Google Voice for iOS collects all your calls, texts, and voicemails to a single location. A recent update brings a cleaner, more intuitive layout; photo sharing within messages; group chats; and conversations in easy-to-follow continuous threads.
Intuitive new layout: Google Voice for iOS now features separate tabs for text messages, calls, and voicemails, so you can get where you need to go more quickly.
See an entire conversation in one place: Conversations stay in one continuous thread, so you can easily see all your messages from each of your contacts in one place.
Upgraded messaging experience: Google Voice now supports group and photo messaging, as well as in-notification replies.
Voicemail transcription and archiving: If you'd rather read your voicemail than listen to it, Google Voice will send you transcripts over email or SMS.
SMS forwarding: Get texts sent to your email -- just check SMS forwarding under Settings on the desktop version of Google Voice.
Choose your number: Use your existing mobile number or choose a new one in any area code.
One number rings all your phones: Whether you have a landline, work phone, or mobile phone, Google Voice will ring all of them at once, so that you never miss a call. You can also set which calls ring where, depending on the caller or time of day.
Customizable messages for different callers: You can record a more casual message for friends and family, for example, and a professional message for colleagues.
Screening option: You can screen calls before answering, then press * to pick up, or wait to read a transcript of the message.
Easy blocking: From your Inbox, under the number you want to block, tap More, then Block. Going forward, your caller will get a "number not in service" message.
Cheap international calls: Hangout calls are free, but you can also ring landlines and mobile numbers outside the country for low rates. Just add credit from the left sidebar of your account on your desktop.
Certain functions must be completed over desktop: First-time users must sign up at voice.google.com on their computers rather than on their mobile device. Also, calling credits must be added over desktop, and additional customizations, such as SMS forwarding, must be set on the Web.
From screening calls to call forwarding to caller blocking, Google Voice for iOS offers a lot of desirable features for a free phone app. The new layout, upgraded messaging experience, and continuous threads make it a top communications app.
Enable high contrast mode (no message bubble fill color) in grayscale mode
Reply to messages from notifications
Delete an entire message conversation
Access "Do not disturb" more easily from any screen
Copy voicemail transcriptions and share images from your conversation easily
Save a tap -- the app remembers the last tab when being relaunched