It’s been a long, long, long time since Google Voice gained any new features or even received much attention from Google. But it appears that’s about to change. Maybe. Hopefully.
Today there’s a banner at the top of the Google Voice website that says “The New Google Voice is here.” There’s a clickable link to “try now,” and that URL points to: https://www.google.com/voice/b/0/redirection/new. Some people are seeing it, and others are not.
But as of right now, heading to that site just reloads the existing Google Voice website without any visible changes or updates. When contacted by The Verge, a Google spokesperson offered this statement acknowledging the slip-up:
Sorry, it looks like we must have dialed the wrong number! But don't worry, this wasn't a prank call. We're working on some updates to Google Voice right now. We have you on speed dial and we'll be sure to share what we've been up to just as soon as we can.
Google previously attempted to merge some of Google Voice’s functionality with Hangouts. I never really went along with that and still use the apps and desktop website — same as always. They’re not looking so great these days. But with Allo now serving as the company’s primary messaging app, well, perhaps Mountain View is ready to help Google Voice stand on its own again as the awesome service it started as. Make it so, Google. Start off 2017 right.
Google Voice has more or less been sitting still without any major feature additions for several years running. On mobile, the iOS app was most recently updated last June with “bug fixes.” (On Android, it was May.) The last significant update before that for iPhone was in October 2015 when the app was updated to support the native display resolutions of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. So yeah... not much has been happening. The service still works fine. It just hasn’t done anything new in forever. Google might just be getting ready to introduce Voice to a new generation.