When you're trying to keep on top of your communications, having one number that's tied to all your devices — and even accessible through a web interface — sounds like a dream come true. And for the most part, that's exactly what Google Voice is. But key to that success is it managing to actually do its job, and right now that's not exactly going as planned, as Google reports issues with text messages experiencing delays.
It might not be one of Google's most-used services, but Voice fans are as dedicated as they come. Although the app doesn't receive attention as often as many of us might wish for, today's your lucky day. Voice is getting four long-awaited features that should make its calling and texting experience a whole lot smoother and more manageable.
The slow, painful stagnation of Google's call forwarding service continues. An update to the support text for Google Voice says that soon SMS forwarding for Google Voice will no longer operate. That will leave the Google Voice app, on your phone or the web, as the only place that they're visible. Google says that carriers are beginning to block these messages, which is, indeed, something we've observed over the last few weeks.
Twitter has primarily been a text-driven social platform but it hasn't shied away from experimenting with new formats. Earlier this year, the company rolled out Fleets, which allowed users to share fleeting thoughts and moments — a feature not-so-loosely inspired by Snapchat and Instagram. Now, Twitter is testing audio chat rooms in its latest experiment called Spaces.
This isn't the first time that the platform has tested out a voice-based feature though — you can already create voice tweets on the iOS app. However, Spaces is different in that it aims to create a "space" wherein a group of people can speak at once.
Google's been rolling out updated logos and icons for many of its services in the last month or so, and Google Voice just started picking up its own awaited change. The new icon is starting to roll out on the desktop site, though it doesn't appear to be live for everyone just yet.
Tonight, Google experienced some issues with its servers as multiple services were affected by disruptions, but by now, the company has confirmed that the problems are fixed. People reported that they couldn't send emails via Gmail and upload files to Drive, with thousands of reports on DownDetector.com. Google itself noted on its G Suite Status Dashboard that there were additional problems with Docs, Meet, Chat, Keep, Groups, Slides, Sites, and Voice.
If you've used any of Google's voice services for Assistant, Maps, and Search, you will have gotten a lengthy notice about some major changes as to how and why it collects audio of what you say. These actions are a response to last year's revelations about how humans were contracted to review those clips and how some of them got leaked. The top-line takeaway here is that every user has been opted out of data collection.
Google's Find My Device service is invaluable when you lose your phone while you're out and about, but it's also great if your handset disappears in the vast void that is your couch, bed, or hallway. Just hit up Google Assistant on one of your smart home speakers or displays and ask it to "Find my device." However, for people who juggle more than two phones at once (like us here at Android Police), this can quickly turn into a frustrating experience, as Google would only help you find the two most recently used phones. That has changed — the Assistant will now give you a selection of up to nine phones at a time.
Google Voice has long been one of Google's most confusing and most useful products, and since becoming part of G Suite in 2018, it has started receiving a bit more love when it comes to updates. It gained a dark theme and support for VoIP calling last year. Now the service is prepping the ability to transfer ongoing calls to other numbers and contacts.