What you need to know
- Google Voice has gained a new update that should improve call quality.
- The service now automatically switches between Wi-Fi and cellular networks, depending on which one offers better call performance.
- It is available to all Google Voice customers.
Google Voice has received a useful update that makes calls much easier to make despite potential network outages. The service now automatically switches between cellular data and Wi-Fi network when necessary.
The platform is one of Google's services that doesn't often pick up new improvements. In the latest update, Google Voice has received an “intelligent network switching” capability that's meant to ensure users have better call experience.
This means that if the current network fails during a call, the app will select the best network available. Prior to the latest update, the service only “identified the ideal network only at the time the call was placed and did not make any corrections for changes in network performance that might occur during the call,” Google said in a blog post. As a result, you were stuck with a cellular network even if you switched to a Wi-Fi connection in the middle of a call.
The update should lead to better call quality. Google does not specify which platform the enhancement is for, but it is most likely only available on the mobile app. The new feature is now available to all Google Voice users.
It's a welcome addition to a service that doesn't get much love from Google. The last update to Voice was in October, when it added a new feature that allowed phone numbers from local carriers to be used on the platform.
Google also released a few shortcuts late last year that allowed you to call or text someone directly by long-pressing the app's icon on the home screen. It also provided quick access to your most recently used contacts.
However, when Google shut down the legacy Voice website for personal accounts earlier this year, some of Voice's long-standing web features, such as carrier-forwarded calls from a linked number, were removed.