • Kelexx

      One more reason to LOVE iOS. Google ran by a lots of kids happy to know how to CODE and creating new apps and then rework old apps that no one uses. iMessage boy I love you!!

      • nycebo

        Does iMessage make calls over IP?

  • Suicide_Note

    Thanks, but you’re a few years too late, Google.

  • misphit_917

    It’s about time!

  • Oh man!