Google Voice is one of those services of which people tend to say, “Is that still around?Does anyone still use it?” But don’t be fooled by its longevity: people do still use it and it’s possible that you may want to as well.
Originally called GrandCentral before it was bought by Google in 2009 and only intermittently updated since, Voice is a telecommunications service that works in conjunction with your existing phone service and offers a free secondary phone number with voicemail, SMS capabilities and other services. Once your number is assigned, you can associate it with one or several cellular or landline phone numbers.
Google will soon let G Suite customers with Google Voice licenses make Google Voice calls right from their Gmail inbox. The new feature seems like a handy way to make a Google Voice call without needing to jump to a second tab to do so.
If the feature is rolled out to you, you will be able to access Google Voice from the toolbar on the right side of your inbox, which is where you might currently see icons for Google Calendar, Keep and Tasks. Google says the feature will begin rolling out on June 3rd, though you will only be able to use it from Chrome or Firefox on a computer.
Earlier this month, Google announced that you would be able to access its Meet videoconferencing service from your Gmail inbox (though the Meet icon is on your left sidebar). That integration and the new Google Voice Gmail integration revealed today could be useful if you spend a lot of your day working through emails and making calls.
Google has also already started rolling out a call transfer feature for Google Voice’s iOS, Android and web apps to G Suite customers with Google Voice licenses, the company announced. To transfer a call, it appears users can just tap on a “transfer” button on the call menu and select a contact. Here’s a picture of the call transfer process, from Google: