After years of stagnation, Google Voice relaunched in early 2017 with redesigned mobile and web apps, as well as the guarantee of “regular” updates. VoIP calling functionality was still missing on Android, but — as we reported exactly a year ago — Google promised that the feature was coming.

Today, version 5.7 of Google Voice is rolling out and a teardown reveals that the Android app is laying the groundwork for VoIP.

About APK Insight: In this ‘APK Insight’ post, we’ve decompiled the latest version of an application that Google uploaded to the Play Store. When we decompile these files (called APKs, in the case of Android apps), we’re able to see various lines of code within that hint at possible future features. Keep in mind that Google may or may not ever ship these features, and our interpretation of what they are may be imperfect. We’ll try to enable those that are closer to being finished, however, to show you how they’ll look in the case that they do ship. With that in mind, read on.


Google Voice 5.7.182806539 contains numerous strings detailing the ability to “Make and receive calls over Wi-Fi and mobile data.” However, as far as we can determine, VoIP functionality is not yet rolled out with this version of the Android app.

<string name=”call_in_progress”>Google Voice Wi-Fi call</string>

<string name=”voip_body_text”>”Make and receive calls over Wi-Fi and mobile data when you use the Google Voice app. Note: This will turn off call screening%s”</string>

When live, users will be greeted with a prompt that features the following icon and option to “Turn on” the new calling capabilities.

<string name=”voip_positive_button_text”>Turn on</string>

<string name=”voip_title_text”>New! Calling over Wi-Fi and mobile data</string>

In-app dialing and call screen interface

At the moment, Google Voice can only make calls by linking another phone number. The entire calling process is routed through a device’s native dialer.

In preparation for the new VoIP features, Voice is adding various interfaces, including a standard phone dialer and an in-call screen with controls for muting and changing audio output.

<string name=”incall_ui_a11y_hold”>Hold call</string>

<string name=”incall_ui_a11y_resume”>Resume call</string>

<string name=”incall_ui_bullet”>•</string>

<string name=”incall_ui_call_cost”>Free</string>

<string name=”incall_ui_hold”>Hold</string>

<string name=”incall_ui_keypad”>Keypad</string>

<string name=”incall_ui_mute”>Mute</string>

<string name=”incall_ui_muted”>Muted</string>

<string name=”incall_ui_speaker”>Speaker</string>

<string name=”incall_ui_speaker_off”>Speaker Off</string>

<string name=”incall_ui_speaker_on”>Speaker On</string>

<string name=”incall_ui_unmuted”>Unmuted</string>

In-app inbound call UI

When an incoming call is received, the Voice app will display an interface that involves swiping to either answer or decline.

<string name=”inbound_call_swipe_to_answer”>Swipe up to answer</string>

<string name=”inbound_call_swipe_to_decline”>Swipe down to decline</string>

<string name=”inbound_call_title”>Google Voice call</string>

<string name=”incall_close_dialpad”>Close dialpad</string>

Permissions needed for VOIP

<string name=”request_microphone_permission_for_voice_call”>In order to place and receive a call, Google Voice needs permission to use the microphone.</string>

Options to set calling preferences

Google Voice settings will add a new preference titled “Make and receive calls” for determining whether you want to use your carrier to receive incoming calls or the new VoIP functionality.

<string name=”make_and_receive_calls_preference_calls_inside_app_explanation”>Choose how you want to make and receive calls in the Google Voice app. This will affect all devices linked to your account.</string>

<string name=”make_and_receive_calls_preference_calls_outside_app_explanation”>”This does not affect calls started from the device’s phone app”</string>

<string name=”make_and_receive_calls_preference_title”>Make and receive calls</string>

<string name=”make_and_receive_calls_preference_window_title”>Make and receive calls</string>

<string name=”prefer_carrier_preference_detail”>Use carrier only</string>

<string name=”prefer_carrier_radio_button_detail”>Carrier rates apply.</string>

<string name=”prefer_carrier_radio_button_title”>Use carrier only</string>

<string name=”prefer_wifi_and_mobile_data_preference_detail”>Prefer Wi-Fi and mobile data</string>

<string name=”prefer_wifi_and_mobile_data_radio_button_detail”>Make and receive calls over Wi-Fi and mobile data when available. Carrier rates may apply if Wi-Fi is unavailable.</string>

<string name=”prefer_wifi_and_mobile_data_radio_button_title”>Prefer Wi-Fi and mobile data</string>

Meanwhile, Google Voice can now notify users of missed calls if the native dialer fails to. To do so, it requests for permission to manage on-device phone calls. Granting this permission also helps avoid duplicate missed call notifications.

<string name=”missed_call_notifications”>Missed call notifications</string>

<string name=”missed_call_notifications_summary”>Google Voice will notify if the dialer does not</string>

<string name=”call_history_permissions_requested_body”>”To avoid duplicate notifications for missed calls, Google Voice needs permissions to read the device’s call history.”</string>

<string name=”call_history_permissions_requested_title”>Missed call notifications</string>

Disabling native phone dialer’s ability to make Google Voice calls

If the new VoIP features are selected, it appears that Google will disable the ability to use a device’s native phone app to make calls with your Google Voice number.

<string name=”proxy_calling_disabled_because_account_doesnt_support_call_interception”>”You can no longer use this device’s phone app to make Google Voice calls. Place your call to %1s using your carrier, or tap Cancel and use the Google Voice app instead.”</string>

<string name=”proxy_preferences_call_interception_unsupported”>”Due to a change to your account, Google Voice calling from this device’s phone app is no longer supported. Use the Google Voice app instead.”</string>

<string name=”proxy_preferences_call_interception_unsupported_title”>Google Voice has changed</string>

However, if VoIP calls fail due to connectivity issues, users will be given the option to “Retry using carrier.”

<string name=”call_failed_unknown_reason_multiple_retry_options”>”Google Voice couldn’t place your call to %1s. You can try again using internet or through your carrier with your Google Voice number.”</string>

<string name=”call_failure_alert_retry_button”>Retry</string>

<string name=”call_failure_alert_retry_using_proxy_button”>Retry using carrier</string>

<string name=”call_failure_alert_retry_using_voip_button”>Retry using internet</string>

Post-call surveys

Google Voice will occasionally ask users about the quality of the service following a call.

<string name=”quality_survey_bad”>Bad</string>

<string name=”quality_survey_bad_reason_title”>What went wrong?</string>

<string name=”quality_survey_call_dropped”>Call dropped in the middle</string>

<string name=”quality_survey_call_never_connected”>Call never connected</string>

<string name=”quality_survey_echo”>Echo</string>

<string name=”quality_survey_good”>Good</string>

<string name=”quality_survey_no_ringing”>No ringing</string>

<string name=”quality_survey_other_issues”>Other issues</string>

<string name=”quality_survey_send”>Submit</string>

<string name=”quality_survey_title”>How was the call quality?</string>

<string name=”quality_survey_unclear_audio”>Garbled or unclear audio</string>

This VoIP integration further hints that Hangouts’ time as a consumer product is coming to an end. Voice gaining these legacy capabilities will allow Google to shutdown the current iteration, and begin transitioning to the enterprise-focused Hangouts Chat.

Dylan contributed to this article

Check out 9to5Google on YouTube for more news:

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.

Check out 9to5Google on YouTube for more news:

You’re reading 9to5Google — experts who break news about Google and its surrounding ecosystem, day after day. Be sure to check out our homepage for all the latest news, and follow 9to5Google on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to stay in the loop. Don’t know where to start? Check out our exclusive stories, reviews, how-tos, and subscribe to our YouTube channel

About the Author

Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: