Google Voice is primarily a Workspace service at this point with new features focused on enterprise usage. That said, Google today updated Voice for Android with fairly straightforward app shortcuts.

Version 2021.11.15.411104209 of Google Voice for Android introduces up to four shortcuts when long-pressing the app icon. Previously, Android would just note the standard availability of “Widgets,” “App info,” and “Pause app.”

Now, you have “New call” and “New message,” with the latter opening the number pad/dialer directly and the latter getting you the keyboard to start searching for a person. You then get your two most recent contacts. Like all other app shortcuts, you can drag them to your homescreen. This is quite useful, but be warned that the people shortcuts immediately start dialing.

It’d be useful if there was an option to have those shortcuts open the SMS/MMS conversation — RCS still missing! — but Google Voice is very call-focused for enterprise customers, like on sales floors.

Meanwhile, Google Voice is due for a Material You upgrade, like the standalone Chat app and Tasks. It’s technically a Workspace “add-on,” but it’s otherwise considered part of the family. A new bottom bar and pill-shaped search field would likely be the extent of the redesign.

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Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: abner@9to5g.com