These days, almost all manufacturer apps can be updated via the Play Store. This makes updating them with new designs and features a lot easier, as you might have glimpsed from our teardowns. Most recently for the Google Phone app, v15 added a white navigation bar, assisted dialing for international travelers, and some more. We didn't spot any major changes in Phone v16, but it appears that it fixes an issue people were having with receiving calls while they had a Bluetooth device connected.
The issue was first detailed on Google Product Forums in mid-December 2017, so it's been around for at least a month or so. The screen on the poster's Pixel 2 XL would refuse to wake when there was an incoming call while a Bluetooth device, whether it be headphones or a speaker, was connected. Multiple other forum users with phones like the Pixel 2 and first-generation Pixel chimed in with the same complaint. Someone realized a few days ago that the problem had been fixed in version 16 of the Google Phone app, as it's no longer reliant on the proximity sensor. This was marked as "Best answer." Yesterday Orrin, a community manager, stated that v16 did indeed resolve the issue.
If you've been experiencing this issue, check to make sure that Phone has been updated to version 16. If it hasn't, you can grab the latest Google Phone APK from APK Mirror.
This update also added Cyrillic support in T9 dialing/smart search, and T-Mobile support for Google's voicemail transcriptions that we wrote about here.
The full changelog is just below:
• Google-powered voicemail transcription for T-Mobile USA users
• Support for cyrillic in smart search (T9 dialing)
• Bug fixes and performance improvements
- Google Product Forums