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Tips jakewill's GoogleVoice How To: Free Minutes, Texts, Visual Voicemail, and Calendar

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by jakewill, May 13, 2010.

  1. jakewill

    jakewill Member
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    Hey guys,

    Not everyone knows it, but you can use GoogleVoice to get almost unlimited minutes in Verizon's Friends and Family Plan. Awesomely, the GV app also has great texting and visual voicemail! To add to that, there's also an app that logs ALL of your Android calls (regular and GV) to a Google Calendar of your choice!

    Here is what I am doing:

    Google Voice Initial Setup
    • Get a GoogleVoice account here: GoogleVoice
    • Set up GoogleVoice with each phone you want to use it for (I have my personal cell, work cell, and office landline)
    • Decide whether or not you want people calling your GoogleVoice number: Lifehacker (I have my GoogleVoice set to "Do not disturb", meaning that all calls to my GV number go straight to GVoicemail... I'm really only doing this as a bug doesn't allow me to send my WorkCell calls directly to GVoicemail without "Do not Disturb" being set :thinking: )
    • Download the GoogleVoice app from the Android Market here: Android GoogleVoice on Appbrain
    • Open GoogleVoice on your Android phone (Listed as "Voice" in your apps) and configure as needed

    Google Voice Free Minutes
    • First thing, understand how calling GV from Android works:
      1. Android doesn't make calls using YOUR GV number, it maintains a database of "Access Numbers" that it calls to dial out to your contacts. To figure out which Access Number your GV uses (area specific), make a call using GV and watch the top of the screen: it will have a white bubble that says: Calling via Google Voice with your access number (i.e. 555-123-4567) on the second line <--What ever number is displayed is the first number you'll want to put in your Verizon F&F.
      2. On Google Voice's website, you can set the caller ID to display your callers' incoming phone number (if seeing that is important to you), or set it to show your GV number (if free minutes are important to you). Add YOUR GV number in to your Verizon F&F, as well. *Note: If you just want a record of who called, GV's website has a "History" section that shows ALL items, incoming and outgoing, and shows who actually called.
    • Use GV whichever way it suits you. Almost all of my actual family and friends have Verizon phones, so I almost always call out without GV as I'm getting free mobile-to-mobile, but when I need to sit on Customer Service for whoever and plan on having a 60+ minute call, I use GV to dial out.
    • Pro tip: there is a "Shortcut" you can add to any homescreen called "Toggle GoogleVoice". That switches you between all the various dialer methods (Always ask, Only International, All calls GV, All calls mobile)

    Google Voice Texting
    • It gives fairly quick notifications, similar to SMS.
    • It also integrates with the People app and prompts you to send from Messages or GoogleVoice by default when you go to one of your People and select the "Send Message" link. -- If you check the "Use by default for this action" box, you will always send your texts from the People tab (and presumably from the Favorites widget) with GV.
    • Not a lot to say, it is just plain texting that you can do from your phone AND computer. :)

    Google Voice Visual Voicemail
    • This is awesome -- I'll never go back to dialing voicemail, again.
    • I have both my PersonalCell and WorkCell using GVoicemail
    • The GoogleVoice website walks you through the simple sequence forward calls to your GV number -- this probably uses minutes, but (A)So does calling *86 for voicemail (plus you have to go through prompts that SUCK), and (B)I'm not 100%, but I think that having your GV number in F&F makes the forward free.
    • My Android phone notifies me when I have a GVM
    • I can wait for it to transcribe it, then just read the message. (which has never been great -- I think adding a line to your VM greeting asking callers to talk evenly and enunciate for the transcription would help while possibly creeping your callers out)
    • Or I can immediately hit the play button at the bottom of the screen on the phone (Or at my computer!)
    • Pro tip: In the main GV screen on Android GV, hit "Menu" then "Settings" and you can choose whether to play the GVoicemails speakerphone-style, or Earpiece-style (for better privacy)

    Using CallTrack to log your Android Calls
    • I'm not entirely sure you need GV to use Calltrack
    • Download CallTrack from the Android Market: Calltrack on appBrain
    • Open your Google Calendar (easiest from computer) and create a calendar for your calls (Mine is named GoogleVoice), and give the calendar a sweet color
    • Open CallTrack from your apps list in Android and configure your credentials... You may need to open it again or go to settings to set which calendar to use.
    • Decide whether or not to write all of your existing call log to your GoogleVoice Calendar (SWEET!)
    • Use as normal (It is such a simple app, it just does its job and doesn't bug you)

    Save time with NotCallLog
    • Download NotCallLog from the AndroidMarket: NotCallLog on appBrain
    • Open NotcallLog from your Android Apps list and configure it to send you back to the Home screen instead of your call log to save having to press the Home key, or to keep you from accidentally dialing someone in your call log

    I hope this helps! Let me know if I missed anything.
     

