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Google Voice Gains Widgets On Android Smartphones

Widgets are one of the better tools offered by Android handsets. Google has updated its Google Voice for Android app, and loaded it up with two new widgets that can be used to access user inboxes and account settings.

The first widget is called the Google Voice Inbox widget. Once installed on an Android device's home screen, the widget lets users easily check their Google Voice messages. That includes both voice mails and text messages received through Google Voice.

There are tiny arrows at the edge of the widget that, when pressed, advances to the next or previous message. See a message you want to read in its entirety? Select it, and the message will open in the full Google Voice application.

The second widget is called the Settings widget. Google explains that it provides access to four Voice features. It can be used to:

  • Get instant access to the full Google Voice app by clicking the Google Voice icon.
  • Quickly compose and send free text messages.
  • Change your dialing preferences on the fly. You can have your phone use Google Voice in four different ways, depending on your calling preference.
  • Select Do Not Disturb and all calls to your Google number will be sent straight to Voicemail.

The settings widget also displays the amount of credit a user has left in his/her account.

The two new widgets are added to the widget library once the new version of Google Voice has been installed on a device. Users can ignore them, add both, or add one or the other. After using them for a few moments this afternoon, my only complaint is that they are awfully small widgets, and can't be re-sized.

The new version of Google Voice is already available for download in the Android Market. Users will need to have an active Google Voice account (which is free) to set up and use the application and widgets.

These widgets were first spotted several weeks ago when a ROM of the then-unannounced HTC G2 leaked across the Internet.

[Via Google Voice Blog]