Free & Unlimited Minutes quick and easy (VOIP calling)
Hey Guys! I'd thought I'd post this here to since most of may find this helpful. This is how to get free unlimited minutes even using our limited plan. Basically it's doing everything through Google Voice. I wrote this for my new Galaxy Nexus using 4G, so ignore all the '4G' talk in here, but it will still apply for my old Triumph. The only thing is you may have trouble voip calling over 3G because of the speed, so I'd recommend calling/answering through your native dialer using your phones minutes when you're out and about and using Talkatone (or GrooVe Ip) when you're on wifi. You may be in an area where your 3G's fast enough but I'd doubt it.
I haven't given anyone my actual cell phone number, instead I have given them my Google Voice number. And then I use a voip (voice over internet protocol) app like Talkatone or GrooVe IP to call through the internet to get unlimited minutes.
Firsts and foremost, call your phone carrier's customer service and have them disable your voicemail. This will just get in the way later, believe me, you can reactivate it later anytime you want. If they ask why just tell them that getting voicemail is annoying and only costs your precious cell phone minutes to listen to(which is true). You'll be getting your voicemail through Google Voice from now on, no more having to call a number to hear your voicemails.
Next, sign up for Google Voice, it's totally free. Google Voice is a service that gives you an actual phone number for your area. When someone dials that number, it will forward that call to any phone you want it to, even multiple phone numbers so you can even answer on your house phone as well if you want to.
After you sign up, go to the Google Voice main page (it looks like the Gmail page) and click the settings at the top right of the page. From the 'phones' tab add as many phone numbers as you want and check any ones that you want Google Voice to forward to. You should see a 'Google Chat' option at the bottom of the list CHECK IT. Now go to the next 'voicemail' tab and configure your voicemail.
You can even call someone directly from your computer. Go to the Gmail main site and at the bottom left corner you will see the Google Chat box. From there you should now see a 'call phone' option. You can make and recieve calls from there, provided that that the Gmail web page stays open. These voip apps (Talkatone and GrooVe IP) use this Google Chat to give you free minutes on your phone.
Now go to your phone and download the official Google Voice app off the Google Play Store. Open it up and sign in with your gmail account. Next check the 'USE GOOGLE VOICE TO MAKE ALL CALLS'. What this does is when you dial with the native dialer on your phone it will reroute your call through Google Voice so people you call will see your Google Voice phone number instead of your actual cell phone number. NOTE: This does not make your calls unlimited, if you dial with your native dialer it will still use your limited carrier minutes. But this is helpful for when your mobile data connection is to slow to place free data calls through the voip app (Talkatone or GrooVe IP).
Next it will ask you to configure your voicemail. SKIP THIS it won't work anyway. But that doesn't mean that we won't have working voicemail through Google Voice, we'll still get it to work. Now after that's finished go into the settings and CHECK VOICEMAIL DISPLAY ON. Next input the cell phones actual number into the 'THIS PHONE'S NUMBER' option. Now, go into 'Sync and Notifications' options and ENABLE background data. Make sure that RECEIVE TEXTS VIA THE GOOGLE VOICE APP is set. All other check boxes in that page should be checked on as well.
Now the Google Voice app should be fully configured. On your phones main screen, remove the stock Messaging app and replace it with Google Voice app. You will be sending and receiving all your text's through that from now on. As an added bonus, you can also listen to your voicemail directly from there, no more having to call in to your voicemail number to listen to your voicemail.
Now it's time to get free unlimited minutes through your phone.
Download either GrooVe IP or Talkatone off the Google Play Store. These apps use the Google Chat feature to dial through either your wifi or 4G. When you use these apps it will call through the internet and WILL NOT USE YOUR CARRIER MINUTES. But they do require a good data connection to work like 4G or WIFI. When you're in an area that doesn't have good 4G or wifi you can still use your limited phone minutes to call out (and receive calls provided that forwarding to your cell is checked ON)
Sign into your gmail account in whichever app you use, and presto! You have free unlimited minutes! NOTE: If your cellphone number AND Google Chat are check 'ON' for forwarding you will get a 'double call', meaning it will dial both your native dialer AND the Talkatone (or GrooVE IP) app at the same time. This isn't really a problem, just answer on whichever one you want (answering on your native dialer will use your minutes). But there are a couple of ways to overcome this problem. The first and free way is to bookmark the Google Voice mobile site in your phones browser to check/uncheck forwarding to your cell/google chat at anytime you want. The other way is to get the Premium Talkatone subscription ($2/month or 20/year) and click DYNAMIC FORWARDING on, which means when you start the Talkatone app it automatically unchecks call forwarding to your cell phone.
Also both GrooVe IP and Talkatone have a call intercepting option. Meaning that if you dial out through your native dialer you get to option to call with the voip app instead. (Talkatone and GrooVe IP are voip apps)
On determining whether you should use GrooVe IP or Talkatone. Free Talkatone is better than the free Groove IP app because you only use wifi to call in and out with the free GrooVe IP app. But if you paid the one time $5 fee for GrooVe IP it's better than the free Talkatone app. The premium Talkatone app is the best because it has some cool audio compression, and dynamic call forwarding, and other options but it cost the most ($2/month or $20/year).
So basically: GrooVe IP lite < Talkatone < GrooVe IP ($5) < Talkatone ($$$)
Also if you get a voicemail you can either listen to it directly from the Google Voice app or directly from your native dialer 'recents' list.
Well thanks for reading this. I'll see if I can get a video up to show this in action. I put one up before but I did a terrible job so I'd rather put one up that is actually bearable to watch.