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  2. FlyPenFly

    FlyPenFly Well-Known Member
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    Something to keep in mind about GV, sometimes you will get bad call quality because GV is overloaded.
     
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  3. jakewill

    jakewill Member
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    I have never had bad call quality, and I've been using this via WinMo and Android for ~1 year.

    Thanks for the warning, though. :)

    jakewill
     
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  4. FlyPenFly

    FlyPenFly Well-Known Member
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    Unfortunately, I've run into it and mistook it for an Incredible problem when it was really GV.
     
  5. jakewill

    jakewill Member
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    Gotcha. Thanks for the info.

    jakewill
     
  6. kwest12

    kwest12 Android Enthusiast
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    EDIT: Forgot to thank you for the great guide jakewill! Thanks!

    EDIT 2: Removed part of my original post based on jakewill's post below. I don't want to be responsible for derailing this thread. Good call jakewill.
     
  7. jakewill

    jakewill Member
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    Hey guys, quick request:

    Please don't turn this into a flame GV thread. Like I said, I've had great quality with GV, and this is only supposed to be a simple guide that is easy for people to follow (albeit long as hell). Start another thread if you are wanting to poll about GV quality issues. -sorry if I sound salty, I just want to keep things clear.

    jakewill
     
  8. geoffd

    geoffd Member
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    Thanks for the info!! I just got a google voice number and was having trouble understanding the functionalities and setting it up...
     
  9. aevanee

    aevanee Member
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    How does it integrate with the default messaging app? I'm not getting a prompt for that, and its automatically sending from my verizon number.
     
  10. jakewill

    jakewill Member
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    I was wrong there -- it actually integrates with the People app (Or Favorites Widget, which used the People app). I updated the first post to reflect that. here's the new entry:

    Thanks for catching that! I hope that clears it up for you.

    jakewill
     
  11. lmbgm

    lmbgm Well-Known Member
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    When making an outgoing call (without google voice) is there a way to set the phone to show your GV number for the caller id?

    I'm new to this, but so far, I've had mixed results. TXT works great. However, 3 out of the past 5 voice mails have been very choppy where I can't hear what they are saying. And this is from people who I usually have no issue calling. Also, there have been a few times where I'll be browsing the web on my phone and suddenly I'll see the missed call icon. For some reason, my phone did not ring at all. But other times, everything works fine.
     
  12. wase4711

    wase4711 Android Expert
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    For some reason, I NEVER SEE the number that google voice is using to dial out my calls..is there another way to find out this info?

    thanks!
     
  13. jorell

    jorell Newbie
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    To be clear, the only way to get 'free minutes' is to be on the F&F Plan and have the GV access number (a 916-area code number in my case) to that, correct? Otherwise, I'm still getting charged minutes off my plan when I dial this number, right?

    Thanks.
     
  14. amarryat

    amarryat Android Enthusiast
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    Correct.

    Also, there is no guarantee that the access # won't change. Therefore you must be observant and update if necessary.
     
  15. irascible

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    Thanks for the tip on CallTrack; that's nice. I had the rest setup, this really is a nice addition.
     
  16. wase4711

    wase4711 Android Expert
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    just a FYI; there are two apps you might download, one is GV dialer, and the other is Google Voice; I had been using the dialer, which does not show you the "pass through" number that is used to route your call; using the actual Google Voice App changed all that for me, and I can now see the routing number used for me, and added it to the f&f list

    thank you jakewill for the information!
     
