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The Prepaid Users Guide to Google Voice and Hangouts

There's a lot of confusion and misunderstanding around Google's Hangouts and Google Voice services. That's unfortunate because together Google Voice and Hangouts are incredibly powerful tools for saving money on calls and texts, managing your phone numbers, contacts and voicemail and much more. Google Voice is especially useful to prepaid users, who tend to switch operators a lot and worry about losing their numbers while porting or if an MVNO goes out of business.

This post aims to be a simple and concise guide to getting the most out Google Voice and Hangouts.

Google Voice is basically a call forwarding and voice mail service.  It gives you a new  "phone number for life", or you can port an existing mobile number to Google Voice.  Calls, MMS and texts to your Google Voice number are routed to one or more (up to 6) mobile or land-line numbers that you specify.  This is handy for people like me who have multiple, frequently changing phone numbers. The only number I give out is my Google Voice number, calls and texts to it reach me regardless of which phone I’m carrying. There's a lot more to Google Voice than call forwarding, including voice mail transcription, call screening and selective blocking of calls from certain numbers like those used by telemarketers.

To get started with Google Voice you just need a Google account and a phone number to forward calls to. Sign up for Google Voice at voice.google.com. It's free if you get a new Google Voice number (you even get a choice of phone numbers) or you can port an existing mobile number to Google Voice for a one time $20 fee.

Setup and manage your Google Voice account. The desktop version of the Google Voice website is the main place to manage your Google Voice account. It lets you add add more phone numbers to forward calls to, change which phones calls, texts and MMS go to, set up your voicemail, view call logs and turn features like call blocking, call screening and conference calling on and off. One of my favorite features is the option to have voicemails transcribed to text and sent to my email address along with an audio recording of the voicemail message. You can also have texts and MMS forwarded to your email.

Making calls using your Google Voice number. There are many ways to make outgoing calls with your Google Voice number. The easiest way is with the Google Voice apps for Android and iOS.

Using the Google Voice app for iOS or Android. 

On iOS you make Google Voice calls using the Google Voice app's built in dialer and Contact list (which displays your Apple Contacts).  The Google Voice app requires iOS 6.0 or later.

On Android the Google Voice app, which works on Android 2.0 and later, integrates with the phone's native dialer so you can make calls normally from your contacts or by using the keypad or clicking a number in the browser or in a different app. The Google Voice Android app lets you choose whether to make all calls with Google Voice, ask every time if you want to call with your cell number or your Google Voice number, or only use Google Voice for making international calls.

Calls made using the Google Voice apps use cellular minutes so they aren't free unless you have an unlimited plan. Google Voice itself doesn't charge anything for most calls to US and Canadian numbers. Calling a few, mostly rural, landline numbers costs 1¢/minute. However making calls with the Google Voice apps uses cellular minutes so you still have to pay your mobile operator by the minute or month. The first time you call a number, the Google Voice app uses a small amount of data, probably less than a KB, to determine how to route calls to that number.

With international rates that are lower than those of most mobile operators, Google Voice is a good choice for making occasional international calls. Sample rates per minute for calling mobile phones are: Canada free, China 1¢, Mexico 5¢, Philippines 15¢, UK 3¢.

Making calls without an app: There are no longer any Google Voice apps for Windows Phone or BlackBerry and there never were any for feature phones. You can still make calls using your Google Voice number without an app but it's a little harder. There are two ways:

  • The Google Voice desktop and mobile websites let you make calls by dialing a number or choosing a Google contact. Google Voice then calls your phone and when you answer it calls the other party and combines the two calls.
  • You can also make calls by calling your Google Voice number from any of your phones, pressing 2 and then dialing the number you want to call when prompted. It may be possible to automate this process on some platforms using a generic calling card app.
  • When you receive a text to your Google number it will come from a Google virtual number (the sender's real number will be in the 1st line of the message body). If you call one of those virtual Numbers (save them to the contact they are from for convenience) the call will be routed to that contact and will show them your Google Voice number as the caller id.
Texting with Google Voice.
On iOS and Android you send SMS texts using the Google Voice app which also displays received messages in a threaded format. Texts are sent using WiFi or cellular data and do not count against your operator's text bucket. Google voice uses very little data, less than a KB, to send a text. On PayGo plans that charge for each text and MB of data it's generally cheaper to use Google Voice for texting than the mobile network. You can also read and send texts using the Google Voice desktop or mobile websites on a PC or a phone.

On platforms that don't have a Google Voice app you can use the mobile or desktop Google Voice website to send texts. If you configure Google Voice to forward texts to your email, replying to an emailed text will send that reply as a text from your Google Voice number to the person you are texting.  

Making free Google Voice calls over WiFi with Hangouts: Google Voice users can now make calls using WiFi or cellular data (VOIP) instead of traditional packet switched mobile voice. That means calls to most US and Canadian numbers are free when using WiFi.

To make calls with Hangouts on Android you need Android 4.0.3 or later and both the Hangouts and Hangouts Dialer apps.  On iOS you just need the Hangouts app which requires iOS 6.0 or later. To make make calls using data on either platform you need to use the Hangouts app which has its own dial pad and a view of your Android or Apple contacts.

Receiving incoming calls with Hangouts: receiving calls though Hangouts is not enabled by default. To turn in on:

  • On Android: open Hangouts, tap the menu icon in the top left, tap Settings, then tap your Google account and tap the checkbox next to Incoming phone calls to enable.
  • On iOS: open Hangouts, tap your profile picture at the top of the screen, tap Settings, then tap Phone number and tap the Incoming phones calls slider so it turns green.
One thing to watch out for is that if you use the Google Voice Web site to switch which phones you calls go to, you won't find Hangouts listed as something to enable or disable calls to. The old Google Talk option is still there but disabling it doesn't stop calls from going to Hangouts. That means that to switch between having Google Voice calls go to your mobile number or to Hangouts, you have to go the the Web site to enable or disable forwarding to your mobile number and then use the Hangouts app to enable and disable incoming calls in Hangouts app. If you leave both enabled the phone ringer and Hangouts ringer will both go off when you get a call which can be disconcerting. 

SMS and MMS with Hangouts: On Android 4.0 and later and iOS 6.0 and later you can also use Hangouts to send and receive SMS and MMS using your Google Voice or cellular number.  This feature is optional, to enable it:

  • In the Android Hangouts App: go to Menu > Settings > SMS and choose SMS Enabled.
  • In the iOS Hangouts App go to Settings > Phone number and tap the toggle next to Messages so that it turns green
If you turn on SMS in Hangouts it will will make Hangouts your phone's default messaging app and will disable sending and receiving SMS using the Google Voice app and Google Voice websites. You can still send and receive Google Voice SMS and MMS from your PC using the desktop version of the Gmail website.

