Instant Answers/Community Forums/Google Voice

Reducing my bill via free texting and calls over WiFi

Rick Webb
posted this on February 04, 2012 15:26

I am moving over from Sprint because I believe I can greatly reduce my monthly phone bill with your pricing structure.  Here is what I am presently using to get totally free service over WiFi.

Handset: LG Optimus S 

I have rooted the Optimus via this thread on Android Forums. It is MUCH easier now. Rooting is not required, just recommended.
http://forums.androidcentral.com/lg-optimus-s-rooting-roms-hacks/79208-how-rooting-ls670zvd-gingerbreak-no-reverting-ota-works-too.html 

Necessary apps:

Google Voice (free)
::It will require a free account at http://www.voice.google.com. This is the app I use to send all my texts. I've been using it for over a year, and it's stable if not a tad slow.

GrooveIP (3.99)
:: This enables phone calls over WiFi or 3G/4G. I have it set to call over WiFi only. All the other settings worked out of the box for the Optimus. I used this on a Evo 4G with Sprint and it required some tweaking. 

With that, I haven't used a single text or minute from my plan with the exception of a few tests.  Of course, this won't work when you're in the middle of nowhere, but WiFi is so common that I won't have a problem keeping my bill far below what I used to pay.

I am using this on the Optimus until I sell my previous phones.  I'll upgrade to something faster eventually.  Maybe. (The battery life is amazing)

A few recommended apps:

SetCPU (1.99, requires root)
::I use this to keep things running smoothly as GrooveIP and and Google Voice are running in the background.

 DroidSail (free, requires root)
::The Optimus is a good phone, but with only 512mb of internal storage it's a huge relief to have an app which can move ANY other app onto the sd card. This includes system apps and pre-installed apps. 

Quick Settings (free)
::Easy way to turn mobile data on/off and manage WiFi networks on the go.

Eventually I'll try out Locale which will manage my phone settings based upon location.

---------------------------------

 

All in all, Ting will cost me $25 per month at my regular usage without any other phones on the account.  The best plan I could get elsewhere would run about $50 per month. By using my WiFi I plan to reduce that to $15 per month. Either way, win/win.

 

http://CullenJWebb.com

 

Comments

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Shawn Thompson

I am actually using this exact method myself already, One thing I did set was for GrooveIP to only activate on wifi, since minutes are cheaper than megs when I'm mobile.

February 04, 2012 16:39
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Rick Webb

How low have you gotten your bill so far? Any tips?

February 04, 2012 17:22
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Shawn Thompson

Still waiting for the first month to finish out actually but it looks like it should be about M on Minutes and Megabytes for this month, might be able to keep the megabytes down to S if I work a little harder at it. All in all, even with two devices it'll still be less than I paid for ONE on Cricket (which was the cheapest in town before Ting came along).

February 06, 2012 10:53
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Carl Aron

This setup works great for me. My clients only know my Google Voice number. The actual mobile number is for friends only. When I am in my home office, on WiFi, all GV calls go to GrooveIP. When I go out, a Tasker profile recognizes I've left my home WiFi, uses a plugin to change my GV forwarding to ring my mobile number instead.

My GV setup will only ring my mobile during business hours... so at night, even when I'm out of the WiFi, clients go straight to GV voicemail.

An important setting to remember is under WiFi Settings, click Menu, then Advanced Settings... Choose for WiFi to NEVER sleep. Otherwise, you put the phone in your pocket, WiFi sleeps, and now you're eating costly mobile data MB checking email, and Facebook, and Google Voice... and that continues untll you notice that you're not on WiFi and turn it back on.

Some people say that WiFi uses battery more, but I do not find that to be the case. For me mobile data uses the battery much faster. I think that perhaps it is my situation of mostly being in my home and home office most of every day... If I were out and about, passing different public WiFi spots every other minute, I guess that would use power with WiFi constantly searching for new hotspots to latch on to.

