As reports indicate, it seems that Google Voice will finally get a much-needed update soon. This came after some users have started seeing a banner ad in the Voice app itself, encouraging them to try its new version.
Google Voice vs. Hangout
The Voice update would be quite confusing for some users especially those located outside of the United States because it has been integrated into Google's Hangouts app.
This crowd will probably wonder how Voice could be separately updated without affecting Hangout. One should note that searching for the Voice service will also lead one to the Hangout platform for users overseas.
However, Google still maintains a standalone Voice app as part of its messaging platform both for the browser (with its own Voice website) and at the Play Store, where it is described as a platform where one can make international calls with a Google number. Users can also send text messages and listen to voicemails.
Last Voice Update
That being said, Voice has been languishing at Google's labs, having received an update last 2014. Its users, which are mostly constituted of business people, therefore, got a pleasant surprise when the ad surfaced. Interestingly, it is currently displayed for a group of Voice users and not all.
Those who were able to see the banner, however, have explained that it served as a link to a target where they could download and try the new version. Once it is clicked, it merely redirects the user to the original page.
This has led observers to conclude that Google is still holding the off switch, but the new version could go live anytime in the next few days.
Expected Voice Features
The update will likely entail a reworked UI especially for its desktop version, which still sports the design language of the old Gmail. It is also expected to land with build that will be closely integrated with Hangouts, as well as other related Google messaging services such as Google Allo and Duo.
Save for the ad, Google has not released any official statement about the looming Voice update. Knowing the company, however, we can expect a detailed log of new features especially if the update proves to be huge.
In the meantime, fans can be reassured that the update is really coming based on what Google recently told The Verge.
"Sorry, it looks like we must have dialed the wrong number! But don't worry, this wasn't a prank call," a Google spokesperson said. "We're working on some updates to Google Voice right now. We have you on speed dial and we'll be sure to share what we've been up to just as soon as we can."