Google announced Thursday on the Google Mobile Blog that they have released an update to their Google Voice service which will make the service even faster. The update, which includes the new "direct access numbers" feature is available for both Android and Blackberry phones, and is currently only available in the US.
The way the service used to work is explained in the post on the Google Mobile Blog:
Until today, the Google Voice app had to make a request to the Google Voice server every time you wanted to make a call to send us the phone number you wanted to dial. Then the call would be connected via a Google Voice access number.
The new version of Google Voice uses "direct access numbers" that remove the need to connect with the Google server each time a call is made using Google Voice:
With direct access numbers, we assign a unique phone number to every person you call. This means that we no longer need to use your data network to access the server each time you make a call, so calls will be placed much faster.
Phandroid explains a technique used by some involving Google Voice that resulted in free calls on some carriers that no longer works with the latest update:
Many have been using a little “hack” though Google Voice to place free unlimited calls regardless of how many minutes they have on their service provider plan (given the plan includes an unlimited “favorites” option like T-Mobile’s “myFaves”). The trick works (or worked) like this: You place your incoming Google Voice number as one of your unlimited minutes contacts and the outgoing Google Voice number as another. Now as long as you use Google Voice to place and receive calls, all are theoretically free no matter if the contact is in your favorites list or not. Now that the outgoing Google Voice number is no longer static, this clever work around has gone bye bye.
If you have been using this trick and don’t want to lose your precious, loophole, free unlimited calling you might do best to avoid the latest Google Voice update. If you downloaded the latest version not knowing you would lose this functionality, well there may be something of interest to you over at this web page. Don’t say we never give you nothing.
Head on over here using your Android browser to get the Google Voice update if you'd like.
Other Sources: Phandroid
Image from BoyGeniusReport
Source: Google Mobile Blog