Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Remains of the Day: Google Voice Will Soon Get an Update

Google Voice is finally getting an upgrade. Despite Google’s focus on services like Hangouts and Allo for voice chat, Google Voice still exists and maintains a certain longtime loyalty from many users despite never being updated. But something is in the works. That and more in today’s news.

A few Google Voice users recently saw a prompt reading “The new Google Voice is here.” The notice was evidently premature, but Google has confirmed to The Verge that they are working on an update. Might be just be a fresh coat of paint but it’s surprising to see Voice get any update at all—and for fans of the service, relieving, as Google is fond of unceremoniously killing off products. [Droid Life]

The part of Yahoo that wasn’t included in Verizon’s $4.8 billion acquisition has spun off into a company called Altaba Inc. Altaba includes Yahoo’s 15 percent stake in the Chinese company Alibaba as well as Yahoo Japan. The more familiar parts of Yahoo—Yahoo Mail and the news site, for example—go to Verizon. It’s not clear if Verizon will keep using the Yahoo name. [TechCrunch]

More news about upcoming Windows updates: Microsoft will address some of the privacy concerns about Windows 10, which has been criticized for sending usage and telemetry data back to Microsoft. The Creators Update will include more specific controls about what data you send to Microsoft, with specific options for location, ad tailoring, diagnostic data, and others. [Windows Blog]

Apple says a Safari bug was responsible for Consumer Reports’ assessment of the MacBook Pro’s inconsistent battery life. In testing, Consumer Reports experienced drastically different battery life results with their tests that utilized Safari. Apple says they’ve identified the problem and will issue a fix. [The Verge]

The Wikimedia Foundation just received a $3 million grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to make it easier to find and share the 35 million free, reusable images on Wikimedia Commons. The media currently only relies on causal notation and not rich metadata, making it difficult to search for specific images. [Wikimedia Foundation]

Google Voice is getting new updates, Google confirms. Obviously, Google is trying to be clever without being specific. The fact that there are no details leaves us to speculate about what will be new about the service. [TechnoBuffalo]

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