To choose whether SMS and MMS should be sent from your carrier or Google Voice number go to Menu > Settings > SMS in the Hangouts app and tap Send SMS from. You can choose Google Voice number, Carrier number or Smart Reply which sends replies from whichever number received the message and give you a choice of which number to send from when starting a new message.

Use Google Voice Lite to replace your carrier voicemail with Google Voice voicemail:
If you don't want to use a new Google Voice number or port your number to Google Voice you can still use Google Voice's voicemail features, including transcription, personalized greetings and sending voicemail to your email with your existing mobile number. This is called Google Voice Lite and doesn't include most of the full Google Voice features like call screening, call blocking, 3-way calling, or forwarding calls to multiple phones. To use Google Voice Lite, your mobile operator must support conditional call forwarding. Many prepaid operators including Boost Mobile, Virgin Mobile and T-Mobile Prepaid do not support conditional call forwarding. Operators that do include GoPhone, Page Plus and Verizon Prepaid. See this Google Voice help page for instructions on setting up Google Voice Light.


136 comments:

Comment Page :
  1. +1 Dennis, great article.

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  2. +1 times 2 Dennis, bingo on the article.

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  3. been doing GV on iphone since forever beginning with a (now) ancient jailbroken iphone3 before whenever the official GV app was first introduced on iphone. (for those on android, you folks seem to have an enviable better more integrated situation.) nowadays, using GV on an iphone 5 (no jailbreak) with my favorite GV apps.

    best must-have GV apps on iphone:

    1. official GV app
    2. GV Connect
    3. GV Mobile + 3

    the official GV app is free. the GV Connect app and the GV Mobile app are paid apps that are worth buying. do not even bother with any other free GV apps on iphone. my experience is that these three apps are must have. sorry, but the Hangouts app on iphone is not for me and seems to be geared first towards Hangout video calls which as result makes Hangouts clumsy to use if want to make voice calls to phone numbers. (however, imho, Hangouts is better on a computer.)

    you need the official GV app if you want to direct call via the iphone using your cellular minutes where your GV number shows up on the caller id.

    the GV Connect app has the best user interface. and the GV Connect app has the best settings menu to control many GV settings without using a computer.

    the GV Mobile + 3 app is the best GV app to have if you want your GV to be totally VoIP via only data (no cellular voice minutes used) using its built-in Call via VoIP setting (or you can use a sip) without needing that terribly awful Hangouts app on iphone.

    if you want to use GV to forward calls to your cell number, then you want to use at least the offical GV app. if you want a great interface, then use the GV Connect app for sending texts and managing your call history and managing your GV settings, but use the official GV app as your dialer to call out using your cellular minutes and where your GV number shows up on the caller id. [Note: Google did something recently (more technical people could better explain this) where third-party apps can no longer dial out directly using cellular voice minutes showing the GV number on caller id. use the official GV app for dialing those calls.] This is my primary arrangement using GV Connect plus the official GV app as the dialer -- while using homescreen shortcut icons (made via the iconical app -- no jailbreak needed) to go to functions in those apps to make the app icons more consistent (using custom icon images) on the homescreen.

    if you want a totally data-only GV VoIP capability without using cellular voice minutes, then use GV Mobile and forget about Hangouts. GV Mobile is for you on iphone if you want total VoIP.

    a note on MMS: if you set GV to also forward copies of your texts to your cell number, you will get MMS picture messages in imessages without having to go into gmail to see any MMS pictures.

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  4. I have been using google voice on my android phone for 2 years.. i changed 2-3 prepaid #S however no one noticed so for.. its great for all prepaid users..

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  5. I'm one of the few smart consumers who's been using Google Voice for years. First it was my "home phone" (goodbye MagicJack, and no need for Ooma), now it's my primary phone on my cell that I use to dial out. People throw a hissy fit about why I refer to T-Mobile's $30/month plan with a whopping 5 GB of LTE data (100 MB allocated for tethering per month), unlimited text, and bonus 100 minutes for incidental calls, along with 10 cents per additional minutes for emergencies... as the SECRET PLAN. The biggest secret is that MOST people DON'T KNOW how to use it efficiently. The fact that T-Mobile doesn't widely publicize said plan as much as their unlimited minute plans is only 20% of what makes it the secret plan.

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    1. You must live in an area with excellent T-mobile coverage. Where I live (Iowa), I can't even play a game of Hearthstone on a T-mobile tablet without lagging out on my bus ride to work, let alone carry on a voip conversation.

      I wish I could use that plan.

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    2. would go for that so-called secret $30 plan if tmo had 4G LTE in my area. as to whether that is a secret, it's a "secret" because most people are ignorant of other carriers that are not the big two at&t & verizon. and most regular folks are ignorant of mvnos. so for most people, anything other that the big at&t & verizon is a big secret since people are simply ignorant of other options because people don't care to look elsewhere. so, not a secret, but it's just ignorance hiding options from people who don't bother to look. but then again, oh yeah, it may nonethess be a "secret" because tmo has no coverage for a lot of the USA. that would definitely make it into a big "secret".

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    3. I doubt you're one of the "few smart" consumers who's been using Google Voice. I make no claim myself, but I doubt you can top this:

      I pay $20 (all in, including fees, taxes, etc.) for unlimited sms + voice and very lite use of data on my best friend's Verizon postpaid familiy plan (my base monthly access fee is $15). I use less than 400 mb per month, so my buddy only asks that I contribute $20. Instead I have a T-Mobile hotspot with unlimited data (capped at 5 GB of high-speed internet) on my parents T-Mobile account. 5GB because I'm on the $10 matching data plan and since is post paid I can use this international roaming for FREE. I pay only $10 per month, all in. I also use Google Voice as my home phone and my regular mobile number as my private cell were only loved ones can reach me.

      In summary, I pay the same as you $30 TOTAL. But I'm on Verizon for voice, sms, and lite data nationwide. And I use my T-Mobile hotspot (with 5GB) for my mobile phone and iPad. DID I MENTION my hotspot had unlimited data when I hit my 5GB soft cap? In other words, your set-up doesn't look all that smart compared to my set-up - I pay the same for much more. I'm a pretty clever consumer, aren't I?

      You jelly?

      P.S. I got my hotspot for free during a T-Mobile promo. Good luck trying to get anything free with your secret plan bucko.

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    4. Alex, Jelly of me?
      http://troyfoxxin.foxzone.org/?page_id=1152

      I am a prepping RVers, Park i am going to includes free WiFi in the rent.
      Freedompop phone 500MB Free plan plus 500 more maxing out 50MB Per friend.So I get 1GB a month without paying a cent. So when home on WiFi all free phone using Google voice.

