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Diffinitive Answer about Google Voice?

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by Zaza, Nov 26, 2009.

  1. Zaza

    Zaza Lurker
    Thread Starter

    Hey everyone.

    I'm thinking about getting a Droid and if I do, I'd like to start using the Google Voice account I have set up. I've searched on these forums and have seen a bunch of conflicting answers as to whether or not it is possible to get free unlimited SMS and calls through GV. Couple of points I'd like to be addressed:

    1.) People have been talking about a single "routing number" that the GV app uses when you try to make outgoing calls. Does such a routing number exist? If so, if I know what it is and add it to my friends and family, will all outgoing calls be free?

    2.) How do SMS messages through the GV app work? Does it send it via the phone's data connection or does it use the messaging plan?

    My next two questions don't pertain to Google Voice, but I figured I'd just throw them in here rather than make an entirely new thread.

    3.) I was wondering if anyone knows if it's possible to get a data only plan with the Droid? If so, does Verizon charge extra money to add a voice or messaging plan onto an existing data only plan if I decide I want one later?

    4.) My mom needs a new phone, but doesn't need a data plan. Is it possible to get either Droid phone with only voice/messaging?

    Thanks in advance to anyone who replies.

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  2. johnlgalt

    johnlgalt Antidisestablishmentarian

    1) When you signed up for GV, you were assigned a GV number. That is what everyone is talking about.

    2) GV SMS goes through GV's servers, so does not count against your SMS messages. The disadvantage is that it uses the assigned number I mentioned in #1 as the sender number, so if your receiver does not recognize that number / have it in their phone, they will not know who the SMS is from.

    3) No, but you can get a basic voice and the data plan and you're golden.

    4) No, unless they have finally changed their minds (and / or you can cajole them with some fast sweet talking).
  3. RoBo92

    RoBo92 Lurker

    You can add the routing number to your friends and family, but it changes periodically (often enough that it's almost not worth the hassle of going into f&f every few days and trying to keep up with it.)

    My .02 :cool:
  4. bleomycin

    bleomycin Lurker

    Don't mean to hijack the thread but I have noticed some have asked about a data only plan for use with google voice, does it work over data only? I have been unable to make a single call with google voice over wifi, is there some trick to it?
  5. Zaza

    Zaza Lurker
    Thread Starter

    RoBo92 and johnlgalt:

    See? Already in this thread there are conflicting answers! :p Seriously, thank you both for replying.


    That's one thing I DO know about Google Voice. It isn't a VOIP service, so no, you can't make free calls using it over a data connection. The only way such a thing would be possible is if you used some SIP VOIP service in conjunction with Google Voice.
  6. johnlgalt

    johnlgalt Antidisestablishmentarian

    Perhaps I misunderstood then, b/c from what I am gleaning from this post it seems that there is a constantly changing number - however, my understand from using it for nearly 4 months shows that the number I chose is what appears all the time when making calls / sending SMS....

    so there may be, in fact, something that you're referring to and that RoBo knows about that I am unaware of.
  7. UncleMike

    UncleMike Android Expert

    My experience is that:

    • The "routing number" used for outbound calls is NOT the same as my Google Voice number. The routing number is in another (nearby) area code. This number is clearly displayed on my phone screen when dialing via Google Voice. In the almost 3 weeks I've had my Droid, this routing number has not changed.

    • SMS messages sent using the Google Voice app do not count against your messaging plan. SMS messages received by your Google Voice number will count against your messaging plan IF you have it set to forward SMS to your mobile phone. IF you turn off SMS forwarding, it will not count against your messaging plan, and the messages will only be availble in the Google Voice app. Keep in mind that Google Voice does not currently "push" to your phone - it polls for updates. So if you choose a polling interval of 30 minutes, there could be a delay of up to 30 minutes in receiving SMS messages if you have turned off SMS forwarding.

    It's possible that peope are giving conflicting answers because the actual results vary depending on where you are, particularly with regard to the use of a routing number.
  8. matthenry87

    matthenry87 Member

    I was a lucky winner of Phandroid's Google Voice contest and have been using it on my G1 ever since. here is my setup:

    -I have call presentation on: When I get Google Voice calls my phone rings with "Google Voice Call" and I pick it up. So when I miss a Google Voice call, I have to check the label "missed calls" in the Google Voice App.

