After five years without any significant updates to the Google Voice apps (and an unsuccessful attempt to completely roll Voice functions into Hangouts) Google announced updates to its mobile and desktop applications today. Voice app updates are largely organizational, but they do indicate that the service is finally getting a modern makeover.
The Google Voice app has a new design that includes an inbox with separate tabs for text messages, calls and voicemails. It also has added support for group and photo MMS, and the ability to reply directly through notifications. Spanish transcription for voicemails is also being introduced.
Google Hangouts users do not need to switch apps to continue using Voice, but Google has said "you might want to try them out as we continue to bring new improvements." This suggestion is in line with Google's current trend of moving away from Hangouts and slowly replacing it with tools like Duo, Allo and Voice.
Google Voice updates start rolling out today and will be made universal in the coming weeks.
Source: Google blog