      Out and about I barely use the phone anyways so i dont even dent the 1GB. But its there if i need it. So having as much as 5GB when I am out could care less. But then I don't pay a dime past the cost of getting the phone, and activating it.

      Booyaa : 3

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    5. my phone is better/bigger/whatever than your phone.
      my carrier plan is cheaper/better/more-secret/has-more than yours.
      so, na na nanny nanny boo hoo!

      oh brother lol :-}

      Delete
  6. Plus (android version)

    * Call quality rivals cellular sound;
    * video is excellent as well
    * decent integration with phone
    * free - many free apps (grooveip - ring.to) are not as good
    * reply to sms by email
    * conferencing abilities

    Minus

    * Integration issues with old google voice
    * support (even paid version) is almost non-existent

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  7. Hi Dennis

    Just out of curiosity, what prepaid carrier are you using these days? And how is the call quality with Hangouts? I personally have noticed that the call quality diminishes greatly on my HTC One when using Hangouts via WiFi

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    1. My primary carrier is PTel. I use Hangouts for all messaging and WiFi only calling. Hangouts call quality and reliability are excellent with my T-Mobile LG G2 running the Mahdi KitKat AOSP ROM.

      My WiFi is driven by AT&T 6 Mbps down, 768 Kbps up DSL. My router is a Linksys W54GL running WRT-DD firnware

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    2. dennis, are you using short codes with your ptel? saw your article on ptel getting all non-premium (non-pay) short codes now. but want to know if anyone has real world extensive experience using short codes on ptel. if any problems there? like for paypal (or banks like bofa) two-factor authentication short codes, facebook & google two-factor also, and getting short code alerts from stores like cvs (ex: prescription-ready short-code texts), as well as security alert short-code texts, etc.
      tried ptel on my primary phone before but gave up on that when found out wouldn't receive my much needed short codes at the time. this was like a year or two ago.

      google voice handles a bunch of short codes but not all it seems from my past experience also. well, that's probably a good thing to have my real cell number handle the short codes from a security standpoint.

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    3. I don't use any services that require me to receive short codes. I tested a few free short codes for news and weather alerts sending to my PTel number and they worked. I've testing having them sent to my Google Voice number and they worked too.

      I don't think anyone can guarantee that all short codes will work on any operator. If there's an alternative to receiving a SMS for validation like email, a phone call or an app like Google Authenticator I will always use the alternative.

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    4. never did any of those news-type short code stuff. lol those are like spam to me! :-)

      also using an authenticator app, but some of my much need services only do texts. with email, for me, depends on my security comfort level or a need for the fast text convenience regarding a service that may also have the email option. imho, texts are better, faster, and more secure (because no one else has my phone). for my purposes, many of my own needed alerts or verifications are only set up to be done by text anyways.

      currently using at&t gophone and that has been rock solid reliable for me. but always tempted to cut costs. well, again will stick with what already works for me while envying the lower costs on other providers. (good gawd. starting to sound like my sister who will never ever leave her expensive postpaid carrier. lol)

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  8. Nice article, very informative !!

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  9. "Making calls without an app" - In addition to the two methods listed, there is another workaround that works well if you can get the other person to send you a text to your Google Voice number, one time. The text will be sent from a Google owned virtual number (not sure on correct terminology) but basically that virtual phone number corresponds to your friend. In your contacts, save your friend as a single contact, but with two phone numbers: the real one as "mobile" and the virtual one as "mobile2" for example.

    Now when you want to call or text your friend, just use the mobile2 phone number as you normally would call or text. Google Voice works in the background, and your friend sees your Google Voice number as caller id.

    In the incoming direction, texts from your friend will appear as coming from the mobile2 number (as mentioned above), and calls will appear as your friend's real number. But since both numbers are saved to a single contact, you can see your friend's name as caller id.

    This setup is not as easy as having an integrated app, but it's a nice workaround for folks without that option. On Windows Phone for example, call and text history is threaded nicely under the contact's name.

    The only catch is you need to remember to select the virtual number to call or text. If you call your friend's real number directly, then you are bypassing Google Voice, and your friend will see your non-GV number as caller id.

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    1. Seems too complicated. Won't pass the spouse test.

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    2. personally myself save those secondary numbers on each of my contacts.

      the other easier way to get those numbers as by calling out on the google app (at least on my iphone) and then afterwards look at your real phone app's call logs and find the number that was actually called when calling out (note: incoming calls will show no difference). you will find the number is different from the call logs in the GV app. save that number to your contacts. also it's just nicer to put it in your contacts so you know who you called out to via GV on your cell whether you check your call logs in the GV app or in the default phone app.

      then you can use the regular default phone app with its default settings to call that second number as if using the GV app. but for me, it is just simply easier to use the app.

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  10. I tried Google Voice a few times, and in fact I still have my number, but I found it too unreliable. I only tried it with immediate family, so I knew I was missing calls and messages. Sometimes they would try calling me and would receive a message something like "the number you are calling is no longer in service." Other times they would leave a message but I would never get the message. Gave up on it, but things may have improved. That was a few years ago.

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    1. I agree. I found Google Voice to be unreliable. . . .I tried Google Voice about 3 years ago. Initially, it worked fine. Then, between 6-9 months, the trouble began. Text messages from my friends were ending up on complete strangers' phones. Then, Google allowed an unknown person to access my account and send out text messages to this persons' friends. But, the texts were ending up on my friends' phones. It was a mess! ...At the same time, Google had no customer service which I could contact to complain, so enough! I pulled the plug and will never ever use Google Voice again.

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    2. geez, this is like reading the google voice discussion forums where you mostly have people complaining. a bunch of problems are the result of user error or user failure or user misunderstanding or user lack-of-skills or user ignorance. but then there are those other problems due to some systemic issue that may take forever for google to fix. google voice is great. but no support phone number to call except going into that discussion forum. reading that forum can get depressing. but fortunately, there are google people who do monitor the messages for the much more serious problems. yet some problems look like nightmares. personally myself would rather just write in and not call customer support. making calls to a provider's customer service 800 number can be just as bad if you are dealing with incompetent clerks answering the phone reading scripted responses. you may also just give up whenever you hit that wall of incompetence.

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    3. Everyone's experience is different but I've been using Google Voice for almost every phone call and text since 2009 and I haven't noticed any issues with missed calls, voicemails or texts or with call quality.

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  11. Thanks for making sense of the mess made by Google's confused, half-hearted decisions. I think that you, Dennis, know more about these Google products as a group than anyone at Google appears to.

