When software is updated, it's usually to add new features or correct bugs. However, there are times when a new release does the exact opposite by taking functionalities away or breaking them. This is precisely what happened with a recent Google Voice update, which caused the application to malfunction. Indeed, users have reported the new software crashes at launch or, for the luckier ones, ignores speakerphone and Bluetooth toggles.
Version 2019.11.240776012, published on April 1st, was probably not intended to be an April fools' prank, but it ended up having a similar effect. According to the changelog, it was supposed to allow users to make calls over Wi-Fi and mobile data, but not break existing features. Instead, in addition to causing the app not to launch, it messed up with the audio output settings. This meant calls would either go through the phone's earpiece or its speakerphone, without the ability to switch between the two. Similarly, it broke the option to place calls through Bluetooth devices, despite appearing in the settings.
Google has confirmed it's aware of the issue and working on a fix, without indicating an expected release date. This will hopefully be fixed soon, as this update made the app almost unusable. In the meantime, you can manually switch back to version 2019.11.237492715 (APK Mirror), which seemed to work fine. Of course, we'll update this post once Google pushes a new release to the Play Store.
Although not everyone was affected by these issues, we were notified by a Google spokesperson that an update to fix the problems is rolling out. Impatient Google Voice users can download this new, fixed version over at APK Mirror.
We have tested and can confirm on a previously affected device that this version (2019.16.242555088) plays nice with Bluetooth audio devices, switching between earpiece and speakerphone works again, and so does the proximity sensor.
Google worked on a new version that potentially solves an undisclosed "serious bug". Unfortunately, product experts haven't told us what the issue with version 2019.16.242555088 was, but instead advised against side loading it. You can grab the newest release (version 2019.16.244895543) from APK Mirror, but it's worth noting it's still not officially published on the Play Store