How to use Google Voice with Android and Carriers

  1. dkaufman1

    dkaufman1 Well-Known Member


    I wanted to talk with other Google Voice users about how they are using Google Voice with their Android.

    I am pretty new to both the concept of a single number and especially how I might use it with Android.

    Please use this thread to post questions about how to use the android app and the overall app.

    Again, we can't hand out invites, only Google can.

  2. dkaufman1

    dkaufman1 Well-Known Member

    SMS - On the main screen of the Android App you can hit compose and send an SMS. Since this is a Google Voice SMS does it count as a real SMS for my account?
  3. dkaufman1

    dkaufman1 Well-Known Member

    Settings - Under "This phone's number", do I choose my g1's real number or could I set it to another phone?

    Also it seems like most Google Apps, the Android vers. is a "lite" version. The real power is the desktop app (for now.)
  4. dkaufman1

    dkaufman1 Well-Known Member

    Calling - I set my G1 to use Google Voice to make calls. Not sure if this means the call is a data use (not a use of my minutes?) and tried to call the nearest phone.

    I get the normal Android dialing screen with what is best described as a banner ad, at the bottom telling me I am using Google Voice to make the call. "Calling with Google Voice"

    It appears to try and connect, which takes a long time, and then it shows the red screen, indicating the call is over. Before it ever rings. I tried it with another number and again it doesn't work.

    Bottom line, so far no outbound calls work from my G1 and I need to switch back to the setting in the app, Making Calls, Do Not use Google Voice for any calls.
  5. GeoUSA

    GeoUSA Well-Known Member

    Thanks for sharing your experience so far. I am following it with interest and look forward to a wider release of Google Voice to the greater Android community.

    Did you see the "hack" shared by Engadget to use Voice for visual voicemail? Note: this was before the Android app was released but it may give you some additional ideas. Hack: use Google Voice to add visual voicemail to your G1, Dream, or Magic
  6. dkaufman1

    dkaufman1 Well-Known Member

    Geo - Nice find. I found the link is really this: Hack: use Google Voice to add visual voicemail to your G1, Dream, or Magic

    Interesting to note that for all non Google Voice users, I have been using Visual Voicemail from PhoneFusion (Free) for a long time. The devs are great and keep improving the app with new releases frequently. Cyrket - Visual VoiceMail

    Well worth the download. I know the premise of the Engadget article was "staying" in the Google Universe, plus voice has transcription services which are very nice.
  7. dkaufman1

    dkaufman1 Well-Known Member

    Just a quick update, until Google releases a new version of the app I don't expect things to work for outbound calls, but I did try again later in the day and it crashed the call as described above.
  8. tonedef

    tonedef New Member

    I have been able to make outgoing calls and SMS, no sweat. When you set up a phone number through the app, did you use your carrier number or your Google Voice number? It had my carrier number as the default, but I changed it to my GV number, and it loaded all my transcribed voicemails, and I'm able to use it for domestic outgoing calls. Are those calls really free? This seems insane, and makes the entire Android operating system seem like a conflict of interest.

    I'll try calling and sending texts with GV, and will report on whether or not T-mo reflects minutes being used. I don't think it does.
  9. dkaufman1

    dkaufman1 Well-Known Member

    I tried your method, I changed it from the carrier number to my google number but it still resulted in a no connection type of call.

    SMS works.

    Vmail shows up with either number set as my number in the app.
  10. Chris H

    Chris H Member

    I will be watching this thread with great interest. I've had Google Voice long enough that it was still called Grand Central when I signed up for it. Although I never used it, I thought there might be some potential with it. This might be that potential.

    I made a few calls with it, and received a few. I am curious how it will work out. I will be checking the call log, as the most beneficial thing for this will be making that central porting number one of my 5 fav. Just need to know what that number is. When that happens, I will never exceed my allotted minutes again!

    This week I will try it out and see how it works. When I first got Grand Central, I used it more than a few times to call my parents across the state. It worked like a charm. Local calls for both of us, although the call quality had a bit of static back then. Hopefully things have improved...
  11. punkzanyj

    punkzanyj Well-Known Member

    I'm using the "hack" to have my voicemail routed to Google Voice. The only complaint so far is that it takes a few extra rings(about 8 rings) in order to connect to GV. Transcription isn't perfect, but we've all had voicemails that were hard to understand with our ears, so a computer isn't going to do much better sometimes.

    It's nice that I can set up greetings for specific people, like my parents get one greeting, the rest of the family another, people from work get their own "work" greeting. My partner has pointed out that the number of rings may be an issue for some callers, who may give up after 4-5 rings and assume my voicemail is off.
  12. GeoUSA

    GeoUSA Well-Known Member

    I received my Google Voice invite Friday while away from home for dinner. Was surprised when trying to accept from the browser on my G1 only to receive a message that registration was not supported from mobile devices! Oh well, once home I was able to continue the registration by signing in with my Google account. Note: if you click the original link it will tell you that it is an invalid invitation (since the process was actually started on the G1)... This may confuse a number of new users.

    So far everything is working including domestic calls from the G1 Voice app. I am wondering if this doesn't count against Tmobile minutes but I am thinking it does. I will do more research soon.

    Thanks, Google! :)
  13. GeoUSA

    GeoUSA Well-Known Member

    Business Week published an article about Voice. Google does not plan to allow calls to use Wi-Fi to circumvent Tmobile or other carrier's minutes. Rather, it will pull from the customer's cellular plan minutes. Regardless, Google is still providing quite a lot and I understand why they need to maintain good relationships with the cellular providers.

