Google Voice, despite its immense utility and huge popularity, is often ignored when it comes to product updates. That makes the occasional announcement — like the one Google dropped this week — all the more exciting. This time around, the company is expanding Google Voice with some important call customization features that allow users to tweak the service to best fit their needs.
Google announced the new custom rules additions on December 21, noting that while the additional options will be turned off by default, end-users can turn them on and set them up in the Google Voice settings menu. The new features are already available for all users.
Google Voice now supports forwarding calls received from specific contacts to the account’s linked phone number; alternatively, the calls from these contacts can also be set to automatically forward to voicemail. This will make it easier to ensure you get calls from, for example, important business contacts while promptly ignoring calls from vendors looking to pitch new services.
Users can likewise set Google Voice to automatically screen calls received from certain contacts and, in cases when the calls go to voicemail, users have the option of setting up multiple voicemail greetings for different callers. One can, for example, set a different voicemail greeting for business contacts than the one used with personal callers.
As well, users who have many contacts can set the custom rules to apply to entire groups of callers rather than each contact individually. Though these changes won’t do much for users whose Google Voice use is limited to online dating profiles, spam filtering, and similar, they’re arguably vital for power users who take advantage of Google’s free VoIP service to better manage their professional and personal lives.
Head over to the Google Voice support center for more details on how to set up and use these new features. Google Voice is available on desktop, Android, iOS, and iPad.