Google to improve Voice voicemail transcription, wants users help

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Users of Google Voice will know that their voicemail transcription can sometimes be a little hit and miss. Lucky for us though, Google is well aware of the fact that it can be improved, and are launching a new initiative to make it better. But, they need your help.

When users log in to their Google Voice account, they will now be asked if they want to anonymously share their voicemail messages to help improve the service. According to Google, voicemail messages will be analyzed by an automated system, and NOT heard by real people. Users will also have the option to change whether or not they share their messages at any time.

Source: +Alex Wiesen

Emoji support added to Google Voice

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Without any official word from Google, it seems that emoji support has been added to Google Voice. The feature seems to have been added to Voice within the last couple of days.

Upon testing the new feature, users have noted that emoji appear in Google Voice to Google Voice interactions, as well as traditional SMS to Google Voice ones. Emoji support is now found in both the iOS app and the Android app, and will appear for both sender and recipient, regardless of where the messages originated from.

Source: Android Central

Google could be preparing to kill off Google Voice, merge into Hangouts

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It has been a slow haul for Google, but rumors suggest they are getting close to finally merging all of their communication apps into a single platform. Over the past couple years Google merged their Messenger platform into Hangouts and then added support for SMS text messaging, killing off the Messaging app in the process. The final piece is Google’s Voice and sources believe the company is close to merging that into Hangouts.
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MMS enabled by T-Mobile for Google Voice users

Google-Voice-Large

Sprint has let users on Google Voice to receive MMS messages through Gmail. T-Mobile is following suit today, adding the feature to their own network, and making Google Hangouts an even nicer looking option. Verizon and AT&T have not mentioned anything yet regarding an update.

Alex Wiesen, a Google employee, posted some information regarding the news on his Google+ profile.

We’re happy to announce this week another step towards improving MMS support for Google Voice. T-Mobile has allowed MMS messages from their users to be sent to Google Voice users. Similar to MMS messages from Sprint users, these messages will appear in Gmail, and you can be notified of the message via SMS. We continue to work with other carriers to broaden support for messaging and bring MMS to Hangouts. More good things are coming!

Sounds good, and we’re looking forward to seeing what other great features are brought to Google Hangouts in the future.

Source: +Alex Wiesen

Waiting for Google Voice to be integrated with Hangouts? It’s going to take some time

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With Hangouts receiving its largest update yet, it left users with one question: where’s Google Voice integration? Google employee Nikhyl Singhal took to Google+ to say that it is on its way, but you’re going to need some patience. For now, only Sprint users can have the two services work with one another. But for everyone else, it should be ready by early next year. The major hindrance is that third party apps are using Google Voice and violating the terms of service, causing a potential security threat. For the full post by Singhal, hit the break.
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Google dials in some new security for Google Voice

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Google has announced some new security settings for Google Voice that will impact how users access voicemail. If a user accesses their account using the phone they have marked as Mobile, they now have the option of requiring a PIN to be entered before accessing voicemail. For other numbers a user has listed on their account, like Home or Work, the PIN will be required when trying to access Google voicemail. If a user tries to call from a phone number that is not already listed on their account as a verified forwarding phone, the Google system will ask the user to enter one of their verified numbers followed by the PIN code.

The new settings can be accessed and configured by going to your Google Voice account, accessing Settings -> Phones -> Edit (for the phone you wish to change) ->Show advanced settings -> Voicemail Access. According to a pop-up message, the new requirements will take effect October 1st.

source: Google Voice Support

Google Babble Chat Client to Unify Now Fragmented Messaging Platforms

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Google has been working hard to unify their products. Their latest project, combines its currently fragmented messaging platforms under one powerful and effective service. The new initiative, affectionately called “Babble”, will do just that. Currently, Google is maintaining Google Talk, Hangout, Voice, Messenger, Chat for Drive collaboration, and the pseudo Google Talk for G+. The only two that work even fairly well together are Google Talk for Gmail and G+ and even they can evoke frustration with users from time-to-time.

The Babble cross-platform solution could enable Google to dominate chat services such as iMessage and BlackBerry Messenger. Google is building Babble from the ground up, which may or may not be a blessing depending on how you look at it. On one hand, they will be working from a clean slate and there will be no boundaries as to what they can make the app do. On the other hand, Google will be pushing out another Beta product based on past experiences that may have more bugs than a Louisiana bayou on a hot summer afternoon. We will just have to hope the geeks at Google push out a well polished, well oiled, version of the app on Beta release. 
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Trio of Google apps join Google Search and Google Now updates today

A trio of Google’s apps received updates today, joining Google Search or Google Now on Jelly Bean devices. Google Translate received a major update, now providing the ability to recognize Chinese, Japanese and Korean using a device’s phone. The capability is limited to horizontal text only for now, but we can only imagine the ability to translate vertical text must be in the works. Google also added eleven new languages, Afrikaans, Croatian, Czech, Icelandic, Latvian, Lithuanian, Macedonian, Slovak, Slovenian, Ukrainian, Welsh, to the list that can handle handwritten text.
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Best Of Both Worlds For Sprint Customers And Google Voice Thanks To XDA Member

Not everyone on Sprint is going gaga for Google’s voice integration.  XDA member zikronix had this to say on the subject (unedited):

Ok so I orginally thought the idea of GV integration with sprint was awesome…after fiddling with it. I was very disappointed.

The problems I had with it were…I dont want to use my GV number as my primary. I dont want to change my GV number to my cell number. Each option had issues that I felt needed to be addressed. Changing my GV number to my cell made it to where txt would be comming into my phone via gv app. Yes there is a work around but ita annoying and I dont want my text stored on line.

As a result, zikronix has concocted a little guide for you to have the best of both worlds.  Where would we be without our ever dedicated and hard working XDA developers?  The guide is pasted below for your convenience.  If you have any questions on how the process works, you can hit up the XDA thread here.  Feel free to provide as much feedback to the developer as you’d like. And as always, feel free to drop a comment or two below.  
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Google Voice Integration With All Sprint Numbers is Now Live

Sprint and Google have been beta-testing a full integration of Google Voice with the Sprint network over the past several weeks, and today the service has been declared “live.” Sprint customers can now use their Sprint number to run all of their Google Voice services, allowing them to set the phone to ring at multiple locations, or even different locations determined by the caller or time of day. Or if you’d prefer, you can have all outgoing calls go out through your Google Voice service. This brings a lot of versatility, and the process is fairly seamless, though by default it will disable SMS messages from coming into your phone and route them through Google Voice instead. This feature isn’t hard to reverse, and tonight we’ll be bringing you a quick how-to on that, plus any other tips and tricks we find this afternoon.  Catch the video promo after the break, and head to the official site to get started.


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