    Google Voice: Trouble Calling for Skype? - BusinessWeek
  14. GeoUSA

    GeoUSA Well-Known Member

    After trying the "hack" from Engadget to allow Google Voice voicemail to replace the TMO voicemail, I decided I would rather use Voice as intended and begin to give out my new Google number.

    To my surprise, Android has been programmed to make it very easy to return your voicemail number to the factory setting. When you go to edit the number to change it back from your Google #, Android defaults the setting back to the TMO voicemail #. Very nice. This means you can try the "hack" and not worry about writing down and keeping up with the original setting.
  15. dkaufman1

    dkaufman1 Well-Known Member

    No dice for me...still results in all calls terminated. Very frustrating.
  16. dkaufman1

    dkaufman1 Well-Known Member

    Not sure what said here.
  17. GeoUSA

    GeoUSA Well-Known Member

    DKaufman1, in my Android Google Voice app under Settings, "This phone's number" is set to +1########## where the # symbols represent my TMo cell number. It allows me to make outbound calls. Maybe if you uninstall and reinstall the app?

    Note: After a little more reading I do see a negative to using Google Voice for all calls. Since it calls a Google managed number first, it short circuits the free mobile-to-mobile feature of my calling plan.
  18. OolonColuphid

    OolonColuphid Member

    Is there a way to change the number of rings it does when you've got "Do not disturb" turned on?

    I have set my G1's voicemail number to my GV number, and it takes 3 rings for my phone to go to voicemail, and another 3 rings to go to google voice. Most people will have hung up by then.
  19. GeoUSA

    GeoUSA Well-Known Member

    Currently no way that I see to change the number of rings, even when "Do not disturb" is active in Google Voice. It's hard to believe they missed that so far, but a great suggestion. By the way, I tried to send a couple of suggestions using the "Send Feedback" link on Google Voice and it terminated with an error even after a few attempts.
  20. punkzanyj

    punkzanyj Well-Known Member

    I think this is more of an Android-based issue than a Google Voice issue. On other phones I was able to set the delay before a call is forwarded to voicemail. On earlier phones it was based on number of rings, but the most recent phones I've used have it based on a time interval (5 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 30 sec). There's no such option on the G1.

    I'm not so sure people will hang up. The final rings sound different than the first few rings, and that's typical of a phone-going-to-voicemail for most business phones. The first two-3 rings are the actual extension ringing, and then usually there's a change, a long pause, a ring that sounds distinctly different, one long ring and then a couple shorter ones.
  21. dkaufman1

    dkaufman1 Well-Known Member

    Some more details on this...first off excuse the user error. You have to register your mobile using the PC from a real web browser. Which was a missing step and causing my frustration.

    Soon after that, I tested it out for Tmobile users with free Tmobile family plans it makes little sense. Why?

    Cause GV dials a Google Server (not Tmobile number) which then dials the outbound number you wish, which even if a Tmobile number means you are using your minutes to call the Google Server to use Google Voice. That seems to make little sense as an alternative for that reason.

    Certainly the oppty to have a single number makes sense but only with a larger plan, unlimited plan or as was suggested a myfaves plan designating that number as one of your faves.

    But remember if you are calling anyone in your family plan they will be getting a call from an outside source, not Tmobile which counts against you. (and in my case double counted since I don't have myfaves.)

    I confirmed all of this on Tmobile's site, looking at my call logs. I attempted to do the same for SMS but was unable to as sms logs are not available until month's end.
  22. punkzanyj

    punkzanyj Well-Known Member

    So you're saying the GV app doesn't make a VOIP call?

    If so, I guess the only advantage is that you can segregate callers to a different number. Say you use the GV # as your business number, making outbound calls with that number has the advantage of callers seeing your biz number, not your mobile.
  23. dkaufman1

    dkaufman1 Well-Known Member

    Let's be careful, it might be VOIP but not "free" voip as US users on minute plans will be charged if you don't have a myfaves or unlimited plan. My home phone is voip, but comcast doesn't sell it that way or it might have scared some of the customers out of adopting it. Same with ATT Uverse calling package.

    I agree that one of my first thoughts was perfect for business use, and also great for the fact a single number can still ring you anywhere. Lots of advantages, but harder to make the "total leap" to a single number.

    I could see some Tmobile customers converting to myFaves or unlimited and using this as their only number. I am not sure if inbound calls route through the GV server so they could appear to Tmobile to come from the same number. If so, you could have a single myfaves number, make all inbound and outbound calls to that number and connect to your whole addressbook.
  24. GeoUSA

    GeoUSA Well-Known Member

    I think the advantage to setting GV to place all calls is that it masks your cell number. This could be desireable so certain callers don't know your direct cell, or just to help reinforce to friends/family that you want them to start using your GV number.

    The best suggestion I can think of for Google is to include a checkbox for each contact that we can mark if we want to use GV when calling that contact.

    I'm not distressed by GV not providing free US calling because cell plan minutes are pretty cheap and I don't make a huge amount of voice calls these days. I see the main benefit being the "personal assistant" features including screening callers not in my contacts, the ability to mark incoming numbers as spam to block them, transcribed voicemail, and customized call routing rules for groups and individuals. :)

    One other enhancement I would suggest is to support pause characters so that I can configure my GV number to ring my office number and extension.
  25. dkaufman1

    dkaufman1 Well-Known Member

    @Geo - I agree those are powerful benefits. I would like to use the GV number as well, but to have to think about how I use it with my minutes is a major drawback. I even thought about the way they have the shortcut built into Android that allows me to toggle between the three options for GV so I could manually choose how I use it.

    Like I said I need to think what will work best, as it is not clear cut for me in my situation. I think plenty of people will like the options. And let's face it, I am trying to think how to use it all the time/more because the assistant features are useful and powerful.

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