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Google Voice just got some new tricks to make calling even easier

If you still use Google Voice, you’ll like this update.

google voice logo
Image: KnowTechie

Remember when Google Voice was the coolest thing ever, giving you virtual phone numbers so you didn’t have to give out your real number to people? Those were the days, but nowadays it gets only a little bit of love from Google.

That changes today, with some new shortcuts so you can access its most used features straight from your home screen.

The eagle-eyes over at 9to5Google noticed that the app icon now shows up to four shortcuts when you long-press the icon. Those include New Call, New Message, and your two most recent contacts.

Before this, they say the long-press used to bring up “Widgets,” “App info,” and “Pause app,” like any other Android app that didn’t have shortcuts coded into it.

google voice new features
Screenshots: 9to5Google

In their screenshots, reproduced above, you can see the old long-press action in the left-hand pane, and the new long-press action in the center pane. Those shortcuts can also be dragged to your home screen, to become standalone icons, like in the right-hand pane.

That might be pretty useful, although they warn that if you drag any of the last-dialed people shortcuts to your home screen, those will “immediately start dialing” if tapped. Yes, that will increase the number of butt-dials you inadvertently initiate.

If you’re still using Google Voice, you’ll welcome this minor upgrade to your experience. Earlier this year, it also added notes on why incoming calls were sent to voicemail, a redial if your call gets dropped, and easier ways to clean up your existing SMS history.

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