Google Voice Gets Extreme Makeover With Photo MMS Support, Group Chat, New Mobile Apps

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If you have felt that the Google Voice app was both antiquated and lacking in features, you are not alone. Google Voice has at times seemed like the red-headed stepchild of the Google family, but the company today is taking steps to enhance the calling and messaging experience.

For starters, the Google Voice app has received a complete top-to-bottom visual overhaul that is much appreciated after years of stagnation. Both the iOS and Android apps — along with the web version of Google Voice — now used the Material Design aesthetic through. Navigating the Google Voice UI is also a lot more streamlined, as Google has implemented tabs that allow you to easily access your calls, voicemails and text messages.

Speaking to text messages, you can now finally send and receive photo MMS messages inline (instead of having to rely on clunky workarounds involving email attachments, or worse) and you can participate in group conversations using your Google Voice number. Threaded conversations have been added to the mix, and Google is working with wireless carriers like Sprint and T-Mobile to enable Rich Communications Services (RCS).

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Voice transcription has now gained support for the Spanish language and Google Voice thankfully receives a new spam filter for your calls and messages. There’s even 3D Touch support for iPhone users, while Android users can take advantage of in-notification replies.

Android users will be the first to take the plunge with the new Google Voice experience, starting today. Your mobile web experience will switch over to the new Material Design look once you’ve updated your mobile app. As for iOS users, you’ll have to wait a few more days to join in on the phone. But if you’re a longtime Google Voice user, it will be well worth the wait.