February 07, 2012 11:44
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Dave Stahr

Like the previous posters, I'm also using Groove IP.  We have four LG Optimus S phones on our plan, and all four have Groove IP with four different Google voice numbers.  We each organize how we use those GV numbers to our own preferences, and it's a very nice solution.  In addition, I have SipDroid on each phone and they're all connected to a local Asterisk server running Nerdvittles PBX in a Flash.  So, basically, my little Android phone is truly a 3-in-1 phone.  I absolutely love the setup.  Thanks Ting!  (with minor props to Google and Asterisk....:)

February 07, 2012 14:43
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Duncan Cunningham

Thank you for this post.

I installed GrooveIP on my Wife's phone and used her Google Voice number with it.. great for calls over the wifi and not using minutes when home, though she's not into all that fun stuff to dow th saving money so I've not pushed her to use the Google voice number when dialing out at home on wifi.  A bit like the "Republic Wireless" idea currently in beta.  I installed Locale on her phone too so when she's home it's on wifi for data and when she's out at friends it gets on those networks too.  Data is at about 10Mb for this half of the month.  I'll work on her about the call minutes if she starts pushing it up and up in the talk plans, I'm just trying to keep the data side under control for now.

 

I managed to get a used LG Optimus S phone and I installed GrooveIP and used my Google Voice account on it.  Switched off the cell service (airplane mode but with wifi on seems to be the ticket) and have it wifi only.. had to monkey with the power settings to keep it going.  Even though I've set this up, sometimes when I get to it the wifi has gone asleep and the GrooveIP is logged out.. so incoming calls might not ring the phone though.  We now have this for the kids to use when the wife and I are away from the house.  It's a home wifi phone.. for free (except the GrooveIP).  I've only had one call were the other person commented on the echo, but I think that might be the GV part, not the wifi.

February 20, 2012 17:23
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Gary Dlouhy

Seems to work well.  My only issue is with incoming calls on the LG OPTIMUS I cant hear the phone ring.  Screen pops up and if I see it I can answer.  Is there any way to change the volume.  Other calls coming in have normal volume.

March 01, 2012 12:25
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Scott Telle
Ting Army

Duncan, by default Android has the wifi turn off when the screen turns off. Have you switched that setting? See http://www.androidcentral.com/android-101-save-battery-keeping-wifi-alive to see how.

March 16, 2012 11:06
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Duncan Cunningham

Hi Scott,

Yes, I've been through all the settings and they are set to never switch off or sleep.  The phone has behaved itself for the past few weeks now.  I think having the 'Locale' program on does help a little though with keeping the wifi alive.  When-ever my wife misses a call and forwards to 'google voice' number it rings as it should.

March 16, 2012 11:12
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Irwan Djajadi

Sprint is re-rolling out Gingerbread update. I've rooted my device. 2 questions:

* Can we update it using the regular Sprint channel although we're on Ting?

* Assuming we can, what's the procedure for rooted devices ? do we unroot first? would it just work after unroot?

April 03, 2012 08:21
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Isaac Roorda

Irwan, I got the OTA update the same as if I was on Sprint - it came through on my phone last Thursday. If you are on a stock (or stock-based) ROM, you should get prompted to update. You do not need to unroot; however, you do need to have the stock recovery on your phone. The update will fail if you try to install it with a custom recovery.

Since you are already rooted on FroYo, there is a semi-automated procedure to update to rooted Gingerbread (and the new 'ZVJ' baseband); I tested it on my phone and it seemed to work fine. This thread has the details: http://forums.androidcentral.com/lg-optimus-s-rooting-roms-hacks/166372-beta-zvj-rooting-automation-please-help-test.html

April 09, 2012 15:29
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Kyle Martinez

I've been using a similar method with Sipdroid and Google Voice but i also use Tasker to control every aspect of how data is used to really keep my data down while maintaining all of its functionality. I set it up on both my wife's phone and my phone and with how much time we spend in areas with wifi we have already been able to keep everything in the S range and are now awaiting our lowest phone bill ever! (including when my wife worked for Tmobile and we had the employee plan and were only paying $35 a month) We love Ting and how open it is to the idea of using the phones we buy as OUR phone. Ting is AMAZING! 

