At Cloud Next 2018, Google announced that Google Voice was now a part of G Suite and showed off a redesigned app. That mobile revamp is now beginning to roll out on iOS with new features for enterprise users, and it’s likely coming soon to Android.
As a part of G Suite, Google Voice aims to compliment Hangouts Meet video conferencing by offering a calling solution for enterprise customers. The version includes specific features like managing users, detailed reports, and setting up call routing functionality. When provisioning and porting numbers, admins can assign to either individual users or entire departments.
This redesign also involves a significant tweak of the mobile apps, starting with a new icon that’s reminiscent of the old Hangouts Dialer and replaces the previous light blue and white logo.
The new dark green background is the same shade as Hangouts Chat and Meet, with that accent color present throughout the rest of the application.
Signaling the new focus on traditional telephony, “Calls” is now the first tab in the bottom bar if you’re logged in with a G Suite account. This is followed by a new “Contacts” section that provides dedicated access to your address book. The functionality is not new given how opening search would already display an alphabetical list of contacts. There is a quick shortcut to add new contacts at the top of the list, as well as the ability to edit existing ones.
Meanwhile, “Messages” is now the third tab with “Voicemail” still at the very right. Again, this update is more of a reorganization of the app. Dark green is used to highlight the current tab you are viewing, as well as the calling and new message FAB.
Google touted at Cloud Next 2018 that the new Voice closely integrates with other G Suite services. Do not disturb can be enabled automatically based on “working hours” as determined by Google Calendar. This Digital Wellbeing feature can leverage machine learning to infer your work hours based on past events and takes into account time zones. As such, messages received after hours will automatically be forwarded, while calls go straight to voicemail.
The Contacts and Calendar-based DND functionality appears to be limited to enterprise G Suite accounts. Regular and free Google accounts will continue to see Messages as the first tab followed by Calls and Voicemail. Keypad is the fourth tab, while the Calendar integration does not appear in Settings.
Version 18.33 is rolling out now to iOS, while there are already reports of Android users getting the update last week. Meanwhile, given that these features were under development in our last APK Insight of Google Voice, the Play Store update is likely coming sooner than later.
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