Earlier this year Google pushed out a surprise update to Google Voice, bringing what many thought was an abandoned service a modern update and some new life. At the time, Google also vowed that it wouldn’t neglect its original VoIP service anymore, and less than two months later, it’s making good on its promise.
In a posting on the Google Voice Help Forum, community manager Vanessa outlined several new features that have begun rolling out to users. The biggest change is the overdue ability to delete conversations. To purge your window of a conversation, click the options menu in the top right corner and you’ll see a new Delete option right above Help & feedback. Tap it and the conversation will be purged forever just like in Android Messages. Furthermore, you can long press on a thread in the Android app to archive messages that you might need to refer to later.
There’s also a new Do Not Disturb toggle on the Android app that pauses call and text message forwarded when enabled. However, as Google explains, “To set a timer on Do Not Disturb, you will still need to visit the Legacy Google Voice on Web.” You can also disable app notifications for text messages to avoid duplicate alerts exclusively in the Android app. And web users are now make calls right in the browser.
Finally, Google has also added support for Gboard’s GIF image search, so you can bombard your friends with them. You’ll need to have the Gboard keyboard installed on your Android phone for it to work, obviously.
The update is currently rolling out to Android users, but as always, you can get it now by side-loading the Google-signed APK from APKMirror. An iOS update to bring the ability to delete conversations is due “in the near future.” Google is also seeking feedback from users about Google Voice through on online survey.
Something to talk about: Google's messaging strategy is still somewhat scattered, but we're all for Google Voice updates. The ability to delete conversations is one of those features that should have been there from the very beginning, but we're glad that we don't have to wait another three years for Google to add it.