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  12. Great article - thank you. I've been using Hangouts on a Freedompop iPhone 4s since Hangouts integrated with GV. Calls are clear and with less delay than RingPlus -- hard to believe since it's using Sprint 3G.

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    1. i am curious as to how you use hangouts on iphone. will an incoming call appear on your lockscreen on your iphone? do you use a passcode on your lockscreen or no passcode so you can get to hangouts faster to answer the call?

      have used hangouts on a computer via wifi and calls are excellent there.

      Delete
    2. ugh hate hangouts. it can jumble up some of your contacts where you have multiple listings if your contacts have different numbers. that can be a freaking mess. and it doesn't show the full contact info.

      sorry but cannot get used to the green color in the menus. that is just ugly. if hangouts had themes to change the color scheme, then it might be more appealing.

      gv mobile+ 3 looks much better than that ugly green hangouts if you want to do your calls over wifi. the way that gv mobile+ is laid is much more appealing as a google voice voip iphone app. but to me that green hangouts app will always be the ugly video calling addon to google plus.

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  13. Using Hangouts/GV also allows you to send/receive calls and SMS/MMS from all your devices that are network connected. Phone, PC, tablet - whatever is around, doesn't matter. Handy!

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  14. Hangouts messaging too invasive and hangouts dialer quality hit or miss for the typical traveling mobile user. Only way to get rid of it (at least for KK 4.4) is to install another messaging app such as SMS Messaging AOSP since the default messaging app is 'conveniently' removed when Hangouts is installed. Not cool google.

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    1. I've installed Hangouts on three Android phones and the original messaging app is still there and I can switch between it and Hangouts.

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  15. Hangouts app does not work on iPhone 4. Every time I try to make a call from Hangouts on iPhone 4, the app shows error message "Microphone access required, please go to Settings -> Privacy -> Microphone to give Hangouts permission to access your phone's microphone. But when I go to iPhone 4 microphone settings, there is no option to give microphone access to Hangouts. And when I go to iPhone 4 settings for the Hangouts app to try to give it microphone access there, the settings is empty, totally blank, absolutely no settings at all in iPhone 4 for the Hangouts app. Therefore, the Hangouts app will not allow calls on iPhone 4 because there is no microphone access to talk. Text messages work though; I can send & receive texts through Hangouts on iPhone 4, but no voice calls. According to iTunes App Store information on the Hangouts, the app is designed only for the iPhone 5, iPhone 6, and iPhone 6 Plus. Therefore, the app does not work on iPhone 4 (only texts; no voice calls). Can someone here who has an iPhone 4 please tell me if Hangouts worked for calls on their iPhone 4? Thank you.

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    1. I have an iphone 4s and use Hangouts dialer to make calls.

      Delete
  16. HOFO ID: Grateful4adviceApril 22, 2015 at 6:18 PM

    Great article Dennis. You mentioned conditional call forwarding towards the end of the article. Are you aware of any GSM prepaid / no contract service that offers regular call forwarding? I don't need the conditional feature, just reliable call forwarding for a phone number I can't port to Google Voice. Thank you

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    1. GoPhone, Cricket, PTEL, Consumer Cellular, any of the TracFone brands with AT&T SIMs and H2O on PayGo either claim or have been reported by users to support call forwarding. I have not used call forwarding on any of these so I can't comment on their reliability. Someone on HOFO is reported that forwarding is unreliable on Cricket.

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  17. HOFO ID : Grateful4adviceApril 23, 2015 at 9:48 AM

    Thank you Dennis. My experience with Cricket was equally unreliable. I hope other Tmobile MVNOs will join Ptel in offering call forwarding.

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  18. I am using the iphone with google voice. Can someone explain what the benefits are to using Click2call?

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    1. If you have free incoming calls but are charged for outgoing calls you can use Click2Call to make outgoing calls for free.

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  19. How is it free for incoming calls if you need to dial google voice to connect the call?

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    1. When you use the Click2Call feature of the iOS Google Voice app (or the Call button on the GV website), Google Voices calls your number and connects that call with the person you are calling. So as far as your service provider is concerned it's an incoming call to your phone.

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    2. From the app, it's like a hyperlink - a command goes over IP, the data connection telling GV to call your number.

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  20. I'm trying to make calls and txt using GV and Hangouts over wifi only - no cell plan.
    LG Nexus 4. Running KitKat.

    (I am currently successfully using my GV # on my VM LG Optimus + grandfathered $25 plan)

    Do I need another component to make this work?
    Great site, thx for any info ...

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  21. "To choose whether SMS and MMS should be sent from your carrier or Google Voice number go to Menu > Settings > SMS in the Hangouts app and tap Send SMS from."

    There is no "Send SMS from" on my HTC One M8 running Lollipop.

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    1. A couple things that can cause that:

      1) You haven't enabled texts in Hangouts. To check or fix, go to Hangouts Settings, tap your Gmail account, be sure "Messages - show voicemail and texts in Hangouts is selected.

      2) You haven't verified a forwarding phone in Google Voice. Go to voice.google.com with a desktop browser, click Settings > Phones and add a forwarding phone if you haven't already and click the Verify button.

      A lot of people seem to have trouble getting "Send SMS from" to show up. See "SEND SMS FROM" option NOT present in Hangouts SMS settings menu - Google Product Forums for more ideas, or to ask for help.

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  22. Could someone help me please my boyfriend is calling me from prison on my voice number and it's charging him a lot but when he calls his mom on her voice number it doesn't charge him that much why is it charging him a lot to call me and not her

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    1. If the area code is different then the phone there he is calling from. you might create a second google account for a second google voice to have on your device for google hangout as well alongside your main number (so youll have 2 phones in one). set it up the same way but get a number with the same area code and see if that works better. When you try to get a new number on this new account use the zip code of the prison when you search for the number. to try to narrow the number to the township as close as possible.

      if the area code is already the same and or this dont work, I wouldn't see why it would charge him more. might have to take that up with the prison themselves.

      Cheers.

      Delete
  23. I just wish I could use Skype on my Chromebook. I just make a lot of international calls, I don't need Hangouts at all. And now I cannot make calls without Hangouts.

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  24. Ok GV experts, can one of you explain why all my devices that have been added as forwarding devices notify me of a pending "voice mail" even if I have unchecked both Receive text messages on this phone and Notify me of new voicemails via text ?
    Interesting is that this seems to be a notification of either a text or voice mail, not just voicemail?
    Is there another feature/setting (on the phone itself?) I need to turn off or is this just some sort of glitch and that is just how it is?

