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.
The latest version of Google Voice is available and it's bringing both cosmetic changes and making preparations for new features. For those that use Voice with multiple accounts, the account switcher has been repositioned to a more convenient location. A teardown also shows upcoming support for vCard attachments and Android's Car Mode, which will make it easier for users to make calls with Google Voice while driving.
In addition to voicemail transcription, Google Voice's strong suit is the ability to send and receive messages, check your voicemail, and even place calls from your phone or the web. The latter is particularly convenient, especially if your phone is charging or out of reach. Google has just made its app even more functional by designing a new interface that proves quick access to calls and settings.
Voice is quickly becoming a preferred method of search for many mobile users, and Google is responding by pushing voice features to as many of its platforms and services as it can. The latest example is voice search on Google.com for mobile web. The tech giant began rolling out the new feature this past week, but it's only available to Android users so far.
Android Auto is designed with simplicity and safety in mind. As such, it will not show all your notifications while you drive, but only the most important ones like navigation, weather, calls, and messages. However, the latter can only be played vocally and are limited to a few apps such as SMS, WhatsApp, and Hangouts. Until now, Google Voice wasn't supported in Android Auto, which meant incoming texts wouldn't appear on your car's screen. The company is finally fixing this thanks to an update that notifies you when receiving Google Voice messages.
A ton of Google apps have already gotten Material redesigns, and Voice is the latest to join the party. Following yesterday's Gmail redesign, several readers have tipped us off on a new and improved UI in Voice. And yes, we have the APK for you guys to download.
The Pandora app is about to get easier to control, provided you don't mind yelling at your phone. Like everything else under the sun, the app is getting voice controls. Thanks to a partnership with SoundHound, you'll be able to ask Pandora to play different tracks, modify playlists, and more.