After five years of virtually no updates or improvements, the all new Google Voice experience launched today. The new 5.0 build of the app brings a Material Design look and feel to the Android app as well as an improved Web and iOS interface. Functionally, there isn’t much new as far as what you get with Voice. The apps however are a big improvement.
The new Google Voice apps has the more contemporary three-tab navigation with a FAB (Floating Action Button) for various activities in the app. The app’s tabs are for messages, Calls and visual voicemail. The new web interface has a similar design with the different tabs being accessible on the left side of the screen. It is a vast improvement over the clunky KitKat-style previous build.
Overall you aren’t going to find any major new features in this release of Google Voice. This was all about updating the UI for the most part but group messaging (MMS) is now available in the app
and service. In the announcement, Google was quick to point out that you don’t necessarily have to use the app. If you are a Google Voice user that utilizes Hangouts for the service, you can continue to use it. The new apps just have a fresh, clean look.
Lastly, for those of you who are Project Fi subscribers, don’t bother with the download. At least not yet. The app ties to a Google Voice number which, if you are on Fi, is used there. So if you try to use the new app, it just points you to the Fi app or to sign in with a non-Fi associated Google account.
The update to Google Voice is rolling out now so it will take a few days for everyone to get it. You can always side load it thanks the team over at APKMirror who have already posted it.