Even without a major update in years, Google Voice continues to be a remarkably important and criticial day-to-day service for some users. As such, a new banner on the site today sparked excitement that a “new” version featuring a long overdue update may finally be coming soon.
For most people, heading to the website now reveals a banner touting that the “The new Google Voice is here.” While clicking “TRY NOW” currently just reloads the same old version of the page, the link does feature “redirection” in the URL.
In the mean time, such an update to Google Voice after years of neglect would make a ton of sense. At the moment, all of Voice’s features are replicated in Hangouts. Rather than use the old dedicated Voice app or website, most consumers turn to the Hangouts app and respective Gmail integration on the web.
However, this increasingly does not make sense in light of Hangouts shifting to an enterprise focus following the launch of Allo and Duo. With an announcement last week that the Google+ Hangouts API is shutting down, the company is clearly moving towards cleaning up and focussing the messaging service.
In order to not abandon current Voice users and their phone number, Google would have to release a new app for people to text and make/receive calls.
We’ve reached out to Google for clarification on whether the banner on the Voice site is intentional or just an error and will update when we receive word.
Update: In a statement, Google has confirmed to us that updates to Voice are indeed in the works, but that today’s banner was released in error:
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.