A couple of weeks ago, Google confirmed that it was "working on some updates" to its long-neglected Voice platform. As long ago as 2014, there were rumors that Google was planning to kill the service off, which only persisted after it integrated some Voice functionality into Hangouts.
Google implicitly acknowledged today that it hasn't exactly given Voice its full-throated support in recent times. "It's been several years since we've made significant updates to the Google Voice apps," the company said today, "and by several, we mean around five".
The refreshed apps offer a "cleaner, more intuitive" layout, according to Google, with a simpler aesthetic in keeping with its Material Design visual language.
Your inbox now has separate tabs for text messages, calls and voicemails. Conversations stay in one continuous thread, so you can easily see all your messages from each of your contacts in one place. We’ve upgraded the messaging experience with support for group and photo MMS as well as in-notification replies. And we’re starting to introduce voicemail transcription for Spanish and will improve accuracy over time.
Further "new updates and features" for Google Voice are promised at some unspecified point in the future - hopefully not in 'several years'. For now, Google says that it's begun rolling out its latest Voice updates today, "and they'll be available to everyone in the coming weeks."