    I also get all previous notifications when I turn on WiFi or sign into the GV app, even if they have been deleted from the website? I get the notifications then go to the app and they are not there, ghost reporting I guess?
    Still, with the forwarding features turned off for those devices I would not think I should get those notifications?
    TIA

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    1. Notifications are not text messages. To turn off notifications from Google Voice on Android (iOS should be similar but I don't have an iDevice handy to check):
      Open the Google Voice App on the phone.
      Press the Menu icon (three dots or bars) at top or bottom of the screen
      Tap settings, then tap Synch and notifications
      Uncheck Text notifications and Voicemail notifications
      Press the back button three times to return to the home screen

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  25. Ahh, so if you have the application installed on the phone you need to disable those as well as on the website.
    Thanks Dennis!

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  26. I do/did get a text message that I have a pending VM on GV and when I turn on WiFi or Data I also get the notification from GV.
    Thanks again Dennis!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. dennis im so computer illiterate & dont understand most of the computer language at all. i've been askin google to help me find a voice msg i sent to a contact bcuz i think i didnt opt out & when i was talking to my boyfriend i think all was recorded & wud be incrimenating 4 him & somehow google+ now thinks i was trying to sabotage you tube's social media/i wud'nt evn knw how to go about doing that/i promise 😞

      Delete
    2. ok and i have a 3G verison-i jvs need to review the google voice msg & i dont knw where to go to do that

      Delete
    3. I doubt that you will get any help from Google with finding a Hangouts or Google Voice message. The only support Google provides for those apps is through the Google Help forums.
      (99+) Hangouts Help Forum - Google Product Forums
      (99+) Google Voice Help Forum - Google Product Forums

      Your sent Hangouts messages will be in the Hangouts app under the name of the person you sent them to. Unless you deleted them in which case they are gone forever.

      If you are using Hangouts as your default messaging app, your sent Google Voice texts will also be in the Hangouts app under the name of the person you sent them to.

      If Hangouts is not your default messaging app sent Google Voice texts can be found in the Google Voice app by choosing Texts from the dropdown list in the top left corner.

      Delete
  27. I know that I can send texts using my GV number through Hangouts and it will be sent using data (WiFi or cellular data).

    I know that I can send texts using my carrier number through Hangouts using cellular text.

    Is there any way to send texts using my GV number through Hangouts using cellular text?

    I don't want any of my contacts to see my cellular number but I want to send text using my available text messages on my cellular plan and have my contacts see my GV number.

    I know that GV will do that for phone calls, but it doesn't look like there is a way to do it with texts. Or is there?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. AFAIK,it's not possible to send texts using a GV number through Hangouts using cellular text.

      Delete
    2. Thanks, that's what I figured.

      Delete
  28. is there any other way (except call my google voice no. and hit 2 and type in the no.) that i can dial out with my google voice no. without the need of data / wifi? i dont see click2call function in the android app.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There are:

      1. Google Voice assigns virtual numbers for every number you call and to everyone that texts your GV number. When you call one of these virtual numbers the call appears to be coming from your Google Voice number. If you setup GV to forward texts to your phone you can see these virtual numbers as the "from" number of the text. Add the virtual numbers to your contacts and use them to make calls from your GV number to your contacts.

      2. The Google Voice app on Android only uses data the first time you call a number. It looks up the virtual number that Google Voice uses to route the call the first time and stores it for future use. Calls made to stored numbers don't use data.

      3. Calling card apps like Prefixer or Flex Dialer Lite can automate the process of dialing your GV number, hitting 2 and then dialing the number. These apps hook into the native dialer and contacts apps so you just click the contact or dial normally to make a call using your GV number.

      Delete
  29. need info on porting from straight talk to google voice(i want to keep my straight talk account)
    not sure how the cell /data/messaging all interphase. i do have hangout/hangouts dialer installed on my phone/chromebook

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Porting your number from Straight Talk to Google Voice will close your Straight Talk account.

      Do it near the end of your plan month so you don't lose many days of service. I'd do it a week before the plan end date to be on the safe side although the actual porting process typically takes about 24 hours.

      You will need to create a new Straight Talk account to forward your Google Voice number to. How you do that depends on the kind of phone your have (Straight Talk branded vs, BYOP) (CDMA 3G vs CDMA LTE vs GSM )..

      Delete
    2. thank Dennis,I'm using a BYOD using straight talk att towers,still confused how voice works with straight talk call forwarding/when someone calls you by voice number how does it route thru straight talk?

      Delete
    3. Calls to your Google Voice number are forwarded to whatever phone(s) you specify.

      Before you start your port activate a new Straight Talk SIM with a new number so that you will have a phone number GoogelVoice can forward your calls to.

      This is all covered in detail in the post.

      Delete
  30. Dennis I am 81 yrs old with limited income and trying to maximize my communication as cheaply as possible (Guess I'm not alone) I just got a Safelink cell phone and get missed calls and little or no bars. Safelink has checked and checked and sent me new sim cards. My Question is since other phones work...should I buy another phone Too . The card they sent WAS A T MOBILE The phone is a basic Alcatel bar phone .Now they sent me a ATT sim but should I buy a new phone BEFORE activating it?? Please help

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Try the AT&T SIM first. It's likely to solve your problem. If it doesn't help then consider a new phone. A new TracFone will come with a SIM. If you do decide to buy a new phone see How to Tell Which Network (AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint or Verizon) a TracFone, NET10 or Straight Talk Phone Uses to find one that uses the network you want.

      Delete
  31. How do I use Google Voice (Hangouts) for voicemail and transcription only?

    I am currently a Cricket subscriber and have issues with their voicemail.

    Background:
    Cricket voicemail retention times are too short, their "visual voicemail" app sucks, and the title of "Visual Voicemail" is misleading. To me, visual voicemail is a speech-to-text transcription, which Cricket's app does not provide, even as a paid add-on. On top of that, unless you "save" (favorite) a voicemail, it will soon be deleted. Cricket's website says that saved voicemails are saved indefinitely which is entirely false. Calling customer service, I was told that "favorited" voicemails are only saved for 30 days (and that the webpage is incorrect and will be updated), which is also false because I have many saved voicemails older than 30 days. My voicemails have been deleted at completely random intervals which leads me to believe retention is tied to whether their server has space available. If that's true, an avalanche of voicemails service-wide could lead to virtually no retention. Cricket could save themselves server space and let subscribers retain their voicemails indefinitely if the app just downloaded the voicemails to the customers phone. I lost very important voicemails regarding litigation that I am currently involved in. [rant over]

    My issue:
    I have had a Google Voice number for quite a while and I am currently not really using it for anything other than giving out to people for whom I don't want to have my normal phone number.