  17. jakewill

    jakewill Member
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    Update: Make sure you don't have the "GV Dialer" app installed -- it just gets in the way. :)

    I updated the first post, but here's how my calls go:

    1. I dial the number and hit "Call" (or just select a contact's call number)
    2. It asks me if I want to dial with GoogleVoice or without GoogleVoice (This may be your problem, GoogleVoice might not be your current default. To change the default, (1.)Open Google voice>Menu>Settings>Making Calls>Select "Ask every time I make a call", or (2.)Add the "Toggle Google Voice" shortcut to your home screen (Long press screen>Shortcuts>Toggle Google Voice). Once that is on, just click it and wait about 2seconds and it will display which GV mode you're on. I keep mine on the "Ask every time" so I don't accidentally call someone (similar to the call confirm app), and I also use it about 50% of the time.
    3. After I hit "Call with Google Voice" it takes about 2seconds, but it pops a big white bubble up saying "Calling via Google Voice" with the access number displayed below.

    No prob. I think I saw this on Lifehacker, tips and downloads for getting things done . I love it!

    1... Well, no. If you want people to see your GV number on their caller ID, you MUST call using GV. I assume you want to start using your GV number exclusively? If so, the Lifehacker article in the first post gives tips for that. Also, you can set your phone to ALWAYS dial using GVoice. I suppose if you used the lesser known "Calling card" method to dial people (Something like 555-urG-Voic# - 1 - 2 - 555-thenumberuwannacall), that would do it... Or maybe you just need to look into you settings on the GoogleVoice webpage http://www.google.com/voice . I don't know. :thinking:

    2. I've found that while playing back the voicemail from the Google Voice App, if I'm using the earpiece method, it doesn't take much to accidentally hit the pause button. Try the speaker method, instead and see if that helps... It also uses ur 3G so make sure that 3G is enabled, and that you have good signal, or use wifi.

    3. As far as browsing the web and missing a call, that may be a faulty ringtone association, or some people have found that having the "Quiet ring on pickup" setting causes ringer issues.. Try unchecking that under Menu>Settings>Sound & display>Quiet ring on pickup, then try changing your ringtone... This probably isn't a GoogleVoice issue, as much as a ringer/reception issue.

    Thanks for helping field the questions, man, keep up the good work!

    jakewill
     
  18. jakewill

    jakewill Member
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    Nice work, Wase! I'll update the previous post where I tried to help and failed. :)

    jakewill
     
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  19. dfuchs

    dfuchs Lurker
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    I *think* that this feature will be coming soon? Go to ->Settings ->calls
    "Caller ID (out)
    When I SMS a Google Voice number from one of my forwarding phones:
    Don't change anything
    Display my Google Voice number
    Note: this setting currently only applies to SMS; calls will be included soon."

    Another question, which may be silly...If someone calls your google voice number, does that mean that when you pick up the phone, you're talking through google voice? Or, Verizon?

    I'm asking because i've noticed decreased quality when calling from google voice, but if people call me...shouldn't it be fwded, and hence, you're not really using google voice?
     
  20. milnivlek

    milnivlek Well-Known Member
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    Is the Google Voice app currently the only way to send out GV text messages from your phone? Is there any way to get it working with the default Messages function or Handcent?
     
  21. aevanee

    aevanee Member
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    Ah yes, just tested with the people app, works just as you said. Its too bad it doesn't integrate with the message app, would be nice to be able to reply to text messages using our gvoice account without having to go through the people app.
     
  22. below_radar_00

    below_radar_00 Well-Known Member
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    I have GV but have never used it on my phone. It appears from what you guys are writing that text messages won't send or receive through the native messaging app. Is that correct? I don't use the messaging app myself, I use Handcent. Can you send and receive texts through Handcent with your GV number?
     
  23. malice

    malice Well-Known Member
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    Student, Scientist, Mouse Torturer
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    I am not getting the option with the people app for some reason. I have the google voice app installed on my phone as well as handcent for normal messaging. When I click "Send Text" or whatever in people, it just gives me the option to use handcent or regular messaging app. Is there a setting I need to change in my GV?
     
  24. jakewill

    jakewill Member
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    I'm not sure... I don't have texting, so I've never tried Handcent. Try uninstalling Handcent to see if the option shows up. If it still doesn't, go to Menu>Settings>Applications>Google Voice>Clear Defaults, then look... if that doesn't work, uninstall and reinstall Voice. :thinking:

    Here's to trying!

    jakewill
     
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  25. soleilvie

    soleilvie Member
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    Please delete.
     

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