Google has officially announced on the Google Voice Blog that they have now made accessing your voicemail faster. Upon hearing this, one would think that is change is some sort of optimization or new feature. However, that's not exactly the case. The changes made to help speed up access to your Google Voice messages are simple and leave you wondering why no one else has thought of it.
The following two changes have been made by the Google Voice team:
- When you dial your Google Voice number to hear your messages, instead of being asked to press 1, it just starts playing them automatically (other options are still available from the menu)
- When you listen to your messages, the newest one will play first.
While these changes may be small, the reasoning behind them is not. Google is trying to make things simpler and more streamlined for users. Google explains the rationale behind removing the option to press 1. "Since listening to voicemail is the most common reason people call their own numbers, we thought it made sense to save you an extra step." Regarding playing the newest voicemail first, Google feels that users want to first hear the most recent message sent to them, rather than the conventional implementation of having to start from the oldest one and moving your way forward. This will save people time from having to sit through endless old messages that they've already heard, just to get to the latest one.
The changes above only apply to you if you dial your Google Voice number to listen to your messages. Android and BlackBerry users have the option of viewing and managing their messages in an mailbox-like fashion with the official Google Voice application. It should also be noted, that any user can listen to their Google Voice messages via the Google Voice website, or via email (if they set it up that way).