April 09, 2012 16:58
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Jim Gregory

I'm having a problem with latency using GrooveIP and Google Voice over a 7Mb/s DSL wifi connection.  There's enough of a delay between the time I say something and the other person hears it (and vice-versa) that it makes conversations sometimes awkward.  Anyone else had this problem, and how do you solve it?

April 11, 2012 11:21
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Carl Aron

Jim -- What is the upload speed of the DSL connection? I've never seen a DSL connection that really compared to cable or FiOS in both directions. If the upload speed is significantly slower than the download speed, the DSL connection may not be suitable for VOIP. There is an app called SpeedTest, which will let you find out both speeds, as well as general latency and ping times. Also, GrooveIP has a Facebook page where they  do answer some questions, and take suggestions for features and bug fixes. They may have some advice for the more advanced settings in Groove IP that are designed to compensate for less dependable connections.

April 11, 2012 11:26
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Dave Stahr

I've been using GrooveIP on my Optimus S for about six months.  In that time, they've done several updates, and I have to say I'm disappointed because it seems like a product that used to work great now works very poorly.  I, too, have experienced the delays you mentioned.  It's purely a service issue with Google servers -- so we could all complain about free service not working properly if we wanted to.  I've had instances where I've had the delay, hung up, called right back, and had no problems at all.  I think it just depends on which server farm places your call.  I've gotten to where I don't use GrooveIP much any more at all.  I upped my Ting minutes to 6000/month and enjoy good, solid cellular calls....and I'm on the edge of Sprint's service area.  (0-1 bars max)

April 11, 2012 11:28
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Wayne Scott

Typically call latency issues have to do with buffering in the DSL modem and other traffic.   Even the minimal DSL is more than enough bandwidth for VOIP, but you have to manage the latency.

Check your connection here: http://netalyzr.icsi.berkeley.edu/

Pay attention to the network buffer sizes.  If those are more than 250ms then you will have problems.  The only way I know to solve this is using a network router that uses active traffic shaping to limit the traffic to just less than your actually network connection so packets won't get backed up in the router.  I use a custom box running pfsense, but I believe the QOS settings on better routers should help.

April 11, 2012 15:27
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Jim Gregory

Wayne,

I received a network buffer size of 5900 using the netalyzr test you suggested.  Our Actiontec Q1000 router does allow setting custom QOS, but I'm confused what options to set.  I can change the DSCP Classification, Queue Priority,and  the IP tag.  The latter has options "all" or "defined", the latter requires setting incoming and outgoing IP addresses, net masks, and ports.   Was unable to find any assistance on this using Google. :(

April 14, 2012 08:05
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Wayne Scott

Jim,

A size of 5900ms?! You realize that says your modem can buffer packets for up to 6 seconds?  With those settings my expectation is that your phone call over wifi would be completely disrupted if someone did a large upload at the same time.

I googled for a bit on the Q1000 and it seems to have options for setting traffic priority and classes, but that isn't really want to want.  You are looking for a setting were you tell it your maximum upload/download bandwidth.  Then you want the modem to throttle traffic to keep it below that rate so that the buffers stay empty.  

Here was a recent podcast on "bufferbloat": 

http://www.grc.com/securitynow.htm

Notice in the transcripts that Leo has the same modem and got the same huge delay:

http://www.grc.com/sn/sn-346.txt

You might see what they did about it.

In my setup I just ignored the ISP modem/router and put that in "bridge-mode" and added my own router that I could control.  The difference in internet responsiveness when lots of people in the house are using the internet and streaming netflix is amazing.

April 14, 2012 08:28
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Irwan Djajadi

Isaac, thank you so much for your post. I followed the instructions and now I'm a happy rooted-gingerbread user.

I found another thread related to lg optimus upgrade here: https://help.ting.com/entries/21253676-will-the-optimus-be-getting-...

April 17, 2012 10:38
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Asya Kamsky

I just started using Groove IP and I'm having trouble figuring out how to have my caller ID show up as my phone number, rather than my Google Voice number.   Any suggestions?

