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Legacy Google Voice Shutdown Looms & Key Features Won't Make The Cut

Google Voice 2022 shutdown article title image DG AH 2022
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Google is no stranger to killing off messaging apps across the spectrum and that’s set to continue next month with the shutdown of Legacy Google Voice. That’s based on a recent email sent out by the company and shared via Twitter by Artem Russakovskii. Specifically, this is for the web version of the service, for which migration to a new service has since been started.

In fact, the official shutdown was back in 2020. With new features added to the most recent, still-active variation of the service — not Legacy — as recently as December. So the loss of even more features for Google Voice in its Legacy web version should come as no surprise. But those still using the older service may want to finally consider moving on. February is going to see a rash of feature removals and depreciations. With none of the listed features coming over to the “new and improved” Google Voice experience.

The official timeline for the changes in question is slated for “mid-February” according to Google. And they include some fairly significant alterations. Not least of all, and perhaps most hotly contested on social media, is the removal of  “Settings for Carrier Call Forwarding.”

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In effect, the change will remove settings for Carrier Call Forwarding. More importantly, calls forwarded from another carrier to Google Voice won’t ring anymore either. Instead, callers will be redirected straight to voicemail. And Ring scheduling features won’t be persisting any longer either. So users won’t be able to schedule times for calls to ring through anymore. In a similar vein, its Do Not Disturb Timer feature won’t be available either.

What is Legacy Google Voice losing as the shutdown continues in February?

For Voicemail-only accountholders, that feature is going away as well. Users will, Google says, need to update to a Full numbered Voice account. They’ll also need to update carrier forwarding to use the new number. And Call-to-Listen Voicemail Access is changing too. When active, users will need to press the asterisk once a Voicemail starts playing in order to enter their voicemail PIN.

The final two features not making the cut and being removed in mid-February include the ability to purchase non-USD credits. Although the end of Call Notes may be more impactful. When Google announced the shutdown of the Legacy Google Voice website in August, it announced that Call Notes would not be deleted. Instead, allowing users time to export those using Google Takeouts. That’s now changing.

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As per Google’s email, they’re not making the cut in the new Google Voice either. The Call Notes will be “deleted and no longer accessible through Account Takeout after March 31st.”

Last but not least, the new Google Voice is only available in the US. So customers will no longer be able to purchase new non-USD credits by the end of this summer. And all non-USD credit balances will be converted to USD when the account balance falls below $0.50.

If you’re an enterprise Google Voice user, you’ve got nothing to worry about

Now, Google is justifying the row of changes as a shift in focus for the development of Google Voice. Namely, it’s aiming to “simplify” the experience and remove “seldom-used features” so that the team behind the product can “focus on providing the best product experience.”

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But that doesn’t mean these changes will impact every user, by any stretch. In fact, Google Voice for Workspace isn’t impacted by the changes at all.