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Free & Unlimited Minutes quick and easy (VOIP calling)Tips

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  1. pngwolffman

    pngwolffman Well-Known Member

    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.

  2. pngwolffman

    pngwolffman Well-Known Member

    Mine! Just in case. :D
  3. MrB206

    MrB206 Well-Known Member

    Unless Google changed how the voice app works, it still uses your airtime minutes not data to place calls. Other apps may use data, but Google Voice isn't VoIP.
  4. pngwolffman

    pngwolffman Well-Known Member

    Your right. I didn't say the Google Voice app will get you free calling. You use the Google Voice app for, among other things, rerouting your calls through Google Voice so people will think your calling with the Google Voice number.

    *THEN* you use Talkatone or GrooVe IP to give you the free calling through wifi. (or 3G if you think it's fast enought)
  5. MrB206

    MrB206 Well-Known Member

    Ahh, yea, I do that with people I don't want to have my cell or home number. Google voice is a godsend imo.
  6. tlopez1973

    tlopez1973 Well-Known Member

    Yes this is the way I have exactly set up and it does save my minutes all the time :)
  7. 808dp

    808dp New Member

    First, thanks for the great write-up!!!

    Talkatone's FAQ on their web site says Talkatone Premium is for people with multiple GV accounts, but mentions nothing about the options you mention above.

    Are the options gone? Does your service order, from least to most, remain unchanged?
  8. ziddey

    ziddey Well-Known Member

    I'm sure other people have recommended the same feature over the years, but from my first email suggesting dynamic call forwarding to their reply a week later saying to get the version and go premium, hmmm.. Either way, I used it for a month and it did work quite well.

    I didn't do too much research into what codecs talkatone uses, but I'm imagining the "better call quality" or whatever option does use more bandwidth. I never really used it over "3g" though, so it wasn't a big deal. It'd be really cool if they implemented g729. I can see a good demand for that.

    Either way, I stopped using talkatone since I left VM and am now using a phone that works perfectly with the native sip client, so I'm about to use my own pbx server.

    To recap, dynamic call forwarding is quite necessary on the Triumph. Prevents it from freaking out when both the native dialer and talkatone are demanding foreground. And talkatone is the only voip app that works reliably on the MT (except gtalk and skype but that's another story)
  9. Bartok37

    Bartok37 New Member

    Thank you. I got my new phone last week and have been trying to configure this set up correctly ever since. This is the most concise, easy to understand explanation I've found. Fingers crossed I work out the kinks now!! : )
  10. alfredjarry69

    alfredjarry69 Active Member

    The explanation is really amazing, i was searching for such kind of explanation for few day but unable to find. After reading your thread post, i am fully satisfied that now i can configure my android phone too.
  11. spkrause

    spkrause New Member

    Amazing post. Quick question: why is it important to manage text messages through the google voice app? Is it necessary for using the data plan so voice minutes aren't decremented?
  12. rcsrich

    rcsrich Well-Known Member

    I think a bunch of people who jumped ship to the $30 a month Tmobile plan with 100 minutes/5G of data have used this setup- no reason why it couldn't be used with VM (although the 3G/4G difference might come into play). I would worry myself though about dropping calls often if you go down to 1X, which still happens plenty on Tmobile where I live (grrr....).
  13. spkrause

    spkrause New Member

    I'm on the same t-mobile plan myself. Did you also disable the messenger app when you converted? That seems like it'd be an unnecessary step.
  14. rcsrich

    rcsrich Well-Known Member

    I'm on Tmobile now, but on a regular post-paid plan, so no need to do the VOIP thing. I've just run across other posts in the forums saying they use this method...
  15. OverByter

    OverByter Resident Slide Rule Guru

    I've been using Groove IP with good results since it was first released, very responsive dev. As a side note obviously if you're having phone issues you should call from another phone for troubleshooting but if you must use your cell call VM tech support by dialing 611 instead of the 1-800 number, it won't use your minutes. I'm amazed at how many people complain about wasting their minutes while waiting on hold for cs.
  16. rcsrich

    rcsrich Well-Known Member

    I think a lot of people just don't know about the 611 thing- I didn't!

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