From the beginning, signing up for Google Fi has required that you forgo Google Voice. Work is now under way to separate that interdependency, starting with voicemail access, with users one day able to use both services separately.

A post from last November in the Fi Help forum (via Android Police) announces that the MVNO is “taking steps to support separate Google Voice & Google Fi numbers on the same Google account.”

If you have a Voice account and want to sign up for Fi, you either have to port or give up that existing number (and lose cross-device access). It’s not possible today to have two Google-based phone numbers on a single account. From the announcement late last year, that looks to be changing.

The “first step” involves Fi voicemails no longer appearing online at voice.google.com. All recordings are still available from the Android Phone app or the Fi client on iOS, as well as by dialing your number.

There will be no changes to voicemail transcription on the Phone app (or the Fi app for iOS devices), or to the way you use voicemail on Hangouts (if you’ve enabled voicemail on Hangouts).

Meanwhile, “any voicemails you received as a Google Voice user (before joining Fi) can still be accessed from https://voice.google.com.”

For some, separate Google Voice and Fi usage would greatly simplify their phone setups, while allowing diehard Voice users to actually subscribe to the MVNO service.

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