 

I don't have "Hide my caller ID" checked on ting.com settings page for this phone...

April 18, 2012 10:58
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Asya Kamsky

Okay I think I found the answer to my own question...

 

On Google Voice settings, it says:

Caller ID (outgoing) Help_dark

When I text 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 text messages; calls will be included soon.           

April 18, 2012 11:39
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William Bales
I'm thinking about switching to Ting but for now just buying the mobile hotspot and using Google Voice and Groove IP on my G2x. Would anyone Think that was a horrible situation with depending on Google voice? I live is a 3G area of sprint..... Kind of..... 49010
April 19, 2012 05:43
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Zarthan South
Ting Army

Does anyone know if you took advantage of the GV / Sprint integration and your original Sprint number was ported to GV would it stay that way when moving your Sprint number to Ting?

May 30, 2012 11:39
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graham lane

you will loose integration. Sprint blocks this somehow or Google doesn't recognize the phone as integration ready.

May 31, 2012 07:38
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Brian Yun

I just got my Ting phone and have been a Google Voice user for years.  I just thought I'd share something that we've been using in our house for a few months now that significantly reduces the cell minutes we use.  I don't know if anyone else uses one, but there is a phone adapter that you connect to your router made by Obihai that ties right to your GV account.  As long as you have GV set to call Google chat you can make and receive calls through GV.  You don't need to have a computer running to use it.  I used to use GrooveIp but this is so much easier and the sound, at least in my house, is way better than I ever got with GrooveIp.  There are a couple of models. We use the OBI202 model which lets you connect up to 4 GV accounts (we have 3 in our house) and up to 2 separate cordless phones.  Using the cordless phone has let me stay under 100 min/month easily.  I used to use the Tmobile $30 100min/UL data plan.  Hope this help other people save some money too.

August 05, 2012 18:48
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Sam Alexander

This thread is great!  I actually use Talkatone on my Nexus 7 tablet while at home, but it's clunky so I'll definitely download GooveIP this evening and test it out on my LG Optimus S which I just got yesterday and activated this morning.  I'm still kinda test driving the phone though with Ting, given it was only $50 i figured it'd be worth testing it for a few days to a week before dropping my Verizon account and porting over my phone, so I'm waiting until I do that before setting-up Google Voice.

This would work great at home, but I'm not sure it'll work elsewhere since I don't have broadband access at work or anyplace else.  But even if I can cut 300-500 minutes off my plan each month that'll save about $10 if I can keep my minutes under 500.  

September 26, 2012 14:42
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Kevin Arnold
Ting Army

Yeah, I use Google Voice to keep my minutes way down as well. At work I just have it forwarded to my direct number (during working hours) so I don't even need to deal with SIP calls at all. At home, I just use GrooveIP or I use the Google Talk client if I am on my laptop of computer.

September 26, 2012 15:11
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Chris A

Just got the LG Marquee over the weekend and setup Google Voice and I chose Spare Phone over Groove IP.  The native dialer integration is great as I can set it to automatically use Spare Phone to call when Wifi is available.  My wife will never know if she is using minutes or VOIP when calling out.  I initially use Groove IP Lite to test the call quality but I was not happy with the delay. From my experience Spare Phone call quality is a lot better.  Now since I only have GV available on WIFI, I'm trying to find a way to setup the calls from my cell to be intercepted by GV. I'm not sure if this is possible with the full version of Groove IP hopefully someone can respond to this.  

If I forward the GV number to my Ting Number, the phone only rings right before the google voice mail kicks in and it does not give me enough time to pick-up the phone.  This may be a bug, incompatibility with my phone or improper setup on my end.  

October 23, 2012 17:45
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Amir Djohan

@Kevin, when you use the Google voice number on both phone and Computer, can they both ring? I have been using the GV number to reduce my minutes and use them to answer call when there is wifi/3G - by turn off the cell radio (Airplane mode). recently I notice that I missed several call, because when I login to the Google talk on my computer, when someone call my GV number it will ring my computer but not my cell phone. Some article mention that Google talk can only active in 1 device at a time. similarly i ask couple friends that using Obihai, the call to GV number  won't ring on both Obihai and computer or cell phone (on wifi mode).