    As of now, I am using my Google Voice number for my voicemail as if it were Google Voice Lite. Calls are forwarded to GV when unanswered or busy. It all works very well with just one tiny tiny little very annoying issue. When I receive a call, the phone rings five times and then stops. After about 10 seconds it starts ringing again as a GV call through the hangouts app - another five times. My callers tell me it is about 13 rings before they get my voicemail. If I were calling someone and had to wait 13 rings, they wouldn't be getting any voicemail from me because I would of hung up after about 7 rings.

    My question:
    How do I use my Google Voice number as if it were Google Voice Lite?

    The easy solution to me would be if I could set GV to answer an incoming call immediately (ie zero rings) but that isn't an option that I was able to find, even in the desktop GV options. I also do not want to give up my GV number and then get a Lite account as i have plans to use this number in the future for a business.

    I've searched quite a bit and haven't seen much discussion about about anyone else having this problem. I've seen talk about people receiving a call ringing through two apps simultaneously, but that is not my problem. Maybe it's an isolated problem to just me and my account? Does anyone else have or had this problem and does anyone know a fix to where after 5 rings a call is forwarded to GV VM and I receive no further notifications except that the caller left a voicemail along with the transcription (or no other notifications at all if they just hang up)?

    Thanks,
    gringo(the letter before the letter y)@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. From you description, by forwarding unanswered calls to Google Voice, you are using Google Voice as Google Voice Lite.

      To prevent double ringing either:

      If you want to use Hangouts for all calls uncheck the "Forwards calls to" box on the Settings > Phones page on the Google Voice website.

      If you want calls to be forwarded only to your phone number and not to ring Hangouts:

      On Android: open Hangouts, tap the menu icon in the top left, tap Settings, then tap the Google account associated with your Google Voice number and deselect the "Incoming phone calls" checkbox.

      On iOS: open Hangouts, tap your profile picture at the top of the screen, tap Settings, then tap your Phone number and tap the Incoming phones calls slider so that it turns red.

      Delete
  32. Is there any way at all I can find the number to my ex's cell phone if he called my google number from it blocked? He left a voicemail on my google number of that helps in any way. Please help. Our two year old son and I haven't been able to contact him in almost two months. I could really use some help financially with our son and his son misses his daddy. I really need to know why he just dropped off of the face of the earth and abandoned his son as well. Please help, we could really use his help and I really need some closure.
    Thank you

    - Tired, frazzled, single momma

    ReplyDelete
  33. You were the 5th hit on my "why doesn't my google voice ring in hangouts" Google search (but only my second click) and you answered my question. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  34. Nexus 4 running 5.1.1 via Cyanogen mod. T-Mo $30 100 min plan.

    I use Google Voice app for my only number, (voice and text app)
    I have Hangouts installed for VoIP calling.
    Is there any way to turn off Hangouts to prevent duplicate texts?(appearing in Google voice and Hangouts)

    Signing out of HO does nothing. The only workaround I have found is to turn off Hangouts notifications (in Android Settings) The texts still appear in HO of course, but the annoying notification is removed.
    I posted on the official Google Hangouts moderated forum, no one can tell me how to turn off Hangouts effectively.
    Thx for any insight!
    Happy Holidays

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't think there is any way to have Hangouts installed and not have it display Google Voice texts.

      However, if you enable SMS in Hangouts it will stop texts from appearing in Google Voice and also let you send and receive MMS using your Google Voice number.

      Delete
    2. Hey Dennis, I think you're correct.
      However I still get SMS to GV even whether HO is signed into SMS or not.

      I know HO has better functionality than GV, but I just prefer the GV GUI, plus I discourage MMS generally anyway...old habits I guess!

      I teach frugality, credit, finance etc and I regularly refer your excellent blog to students. So many are unaware of the value in today's prepaid market.

      Thanks!

      Delete
  35. I'm using Sprint integrated into voice.I still cannot send MMS using voice,I have to switch it to Sprint to send.hangouts gives me the option to do this.my question is Sprint /voice having the only problem sending MMS?
    can voice send MMS via hangouts?I had your settings in but Sprint kicks it back saying I'm trying to call someone out of country.
    Does Google even know that this is a Sprint/voice issue?

    ReplyDelete
  36. Google Voice and Hangouts has to be one of the best hidden gems in Google's services. I have been using this for mostly communicating with family and save my prepaid cellular minutes and texts for emergencies. I have literally saved $1000/year not having a contract or unlimited plan.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Are GoogleVoice and HangoutsWithDialer apps both needed on the mobile? It seems that Hangouts pretty much does it all: calls, receive calls, send and receive SMS, receive Voicemail recording and transcripts...? Is there any need for the GoogleVoice App on the mobile phone? I have a Google account and phone number, and I have set up the GoogleVoice on my computer already.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. On Android the Hangouts Dialer app adds the Calls tab and dialer to the Hangouts app. If you uninstall it you won't be able to make VoIP calls from Hangouts. I don't use iOS but I thing the iOS Hangouts app includes the dialer functionality without the need for a separate app.

      The Google Voice app is only needed if you want to make traditional cellular calls that show your Google Voice number on the called party's caller ID.

      Delete
  38. I wish I knew a way to send mms from the GV app. On my phone, being on ring plus this would be a nice thing to know to avoid the 4 cents per mms.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Hi great article
    I've been using Hangouts for both calls and texting for over two years but have grown tired of the poor VOIP quality/lag (Straight Talk data only plan). I'll be switching over to a Harbor Mobile plan with unlimited cellular call/text and 2.5G data. Question... is there a way to simply use a new generic phone number from Harbor while keeping my current GV number which is my primary number that all my contacts have? The key point, I wan to use the unlimited call/text from my new plan vs data. If my understanding is correct, i think i need to port out my GV number to the new plan?

    Thanks in advance.

    ReplyDelete
  40. You don't need to port your GV number. Just:
    -Set GV to forward calls to your Harbor number
    -Install the GV app and set it to make all calls and to show your GV number on outgoing caller ID.
    - Use the Hangouts app to send and receive SMS and MMS.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for the quick reply. I'll give it a go.

      Delete
    2. Hi Dennis
      After I reconfigured my new SIM with Harbor Mobile which has unlimited text/call and 2.5g data, both the Hangouts and Google Voice apps ring at the same time AND each records voicemails. How do I get Hangouts not to ring when someone calls me and how do I stop duplicate voicemails? Ideally, I would like to use Hangouts for SMS/MMS and voicemail, and use Google Voice app for receiving/making calls although I find it strange that the app doesn't have a dialer pad (am I not seeing it)?

      Below is my setup for using my GV number as primary number:
      1. Google Voice is set to forward calls from HM carrier generic phone number (configured in Google Voice website)
      2. Installed GV app and set up to make calls. Note, the HM carrier number defaulted to the "The phone's number", should this be my GV number?
      3. Set Hangouts to receive SMS and MMS. This uses my cellular plan unlimited text and NOT data, right?
      4. Deleted the Google Dialer app from phone.

