Google Voice will soon lose the ability to forward text messages to other numbers
Google Voice is one of the oldest Google services around. Launched all the way back in 2009, the service allows users in the U.S. and Google Workspace accounts in select markets to text, call, and voicemail using a free phone number provided by Google. One of the beloved features of Google Voice is text and call forwarding. This essentially allows you to link multiple devices to a single Voice number and have the calls and SMS forwarded to your carrier phones. But it looks like the service will soon lose the text forwarding capability.
According to a Google Voice support page (via Android Police), SMS forwarding to linked numbers “will stop soon.” The messages will still show up in your email (if you have turned on email forwarding) and inside the Google Voice app, but they will no longer appear in your default text app. The move comes as many carriers in the U.S. have started blocking spam calls and messages, and it would seem the numbers used by Google Voice for forwarding text messages are also being seen as spam by these carriers.
Important: Message forwarding to linked numbers will stop soon because mobile carriers have started to block these messages.
Google hasn’t given any concrete timeline as to when this change comes into effect. In any case, you should enable the email-based forwarding so you can still receive each SMS sent to your Google Voice number directly in your inbox. To do so, head to voice.google.com. From there, click on the gear icon located in the top right, select Messages, and turn on “Forward messages to email.”
For the time being, call and voicemail forwarding is still fine and doesn’t appear to be affected by this change. However, it can’t be said with confidence that they will not be the next in line to get the axe.