Do you have any tips/ work around this? 

October 31, 2012 17:41
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Francis Buchwalder

I hate to sound like a complete ignoramus, but why has nobody mentioned Pinger if the object is to get free texting? All this internal stuff is interesting, but what is the advantage to doing it this way instead of going the Pinger route?

November 02, 2012 00:54
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Trevor Talbot

Pinger appears to require a separate number and cannot integrate with your existing phone service, at all. The approaches discussed in this thread are ways of offloading your text and voice traffic to wifi when you're near an access point, and using standard cell service otherwise, with a single phone number.

Do you have any details about how Pinger provides its service or what it's like to use? The site appears to be a marketing portal with little of substance on it.

November 02, 2012 07:13
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Francis Buchwalder

Well, Talbot, yes - that's a helluva difference! Thanks for saving me from that illusion.

November 02, 2012 07:44
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Morgan Glines
Ting Army

I used GrooveIP from my old carrier phone, now used as a wifi-only device with some success.   I've had better luck with an OBI110 bought from Amazon which also uses Google Talk - I experience a lot less lag and it works with regular phones plugged into it (good for free home phone service as long as the Internet connection's working).  {Not offloading to wifi per-se, but certainly offloading to the Internet, and my tel# is the same when someone calls me back.}

November 03, 2012 01:03
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Daniel on Ting

Just my personal Google Voice (GV) share. This combination has been working for me, hope it helps someone else down the road:

Ported my number to GV, it can route my calls one of two ways depending on the availability of a Wifi access point or not.

If Wifi is on AND I am connected to an access point all my calls are routed through my dedicated Skype phone number via GV. I set Skype to show the caller ID as my GV number, so the caller never even sees the dedicated Skype number, it's transparent regardless the call direction.

If Wifi is off or not connected to an access point then GV routes all my calls through Ting via my new number, yet again by using GV it looks like my old ported number.

This is also done automatically by using the Android "Groove Forwarder" app. This logs into my Google Voice account and lets me quickly change the phone routing in GV easier and faster than setting preferred devices via a browser. I had loaded it when trying out GrooveIP app, It does not require you to use GrooveIP but it had some integration features. Since removing GrooveIP altogether I found that Groove Forwarder is even more straight forward now as a Google Voice settings controller. When Automatic settings are enabled in Groove Forwarder you can tell it the desired device/number to use for WiFI and the one for no WiFi. My experience is that it reads the change state of my Wifi directly and (if connected to an access point) it will route all the calls through my preferred number, in my case Skype as it's very cheap. If I have no WiFi AP connection then it routes the calls through the standard carrier (Ting).
It does this all by automatically by changing the Google Voice preferred device list depending on the current connection. An added plus is my cell phone no longer rings both from my standard dialer and Skype at the same time as it once did. Sure I could do this myself just by changing Google Voice settings but I don't HAVE to.

Like many others I tried GrooveIP and have found it to be unreliable with too much static, echo, etc.. After messing with all the settings for the last week I have given up on it. It's paid for so I would not mind it improving, I'll try again when it does.

Another plus with GV, Groove Forwarder and Skype... if I am in the office working on the computer or working on the laptop somewhere in the house I don't even have to pull my phone out to answer when it rings, I just answer on the computer via Skype.

My total cost to do this setup was:

GV, $20  to port my number
Groove Forwarder app $1
Skype Subscription $3/month to allow calls to mobiles and landlines
Skype dedicated phone number $30/year (this is half price from $60 if you sign up for the above Subscription first)
Plus Ting of course, but that is a given

GV can and does have issues sometimes, it did for me this weekend and again today with service interruptions. I ported my main number to Google so when it goes down I am all jacked up. I hope it's more rare than common since I really like my current setup, a lot.