      Any advance is greatly appreciated.

      Delete
    3. To stop Hangouts from ringing on incoming calls: open Hangouts, tap the menu icon in the top left, tap Settings, then tap your Google account and clear the checkbox next to "Incoming phone calls".

      Making Hangouts your default messaging app should cause all voicemails to appear only in the Hangouts app, not in the Google Voice app.

      To make all calls with your Google Voice number, in the Google Voice App's settings choose "Use Google Voice to make all calls". You use the phone's regular Contacts and Phone apps to place calls.

      To receive calls on your Google Voice numnber set Google Voice to forward calls to your Harbor Mobile number.

      Hangouts and the Google Voice app both use data to send and receive texts. The amount of data they use very small, too small to worry about.

      "This phone's number" in the Google Voice app should be your Harbor Mobile number.

      Delete
  41. Just to add to what Dennis said, you can't both use hangouts sms and google text forwarding, from what I can tell if you have your texts forwarded via google voice but then send a text in the actual Hangouts App it will stop forwarding and you have to go into google And re-enable forwarding, seems google really wants Hangouts to be a one stop shop. I actually think google voice is more useful, save for being able to make age take phone calls via Hangouts.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not certain I understand. So you mean the hangouts sms wont show my current GV number, if I enable GV to forward my calls to the generic Harbor number?

      Delete
    2. Hangouts SMS will show your Google number. What Zach is saying is that setting Google Voice to forward SMS to a mobile phone number it will disable Hangouts ability to send and receive texts. There's little reason to forward texts to a mobile number as long as you are using Hangouts or the Google Voice app as texts are be sent to either Hangouts or the GV app (depending on which you are using for SMS) automatically.

      Delete
  42. Last night I experimented a bit and sometimes when calling the GV number my phone that is supposed to get the calls doesn't start ringing until maybe the sixth ring, so I only get one ring (a short one) and then the incoming call goes right to voicemail. Other times the phone that is being forwarded to starts ringing almost immediately. Since I was making the call using a landline I could hear the phone was ringing, just not n the phone I was forwarding to. I am in a perfect reception area for cell calls, so that is not an issue.

    ReplyDelete
  43. Dennis, have you noticed this issue that the comment on Jan 21 2016 talks about? You say you use GV extensively so I wonder if it has been an issue for you. I love this info you have given about GV and am about to sign up for it, but the lag time in ringing is a concern that is causing me to have second thoughts.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I miss calls sometimes whether the call is forwarded by Google Voice or not. I haven't noticed any unusual delay or more missed calls with Google Voice.

      I don't really worry about missing calls. If the call is important and I don't pickup quickly enough the caller will leave voicemail and I'll call them back.

      Delete
    2. You're right, so I went ahead and signed up. But now I am freaking out because I signed up yesterday at about 5pm PDT, I requested to have my phone number (which I've had for 15 yrs) ported in to be my GV number, which GV's site says will be done within 24 hrs, but is has been 22 hrs and the port still hasn't gone through! My old carrier (Sprint Prepaid) billing date is today, so I need the port to go through before my SprintP service cancels tonight or I will lose the number, unless I pay for another month which is stupid since I don't want SprintP anymore. I just want my main phone num to be my GV num, and have it forward to my RingPlus phone. Do you know a way to contact GV to find out if the port will go through on time, or why it's being delayed? Please help!

      Delete
    3. Call Sprint Prepaid and ask them to release your number to GV immediately. Please.

      Delete
  44. I called them, and the agent told me that they don't have any hold on my number, and that ports just sometimes take longer, even up to 72 hrs. But then he told me that even if my SprintPP service cancels tonight for non-payment, and the port takes several more days to go through, the port will still go through since that phone number is not erased from SprintPP's system for another 90 days (just in case I decide I want to re-start my service with SprintPP in a month or two). I knew that they held on to the number for 90 days, but I thought that I was told in the past that in order to port a number, your service with the old carrier HAS to be active; you cannot cancel your old service before the port is complete. Dennis, do you or anyone else know if this info the agent gave me is accurate? I hope he's right, but I'm worried he's not.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think what the Sprint rep told you is corrected. I ported a Boost number to Ring.to last year and my Boost month ran out before the port was finished but the port still when through.

      Delete
  45. Dennis, is there any way for me to send texts with my GV phone number without using data, and instead using my mobile carrier's text allotment? I do not like to have data active on my phone until I am ready to use it because it drains the battery, so I usually keep data disabled and just keep the cellular connection on. I can always turn the data on when I am ready to send a text, but if the data is off when someone texts me, I assume I won't receive the text until I turn data on myself at some point?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, setup GV (you have to use the Web client to do this) to forward texts to your mobile number.

      The forwarded texts will come from a unique number, mine are all from the 406 (Montana) area code, that's different than the sender's actual number. The sender's actual number will be shown in the body of the text.

      If you reply to one if the forwarded texts it will appear to the recipient as coming from your Google Voice nunber.

      Save the numbers that the forwarded texts come from to the sender's contact entry. You can then call or text that contact using the saved number and the call or text will appear to the contact as coming from your Google Voice number.

      Delete
  46. Dennis, I have a Windows phone (Nokia 635), and as you say in the article, the GV app is not available for it. But you say I can make a call using my GV num by calling my GV num and then pressing 2, but when I call my GV num, it goes straight to voicemail (which I guess is expected since I'm calling my own num), and so entering 2 is just considered the first digit of my 4 digit PIN to access my voicemail, and therefore nothing happens. What am I doing wrong?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you have GV set up to require a PIN when calling voice mail from your own phone you have to first enter your PIN then wait until you hear "You have no new voicemails. To make a call press 2". Then press 2, the number you want to call and #

      Delete
  47. I am a long time GV user but have zero experience with Hangouts. I am considering a data only plan with T-Mobile and using Hangouts + GV for all voice calls but I have read some troubling reviews from 2014 / 2015 about voice quality.

    Has Hangouts improved enough to be your primary means of voice communication? Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  48. So many variables. Is it really worth your sanity?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I use it to suppliment a small 350 min plan for outgoing calls. It works fine enough to think Primary.

      Delete
    2. Hi zach. It's worth it for me. I have no clue if it's worth it for you. That's something each person has to decide for themself.

      Delete
  49. Im just an old guy trying to max my ss. Im using hangouts dialer app on available wifi a lgms345 phone t-mobile without activation.It works great for out calls. I was thinking gv# for in calls and using my free 350 min gov phone number but will i loose my free phone that i dont need wifi??

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As long as you don't try to port your Lifeline number to Google Voice, getting a Google Voice number will have no effect on your eligibility for a Lifeline phone.