    -I set my outgoing text to send with Google Voice by default. When you go to text someone from your contacts, it should ask you what you want to use. Select Google Voice and every time you send an out-going text you will always send it with your Google Voice #.

    -I turned off the notifications in my Google Voice app. I turned on Notifications in Handcent (default messaging works for this too). This way the texts sent to my phone are presented with my messaging app, and not Google Voice. This is good so that I get instant notification of my texts, and it sends the texts to the assigned "google number" that that person is designated. This number is exclusive to -YOUR- Google Voice account. If you were to call this number from your regular mobile number (not your GV #) it will ring the person your account has assigned this number to (number's area code is 406) and show your Google Voice # on their caller ID.

    -I also make it a habit to save the 406 numbers to the contact I'm texting with. This way if my data connection or my GV app is effin' up I can just send a text or call them directly with this 406 # directly via my normal #, but have my Google Voice # show up on caller ID.

    So set your notifications on GV off, turn on your messaging app one, and only text with the GV app when sending the initial text that starts every convo. This has worked for me great! Almost nobody knows my old number anymore and I can take advantage of all the great Google Voice features!

    You can also set your old # to go to your Google Voice voicemail too!
  9. BiGMERF

    BiGMERF Extreme Android User

    i cant find where to this at.. can you help?
  10. SO, I'm still confused about the SMS part...Can someone answer this once and for all?

    Can I use Handcent and have the messages go through GV, or no? OR, do I have to originate all SMS from the GV app?

    I'd like to keep from using the GV app for texting, I don't like to GV interface very well. I'm always using the person's 406 number on all texts and I'm having everyone use my GV number for texts, but I looked on bill today and I got charged for all texts the past few days (ouch) but none for today (unless their system isn't up-to-date for today).

    So...here's what I changed. In the GV app, I had it set to "Do not use Google Voice for any calls", I've since changed that to "Use Google Voice for all calls." I also went into my phone book, initiated a new text and told it to use GV as default for all texts (I'm assuming this is the setting that will finally set me free).

    Can anyone clear this up or have a guide on this? I've looked and can't find anything.
  11. MisterEff

    MisterEff Android Enthusiast

    You have to txt through the GV app and your inbox only gets refreshed every 5 minutes at minimum. 15 minutes by default. I wish SMS was integrated better.
  12. superdesi

    superdesi Android Enthusiast

    ive tried to set up GV txting thru handcent but it DOES NOT work. I saw on my VZW bill that i was getting charged for sending txts to 406 numbers. You have to use the GV app for txting (or the stock messaging app if it lets you route to GV) Handcent does not let you route your texts thru GV.

    Also there is FREE VOIP for GV! I saw on these very same forums someone worked it out through another program/app. just search the forums for Google voice and Voip and you should be able to find it. It basically works by connecting to a wifi hotspot then going thru the 3rd party app to connect to GV to get VOIP. Like i said there are links to a whole write in a thread so search for it.

    there are threads about my experience with GV that you can search for to get more info.
  13. Okay, that sucks because the GV app is terrible compared to Handcent! I guess I'll use it for now though. Hopefully they make it so you can txt through GV using a 3rd party app soon.

    I think what confused me is when I initially set it up, I sent a test message to my other phone using Handcent and it came up as my GV # so I thought I was good to use it!
  14. Another questions...does the "Use GV for all calls" setting in GV have any effect on the txt messages? I'd prefer to turn this OFF, still use my GV number, and get the free txts of course...
  15. MisterEff

    MisterEff Android Enthusiast

    It does not affect text messages.
  16. CRPercodani

    CRPercodani OFWGKTA

    You use to be able to use Gizmo5 to get free VOIP calling with GV but since Google bought them they aren't accepting new users.
  17. craighwk

    craighwk Android Enthusiast

    The SMS clunkiness is almost enough to make me want to ditch GV and go back to the stock phone number. Yes you can use third party apps, but it's a pain in the butt having to use a separate SMS number for your contacts. Also sucks that there's no MMS feature and that any MMS you get sent are lost into thin air.
  18. superdesi

    superdesi Android Enthusiast

    There was another 3rd party app/program besides Gizmo that allowed for free voip calling from wifi hotspots. Started with an S (no not skype) but I forgot. I do remember reading a lengthy post on how to set it up on this forum.
  19. Okay, so here we go with the contradictions again! Can we use Handcent or not?