December 11, 2012 01:03
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Mark Wilson

Where have all of you been in my life? ;) I've wanted this exact solution for months. Started with Groove IP lite, loved it, so I purchased the full version to show my support of the developer. Unfortunately, after a couple of updates the app became unreliable, so I switched to Talkatone and have been satisfied to date. My Sprint contract ended in September, and I was riding the WiFi only train, but kept an eye out for affordable mobile data. Was thinking about getting a Freedompop Mifi device, but saw the article on Engadget yesterday about BYOD to Ting, dusted off my old Evo 4g, and am thrilled to be on Ting now =)

December 12, 2012 22:29
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Daniel on Ting

Hey Mark, no mention of Google Voice anywhere in all that mix, so you don't enjoy mashing it all together and making gulosh? :)   So much more fun that way  just trying to troubl shoot it all. If you find something cool then be sure to share. And Welcome!

December 13, 2012 01:39
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Mark Wilson

Hi Daniel,

my bad! :) I just kind of figured it was a given. But yeah, who doesn't love gulosh?

December 13, 2012 08:15
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Daniel on Ting

True, true.

Anyone know of another switching app that can control GV like Groove Forwarder? Every so often Groove Forwarder will hang (much of this I believe has to do with issues Google itself, though not 100% sure). Still would like to find other apps that can change my GV for my WiFi and non WiFi configuration.

 

December 13, 2012 11:49
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Susan DeMiglio

Thanks to all for posting above. I am in the process of switching 4 lines from Verizon. Needless to say, I will be saving a few dollars..

I do have a question, though. If I use the native messenger apps for texting or the native voice dialer for phone calls while on WiFi only, will those texts or minutes be free? Or must I use the above recommendations? I thought any app used while on Wi-Fi only would be free? Please help clear this up for me. Thanks!

December 31, 2012 07:57
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Zarthan South
Ting Army

@Susan

The native apps will use minutes and text, or data even while you are on WIFI. You will need to use apps specifically made for using WIFI. Some apps like GrooveIP can be set to use the builtin dialer while on WIFI but most apps use thir own interface. Calling with an app that uses your doing ata rather than WIFI can cost you more than your Ting minutes. 

December 31, 2012 11:08
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Susan DeMiglio

Ok! Thanks Zarthan South, Ting Army. Happy New Year!

December 31, 2012 11:12
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Leonardo Uzcategui

I'm a new Ting user with a Samsung Ultra phone. I installed GrooveIP and GV on the phone to use wifi for calls & texts when at home. However, when people send texts to my GV #, the text messages received still appear on the dashboard and are being counted against my Ting plan quota. My GV settings are set to forward calls to my Ting # and to receive texts on this phone.

Maybe my settings on GrooveIP or GV are incorrect. Can someone please help me figure out what's going on?

Leo

January 09, 2013 12:09
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Duncan Cunningham

Leonardo Uzcategu - I think you might need to change a setting in Google Voice, under your account online.  If you look, I believe there is a setting that allows you to not have text messages forwarded to your number.  It might not be that but that is where I would look first.

January 09, 2013 12:14
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Robin Lewis

Leonardo:

Duncan is correct; while logged in your Google account go to the phones tab of your Google voice settings https://www.google.com/voice#phones

and see that the selection is per your needs.

January 09, 2013 13:34
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Leonardo Uzcategui

Duncan & Robin - Thanks, but if I uncheck the check-box "Receive text messages on this phone" where will the texts be sent to? Isn't the point to be able to send & receive texts on the phone via the wifi connection?

January 09, 2013 17:06
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Duncan Cunningham

It should be sent to your Google voice app on your phone.  You have that installed already.  Try it.

January 09, 2013 17:08
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Zarthan South
Ting Army

Another benefit with GV for texting is that you can use GV from your desktop and a real keyboard. 

January 09, 2013 17:36
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Trevor Talbot

To help clarify this a bit, the Google Voice web settings on what to send to the phone are always for using the normal cell network: voice and SMS.