      If you get a Google Voice number Hangouts will use that number for both incoming and outgoing calls. You can also forward incoming calls to your Lifeline phone. Unless you Lifeline phone is an Android phone or iPhone making outgoing calls using your Google Voice number is cumbersome. See "Making calls without an app" in the post above for the gory details.

      Delete
  50. Just a note of sincere Thanks to Dennis for the help this site and its contributors have been for me. I get lost sometimes along the way but i understand enough to be helped. Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  51. I echo James comment, this blog is a lifesaver for me . My thanks as well.

    ReplyDelete
  52. I've been using Google Voice for a few years now and I find it does a great job. I find the call quality is superior to my cell phone calls. I especially enjoy its call screening feature. Recently I sold my car on craigslist. Going craigslist to sell a vehicle includes calls from the usual weird people who call at strange times. All calls from the ad went directly to my voice mail and message print out on my gmail. This helped a lot in helping me separate the wackos and tire kickers from serious potential buyers.
    Most of my calls are from home via GV. I use my computer almost exclusively to send and reply to my GV text messages. Prefer a regular keyboard rather than trying to type sms with my big fingers on my Android smartphone.
    I supplement GV with T-Mobile Pay As You Go (prepaid) minutes for emergencies, and "Where are you?" and "I'm gonna be a little late" calls. I buy 400 minutes (T-Mobile tacks on 60 bonus minutes because I am a "Golden Something Or Another" which entitles me to use the minutes for 365 days) at a time at $50 a shot via Calling Mart. Here, again, because I use GV much of the time for free calls and text I manage to get 8 to 9 months out of my prepaid T-Mobile minutes.
    So my cell and GV free (wi fi) communications sets me back under $7 a month. My prepaid minutes are never used as GV routes them to another free voip service.

    ReplyDelete
  53. Thanks for the post Dennis. Between your help in the comment section and the main article, this is the most informative page on the net that I have found.

    I want to confirm something, as I've read that the GV app seems to be being phased out in leu of Hangouts.

    Background:
    - My phone is an Android.
    - I've been using Google Voice for about 7 months while out of the country, without a cell plan, and just making calls and texts when I have WiFi. Using the Hangouts App.
    - I now have Cricket Cell service.
    - Desire is to only use my Google Voice # with everyone.

    When I dial out, I want to have people see my GV number whether I am using cell service or Wifi, I have it set in the Google Voice app to Make All Calls. When I go to make a call, it sends me over to the Hangouts Dialer App.

    So, here is my question ->According to what I am understanding from above, when away from WiFi, GV will use a wee bit of data when creating the connection, but really it is using cell service. Is that a correct understanding?

    Many Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  54. Please help! I'm going to Montreal w/ my Virgin Mobile phone (LG Volt) & am wondering if my dad can call me from the US w/ Google Hangouts. If so, do we both need to download the app? Thank you!!

    ReplyDelete
  55. Have used GV for several yearsMy problem is I cannot figure out how to set up the VM feature that sends me a text of the missed call...help.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't have that feature as I use Hangouts to receive Google Voice voicemail and texts. But the way it's supposed to work is:
      1) The phone you want to receive text notifications on must be labeled as a mobile phone rather than a work or home one in Google Voice settings (on the desktop Google Voice site).
      2) You must not be using Hangouts for Google Voice text messaging.
      3) If you meet both requirements, there should be a check box to enable text notifications on the "Voicemail & Text" tab of the Settings Page of the Google Voice desktop website.

      If you can't get text notifications to wok, Google Voice can also send voice mail transcripts and recordings to any email address. VM notifications also appear in the GV or Hangouts apps if you use them.

      Delete
  56. I just started using Google Voice and have everything setup with Hangouts. Do I still need the Google Voice app in order to make outgoing calls when I have the Hangouts Dialer installed?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Calls made using the Hangouts Dialer are VoIP calls made using WiFi or cellular data.

      The Google Voice app takes calls made over the cellular voice network using the phone's native dialer and spoofs caller ID to make them appear to be from your Google Voice number.

      Except for data only devices, I always install both apps and make most calls with Hangouts but use the phone dialer (integrated with the Google Voice app) to make calls when the data connection is too poor to make satisfactory VoIP calls.

      Delete
    2. It depends, your hangouts dialer uses data/wifi, the Google voice app is needed if you want to use your stock dialer to show your Google voice number.Google voice from your dialer uses your cell minutes, hangouts uses your data/wifi.

      Delete
  57. To add to that, you cannot use Google voice text forwarding and hangouts texting simultaneously.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I understand, but I could always use Hangouts Dialer to show my Google Voice number, right? It shows my number above the dialer.

      Delete
    2. Yes the hangouts dialer will use your Google voice number for calls, but you can also use your carrier number fire outgoing hangouts calls, check under settings.

      Delete
  58. Are you the same Zach that use to post on kitty wireless forums?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No I don't think I've ever posted on anything but prepadphonenews.com

      Delete
    2. Oh ok. No problem. Just wondered because of the name and style of writing.

      Delete
  59. Is it true with Google Voice you can't call 911? Just in case of emergency I would stop using it and go with my carrier number instead.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can't place a 911 call using Google Voice directly.

      If you dial 911 on an Android phone the call will be placed using your cellular number, even if you have Google Voice set to make all calls using your Google Voice number.

      Delete
    2. Thanks Dennis that's what I was looking for.

      Delete
  60. Not sure what you mean, Google voice uses your regular minutes. Depending on how you have your outgoing calls set on Google voice , though if you dialed 911 I think the phone world override any setting and just use your carrier number.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I meant dialing 911 through Google Voice. I read GV won't go through dialing 911. I have not tried it and was just wondering.

      Delete
    2. What platform are you talking about?

      The Android Google Voice app doesn't have a dialer, you use the phone's regular dialer to make calls using your Google Voice number. I already told you that when you dial 911 in the phone dialer it will always use your cellular number to make the call.

      The iOS Google Voice app does have a dialer. I've never used it but I suspect that if you try to use it to dial 911 it will tell you to use the Apple dialer.

      Delete
    3. Hangouts Daler lets you dial with Google Voice. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.apps.hangoutsdialer&hl=en

      Delete
  61. When you say Google voice do you mean your stock dialer asking you if you want to use Google voice to place the call, if so I'd suspect dialing 911 on your dialer would automatically ignore any Google voice settings and place the 911 call via your carrier sim.

    ReplyDelete
  62. What Dennis said, Google voice doesn't have a dialer, hangouts does.

    ReplyDelete
  63. When provisioning an Obihai (ATA) device w/GV credentials 911 does not work.

    ReplyDelete
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