    The seperate SMS number for everyone doesn't bother me, I just enter the new number when it comes through as "other" in their address book entry and always select it. I just checked my VZW account and when I was using Handcent, I was getting charged for txts coming from my cell # (not GV #) to the other person's 406# that I was using. I'm gonna get burned on this month's bill...

    Has anyone that has extensively used GV written a guide on all the settings and what can and cannot be done (like the huge SMS question?)
  20. baka

    baka Well-Known Member

    just a note on the using gv for free in/outbound calling. you can do it like this:

    1. add your gv# to your f&f list
    2. set your phone to use gv for all calls
    3. set your gv settings to show your gv# for inbound calls (if it shows as the number of the person calling you, it wont work)

    that should be all you need to do. careful though, as vzw still charges you a connection fee equal to 1min of time. it shows up on your bill as forward/xfer or something. granted its only 1min and you'd have to make 900 calls before you hit your plan minutes, but still....

    sms can be done using the gv app to send and normal sms to receive. unless you're trying to be stealthy or just want to use your gv# for everything, it doesnt make much sense to use gv for sms since all sms/mms are free. but if you want to then do this:

    1. send sms through the gv app
    2. set your gv settings to send you an sms alert when you receive an sms/mms through gv (this will avert the 5min minimum delay from the gv refresh)
    3. reply to the sms alert using your preferred app (it should route back through gv and to the recipient)
  21. superdesi

    superdesi Android Enthusiast

    YOU CANNOT USE HANDCENT WITH GV. I've tried it many times and reported my experience here on the forums. Please search the threads and you'll find discussions on integrating GV with txting, getting free txting with GV etc.

    Now I have not personally tried this myself but other users HAVE REPORTED that GV txting does work with the stock messenger app.

    If that doesnt work for you, then the best method is using the GV application. I personally like it over Handcent. It saves my convos on the phone and online, allows me to search and txt my contacts directly and gives me a 'threaded' style of messaging.
  22. craighwk

    craighwk Android Enthusiast

    Yes, yes yes. Handcent "works" with Google Voice.

    Well, it depends on what your definition of 'works' is.

    As others explained, when you receive an SMS from someone, and they send it to your Google Voice number, their message will appear in Handcent from a special 406 area code phone number. If you reply to that number, the recipient will see your SMS as coming from your Google Voice number. It works.

    You have to add that special 406 number into your contact's address book entry. I create a custom label for them named "SMS". From then on, if I want to send that person an SMS using Handcent, I compose a message in Hancent and it will allow me to select the special label I created for a contact (SMS) and send correctly.

    End of story. That's how it works. This is the same process you need to do if you want to use the stock Messenger application as well (or any other SMS replacement app). And it probably won't count as a free SMS. If you want to use Google Voice to send free SMS, then you have to use the GV app or webpage. No other way around it currently.
  23. craighwk: That's how I was doing it but on my VZW account I continue to see messages from my cell # to their assigned 406 #.

    Actually, to play it safe, here's what I did
    Logged into GV online and sent them an SMS from my account.
    When they replied, I entered the 406 # that it came from into their contact entry.
    On a new message from me to them, I always pick their 406 number.
    However, on a new message from them to me, I'm just replying.

    ...I'm still getting charged.

    So I guess the two questions that remain are:
    Why does my account show txts going from my real cell # to their 406 #? What is stopping it from jumping through the GV network instead of the Verizon network?

    And, does the setting that you're asked about always using GV to send txts (when you choose to send new txt through the address book) apply to the default program (making GV the default program), or does it change a setting deeper in the phone that tells any sms program (such as Handcent) to use the GV network.
  24. Well, I didn't read the end of your post where you say to use the GV app, no other way around it.

    I got it! End of story! I'll be using GV for now on then...
  25. superdesi

    superdesi Android Enthusiast

    craig is right. I'm sorry I should've clarified. I assumed we were on the topic of is Handcent can send sms THRU google voice to get you free texting not if Handcent can send ppl txts from your Google voice number.

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The Motorola Droid release date was November 2009. Features and Specs include a 3.7" inch screen, 5MP camera, 256GB RAM, processor, and 1400mAh battery.

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