The other way to use Google Voice is via the Internet. GrooveIP accomplishes this by using the same connection used for Google Chat (the thing inside the web Gmail client). The GV app on the phone accomplishes this periodically checking the GV site for things like new voicemails and text messages.

These two completely separate approaches are what all this stuff is managing.

Note that in the case of text messages specifically, you can't reliably choose which method (SMS or Internet) is used automatically. This means that if you use the GV app for texting, then when you're away from wifi you must use cell data (3G/4G) to continue receiving texts. If you want to turn off cell data, then you must use SMS all the time. (You can of course change this at any time yourself, but there's no combination of settings and apps that will do it automatically without fail.)

January 09, 2013 21:53
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Scott Sandler

Not sure if this has been mentioned previously: Is there anyway to display my Ting number instead of my GV number when callers receive calls from me?

March 03, 2013 13:23
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Zarthan South
Ting Army

You don't mention how you are making the call. If the call is made using something like Groove IP then no. If you are using the Google Voice App to switch between the GV number and the Ting number (using Cell minutes) then the number you choose when you make the call will be the number that the person receiving the call sees. 

March 03, 2013 13:47
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Scott Sandler

I meant that I was using the Groove IP app. Thank you for clarifying. What would happen if I ported my number over to Google Voice? Would I still be able to use the Ting service?

March 03, 2013 14:35
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Zarthan South
Ting Army

Yes you can port the number and you can still use Ting. I use my accounts that way. I ported my cell phone numbers to Ting. If you use Groove IP it uses the GV number (your old Ting number) . When you call using cell minutes you can choose to have all calls use the Google Voice number. Your callers will see the call coming from the GV number (your old Ting number).

When you port the number to Google the Ting phone would no longer have a number. You then need to activate the Ting phone again from the dashboard and get a new number. The porting to Google costs $20 dollars and takes almost exactly 24 hours. Just did this again on Friday. 

March 03, 2013 15:07
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Zarthan South
Ting Army

@Scott

Should mention that once you get the new number you will need to do a handsfree activation. So  # # 72786 # and the MSL. 

Since we have very poor reception at home, having our numbers ported to Google meant we could use an OBi device to answer the GV number on a cordless phone while at home.  At the time we started with Ting the Airave wasn't available. Moving the numbers to Google was a much better alternative for us. 

 

March 03, 2013 15:31
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Scott Sandler

Ok,

I think I understand. So, right now I have a Ting number and a GV number. I would like to use my Ting number because its the number that all of my friends and family already know. However, to cut my costs a bit, I thought it would be a good idea to port that number to GV, and then use Groove IP to make all of my calls. Once I port the number to GV, I'm assuming my Ting account will be briefly inactive until I activate it again. Is that correct?

March 04, 2013 09:52
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Zarthan South
Ting Army

@Scott

You are correct about the account being inactive until you reactivate. It should only take a few minutes once the number has been ported.

I was never satisfied with the call quality of GrooveIP or Talkatone. While it probably sounded OK on my end it usually had problems on the other end. YMMV so make sure you are saving money in the right place. Calls using the data connection (not wifi) will cost you more than minutes. Add your landline number(s) to GV so that you get good quality calls without minutes. Cell minutes are cheap with Ting so don't compromise on quality. 

March 04, 2013 11:11
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Scott Sandler

Yeah,

That makes sense. I don't want to have call quality issues. However, I do text way more than I call people. I've used Google Voice to text on my phone, but the texts still come from that google voice number. Would I have to port my number to google voice to ensure that my texts are coming from my default TING number? Also, when I text with GV, I get a replied message with my default texting app and the GV app. Is there a way to set it up so that I only recieve them through the GV app?

March 04, 2013 13:21
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Zarthan South
Ting Army

I don't know of any other method to have the cell number appear unless it is ported. There may be some but ???  Do remember that GV does not support MMS messages so if that is important to you consider the consequences. Someone sending you pictures won't know that it failed and you won't know that they sent them. There is an app that can send a link to pictures using your GV number, but no receiving. https://play.google.com/store/search?q=senditpro&c=apps

You can try unchecking "Receive text messages on this phone" in GV settings. 

