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Google Voice Lite Has Been Discontinued

Google Voice Visual Voicemail
One of the side effects of Google's recent updates to the Google Voice apps and websites seems to be the demise of Google Voice Lite, a free service that replaced your carrier voicemail with Google Voice voicemail. Google Voice Lite, which launched in 2009, provided visual voicemail, let you set up personalized voicemail greetings for individual numbers and could send voicemail transcripts and recordings to your email.

Google didn't mention the end of Google Voice Lite in its blog post announcing the new apps and website. The only official mention of Lite's discontinuation seems to be this Google Voice help page. That page used to contain instructions for setting up Google Voice Lite, but now sit just tells you that Google Voice Lite is no longer available for new accounts and provides instructions on how to upgrade a Google Voice Lite account to a full Google Voice account.

The good news is that existing Google Voice Lite accounts are grandfathered so if you are already using it you can keep on doing so.  For new users looking for something similar to Google Voice Lite the best known alternate visual voicemail service is YouMail which provides free and paid visual voicemail options. The basic free YouMail service includes visual voicemail  and call blocking. The basic service's inbox can only hold 100 voicemails. The $5 per month plan increases the inbox size to 500 and adds voicemail transcription and forwarding voicemail to email. Other visual voicemail services with a free tier include HulloMail and Fusion Voicemail Plus.

Like Google Voice Lite, YouMail, HulloMail and Fusion Voicemail Plus only work with carriers that support conditional call forwarding. Not all prepaid operators do. Carriers reported to support conditional call forwarding include AT&T GoPhone,  Cricket, Verizon Prepaid, PureTalk USA, Selectel, H2O (PayGo only),  Airvoice (PayGo only), Ting, Ultra Mobile, Tello, and TracFone brands on the AT&T and Verizon networks. Carriers that do not support conditional call forwarding include Boost Mobile, Virgin Mobile, T-Mobile Prepaid, MetroPCS, U.S. Cellular Prepaid, Lycamobile, Red Pocket, Republic, TPO, RingPlus and TracFone brands on the T-Mobile and Sprint networks.

Source: Google


15 comments:

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  1. Why not create a standard google voice account. Then set up CCF on the carrier to forward to your gv number. Functionally it would be the same as google voice lite except not all the features of gv will be used.

    Thoughts?

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    1. That might work. A Google Voice Lite account was basically just a regular Google Voice account with the Google Voice number as the number that unanswered calls are forwarded to.

      I have a suspicion that Google may have just removed the documentation and app wizards that simplified setting up forwarding without removing newly created Google Voice accounts' ability to accept forwarded calls.

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  2. I have had regular Google voice for a year or so and still haven't figured out how to stop my carrier VM from intercepting google voicemail. Frustrated I stopped the forwarding and let hangouts handle voicemail.

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  3. I'd rather port my # to GV and have it forward to whatever phone # I like. Gives me a lot more flexibility to take advantage of specials MVNOs have, gives me WiFi calling w/o worrying whether the MVNO supports it, never have to worry about # being stuck in porting hell, etc., etc. For one time fee of $20, it's SO worth it!

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    1. What's Google voice have to do with wifi calling?

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    2. He is pointing out you can use google hangouts to make wifi calls with your google voice number on any android phone. (In contrast to this, Sprint and Tmobile wifi calling only works on certain handsets with the carrier ROMS for example. Unlocked phones like Moto G4 may not have support for carrier wifi calling.)

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  4. But regular google voice is still in effect?
    And it still gives unlimited voice mail?
    And the voice mail recordings are still available via the app, or is this the visual voicemail?

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    1. Yes, regular Google Voice mail still works and provides unlimited voicemail with voicemail recordings available in the Google Voice app.

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  5. Page Plus also includes conditional call forwarding.

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  6. Does MVNO Boom (on Verizon network) support CCF??

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  7. Doesn't a full Google Voice account do everything Google Voice Lite did? Or is there something missing?

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    1. A full Google Voice account does much more than a Google Voice Lite account. Google Voice Lite was using Google Voice voicemail on a non-Google Voice number as a replacement for carrier voicemail, that's what's missing.

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  8. Has anyone tried getting a Google Voice number lately? It doesn't seem to be working anymore!

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