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Google Voice modernized with cleaner appearance, picture messaging, 3D Touch on iPhone

Google has relaunched Google Voice, refreshing the VoIP service with an updated web experience and modernized iOS and Android apps, among other new features, in the cross-platform calling service's first significant update in over five years.

Both the iOS app and the web version of Google Voice have received cleaner interfaces and a new organization system that sorts the inbox into calls, text messages, and voicemails. Communications with individuals or groups are threaded, keeping messages together in one place and making it easier to follow, with searches able to be performed over the call history and all message threads.

Messaging through Google Voice now includes support for group and photo MMS, allowing picture messages to be sent between contacts and bringing it in line with other messaging apps, such as iMessage. For iOS, the app adds support for 3D Touch on iPhone, bringing more options in the Messages view.

As before, Google Voice continues to work with Google Hangouts for calls and messages, with users advised they do not need to change to the new Google Voice app as part of the updates. The integration between the two apps can also be disabled, allowing the two to work independently and for messages from each to be held separately.

Additionally, the voicemail transcription feature, which creates a text version of voice messages to save users from listening to them, has been expanded to work with Spanish for the first time.

The rollout of the updated app and web experience will take place over the next few weeks, notes TechCrunch, with Android users getting the update first on their version of the app before iOS. The web experience will also update for the user once their mobile app has refreshed.