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Google Voice Applications

Discussion in 'Android Apps & Games' started by deltaforce, Apr 19, 2012.

  1. deltaforce

    deltaforce Android Enthusiast
    Thread Starter

    Hello folks,

    Just got an Android phone (Sensation XL) and using it on pre-paid T-mobile (USA). I get terrible signal at home so would like to use Google Voice over home wi-fi. I am reading it on how to set it up and few things are confusing me. I will be glad if someone could clarify it.

    - Why do many tutorials suggest user to use apps like GrooVeIP or Talkatone to use with Google Voice and why I can not use Google Voice application all by itself?
    - I read in one of the guides or comments that you need to pay $5/month to GrooVeIP to be able to receive calls through them (which they don't state upfront but mentioned somewhere obscurely on their website), Is this true?
    - If I MUST use some application with Google Voice, is there any application that really does the job and its really free? I would not like to go through complicated SIP setup but I am curious. Google Play market does show up some alternatives.
    - I don't really mind paying for an application but if there is any limitation like GrooVeIP, it would drive me nuts and I will be asking for a refund.

    - Is there any possibility that you can make Google Voice your default phone and SMS application i.e. Wi-fi is my first priority (as I have wifi at work too) but when wi-fi is not present, it takes old school route (not the data plan). Is it possible to set up like this?

    - Is it true that when you call using Google Voice, the user knows that you are using Google Voice? I really don't mind even if it shows that but in all my honesty, will be more happy if it just shows the number, even though its Google Voice number.

    - GrooVeIP sucks about 1.2mb of data/min whereas came across an application for iOS called as Horizon call that takes really small data. Does such application exist with Android?

    Thanks a lot in advance.

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  2. aysiu

    aysiu Android Expert

    T-Mobile has Wi-Fi calling without Google Voice:
    Wi-Fi Calling | Phone Calls Over Wireless Broadband | T-Mobile

    I'm not sure if that's available on your phone or not, but it's worth looking into.

    Because Google Voice is a phone routing, texting, and transcription service. It is not a traditional VOIP service.

    Yes, you can set it up so all calls go through Google Voice and that any text messages you send will go through Google Voice (if people keep sending messages to you to your regular T-Mobile phone number, those won't go to Google Voice). But, as I said before, Google Voice is not a substitute for an actual phone line. A phone call going "through" Google Voice is still going through your T-Mobile phone and still uses your T-Mobile minutes. It is no Wi-Fi calling. It is not VOIP.

    There is nothing that shows up on the receiving end that says Warning: This is not a regular T-Mobile number! This is a Google Voice number!. There may be ways for people to look up that your phone number is a GV number somewhere on a website. It will usually just display the Google Voice number as the incoming number, though.
    deltaforce likes this.
  3. jae_63

    jae_63 Android Enthusiast

    Also see discussions of this on other androidforums forums for prepaid phones, e.g. the Virgin Mobile forum.

    As a prepaid user it is a lot easier for you to adopt Google Voice than for most users with contracts.
  4. aysiu

    aysiu Android Expert

    I have a contract on Verizon, and before that I had a contract on T-Mobile. No problems adopting Google Voice whatsoever. How is it easier for prepaid users? Do they just give you a Google Voice number instead of a regular one?
  5. deltaforce

    deltaforce Android Enthusiast
    Thread Starter

    Thanks for the replies folks,

    Thanks for detailed explanation, it certainly cleared up majority of the issues. I read around that folks don't use T-mobile's wi-fi calling as the minutes are deducted from your plan/phone, so I ALWAYS thought that using Google Voice you won't pay for those minutes as you are using data and not the traditional phone service. We don't pay anything when we call from our computers, so you would wonder why would you if you are calling from phone. But if your explanation is correct then it defeats the purpose (in my case), may be it works for those who want to consolidate all their numbers to one number, which is not the case with me. I can tolerate bad signal at home because I have landline to call from and those who want to call on mobile are from work and I don't entertain after working hour calls, there is an email, so I don't care about them.

    But thanks for explanation, now I can say for sure that Google Voice is not for me, not at least now.
  6. lexluthor

    lexluthor Android Expert

    Google Voice in conjunction with GrooveIP should give you what you need.

    You noted GrooveIP is $5/mo in your OP. It's about $5 one time. No monthly charge.

    If you make/receive your calls through GrooveIP using your Google Voice number, that will go over wifi and you'll get better quality than your poor signal home and won't use cell minutes.
    Crashdamage likes this.
  7. aysiu

    aysiu Android Expert

    Nope. You use minutes for both T-Mobile Wi-Fi calling and Google Voice (sans GrooVe IP or something like it).

    Probably the fact that it's actually a phone routing service and not VOIP when it's on your phone. The only exception I know of is calling straight from your Gmail account, but I think they may start charging for even that once 2012 is over.
    Well, the nice thing about Google Voice is that you can still use it with your landline. So let's say 212-555-5555 is your T-Mobile number, 464-555-5555 is your landline, and 413-555-5555 is your Google Voice number. What you can do is give your Google Voice number to your friends (not co-workers) and then call using Google Voice on your mobile phone to your friends, and then also call using Google Voice through your landline to your friends when you're calling from home. That way when you call your friends, you will always have the same phone number show up for them in the caller ID. In fact, at least through the end of 2012, you can even have that same phone number show up if you call from Gmail (which is true VOIP, not just routing). Just an idea. It may not fit with your situation.
  8. lexluthor

    lexluthor Android Expert


    No, tmo wifi calling does not use minutes. You have to be provisioned for that, i think, but the feature is free.
  9. aysiu

    aysiu Android Expert

    From the T-Mobile website:
    So it looks as if you have to add the Free Wi-Fi Calling feature to your plan... not sure if that costs more. When I was on T-Mobile, I didn't have an Even More or Even More Plus plan.
  10. Crashdamage

    Crashdamage Android Expert

    I believe it's free except for pre-paid customers, just has to be activated. Never used it so don't hold me to that. The WiFi calling software is pre-installed on newer phones.

    Plans are no longer called 'Even More' or 'Even More Plus'. Now they're called 'Value' or 'Classic'.

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