Feature request: Read notification sync for Google Voice

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In addition to being an Android user, I also use nearly all of Google’s other products, everything from Play Music for media to Google Voice for my main telephone number. However, one thing that I have consistently noticed about Google’s services is that, while in many ways they sync better than any other options, some seemingly simple functions are often missing. Today’s example of such a missing feature can be seen above.

What looks like a regular text message notification is really a duplicate, because I already responded to the text messages in question from Chrome on my computer. This is a common problem with Google Voice, and one that I used to have with Gmail: Notifications don’t sync from the desktop service to Android, meaning that notifications tend to pile up on my LG Nexus 4 if I don’t deal with them on the device. It isn’t a major problem, but it is quite annoying to pick up my Nexus 4 a while after having a long conversation with Google Voice on my desktop, and think that I have missed a massive number of messages.

Obviously, it is easy enough to dismiss the notification, but if I’ve waited long enough I often wonder whether there isn’t a new message in the massive number of supposedly unread tasks. This causes me to open the app and check myself, defeating the purpose of the notification. The constant notification even when there really aren’t any new messages also results in the notification LED pulsing constantly, which makes me tend to ignore it and completely defeats its purpose.

If I thought it was extremely difficult to remove Android notifications as the same messages are read on other devices, then I probably wouldn’t bring this up. However, Gmail used to have the same problem of leaving notifications in the Android notification bar for a time as well, and occasionally still does so. In general, though, the problem has been fixed, and reading the message in Gmail on the desktop causes the notification to disappear. A similar system shouldn’t be hard to implement for Voice, but for some reason Google hasn’t done so yet.

Google is currently working to make their many product offerings, including Android, Gmail, and Voice, work seamlessly together, but to really gain a reputation for seamless transition, it will first have to sort out minor annoyances like this one. A bothersome notification may be a small problem, but it has spawned at least a couple of forum threads, and serves as an example of how Google doesn’t quite have everything working together in harmony quite yet.

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Aaron Orquia

Aaron Orquia is an associate editor at Pocketables. He has been using Android and Linux since he bought his first computer years ago, and his interest in technology, software, and tweaking both to work just right has only grown stronger since then. His current gadgets include a OnePlus One, a Pebble smartwatch, and an Acer C720 Chromebook.

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6 thoughts on “Feature request: Read notification sync for Google Voice

  • Avatar of Kortez
    February 5, 2013 at 9:56 pm

    This is probably the only thing that irritates me about Google Voice besides that fact I have to be connected to some type of internet comnnection to receive my messages and voicemails in a timely manner.

  • Avatar of Nick
    February 6, 2013 at 1:28 am

    My gmail works within about 20 seconds at max, and I just checked and my tablet shows I have new voice texts that I know can’t have been within the last 4 hours…can’t they share the technique between departments?

    I honestly know that notification is old because it says I have two texts from my girlfriend who I texted after work and we met out and now she is asleep, obviously not sending me texts anymore.

  • Avatar of John Freml
    February 6, 2013 at 1:01 pm

    This was supposedly fixed in the last update. But yeah, that’s Google for you. As much as I love Google, I also can’t stand it sometimes.

    • Avatar of Aaron Orquia
      February 6, 2013 at 1:15 pm

      Well, at least they tried, but I just updated and the problem persists.

  • Avatar of John
    February 7, 2013 at 6:34 am

    Is there an official response from google on this matter? If so, someone please post the web link. AFAIK, google has not clearly communicated specifically when this is going to be fixed.

  • Avatar of EM
    June 18, 2013 at 8:13 am

    There was an Android bug filed on this:

    But Jean-Baptiste Queru from the Android team came along and just closed it as “wrong forum” since it’s a problem with GVoice, not Android.

    Frustrating that one group of Googlers can’t just send the issue over to a different group of Googlers.


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