March 04, 2013 13:51
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Jared Brown

@Zarthan South:  That's actually not completely true.  I get MMS messages, but they come through my GMail.  It's been happening for a while, so I'm not sure when this was implemented.

April 22, 2013 01:33
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Zarthan South
Ting Army

Google has just recently started working on enabling an MMS workaround. As of very recently it was limited to internetwork Sprint MMS messages so if you are getting MMS (gmail) from other carriers it is a good thing. 

April 22, 2013 12:40
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Robert Johanson

Anyone uses locale? I'm having trouble setting it up the way I want it. What I'm trying to do is have grooveip on while at home using wifi to conserve minutes and turn off when using locales default situation when outside and while at work to save some battery. At work i'll use 3g and the native dialer to call through google voice. Is there anyway to do that because grooveip drains the battery a little and if I can get it to turn on and off based on location it would be great. 

June 23, 2013 11:32
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Susan DeMiglio

I have a question. I installed GV and Spare Phone to reduce voice minutes on our Ting phones. 

I called my daughter using her GV phone number (not ting number) from my landline phone (not related to Ting at all). I am still seeing the minutes accumulate in my Ting Dashboard account. What am I doing wrong? I uploaded a pic of her GV settings.

I appreciate your help!

August 03, 2013 10:02
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Seth Pinter

@Susan - you must have the "forward calls to: google chat" checked or GV is just routing the number to your private Ting number. Spare Phone uses the Google Chat feature to answer calls. The whole point of VoIP is to NOT use the cellular connection, but to use a Wifi connection that you get for free. Just keep both checked and answer via Spare Phone when on Wifi, otherwise pick up with the standard dialer to use the cellular connection.

I use an app called AutoAir (only works on 4.1.x and lower) to automatically shut off the cell signal when connected to Wifi. This prevents double rings (one from Spare Phone, and the other from the native dialer).

August 04, 2013 08:56
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Susan DeMiglio

@Seth--Thanks very much for your help! I appreciate your taking time out on a Sunday to help! I just made a test call. I was able to call my GV number and answer with Spare Phone dialer (which I could not do before). I assume since my Spare Phone dialer popped up on the screen that my minutes will not accumulate in the Ting Dashboard.

Thanks again!

August 05, 2013 06:46
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Rocky Hinten

Seth's answer is spot-on.  The best way to test these kinds of things is to put the phone in airplane mode, but then turn only wi-fi back on.  That makes sure that the phone is not going to see any cellular connection.  Then if the call comes through and you can answer it, you know it's working over the wi-fi.

August 05, 2013 12:59
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Susan DeMiglio

@Seth and Rocky. Thanks for the suggestion regarding AutoAir/airplane mode. ! It worked! This is fun! (how sad am I?).

August 05, 2013 14:19
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deb Ghosh

@Seth-AutoAir doesn't seem to work on Nexus4. Any way out for the double rings (one from Spare Phone, and the other from the native dialer)? Thanks

August 09, 2013 03:07
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John Swain
Ting Army

Any response to @Daniel on Ting of alternatives to GV Forwarder to make sure calls go to the phone instead of GrooveIP when not on wifi?

@Carl Aron/@Kyle Martinez what plugin were you using with tasker to accomplish this?

August 27, 2013 23:04
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Daniel on Ting

@John Swain, I rarely enable Groove Forwarder anymore btw, and not since a few updates. It might actually work better now, who knows.

 

August 27, 2013 23:39
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John Swain
Ting Army

@Daniel, what do you use instead?

August 27, 2013 23:41
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Daniel on Ting

I have incomming ring on both Ting smart phones as well as Skype on my computer all at the same time, traditionally answering via Skype if in my office using a bluetooth headset. Outgoing I just use the dialer of choice at that moment, when I have wifi I use an IP dialer or Skype, when no wifi I use the traditional dialer. Skype has become the relaible source for most of my calls these days, at $4 a month it offsets my Ting bill by a lot.

To really answer your question I rarely use any autoswitching as it was unreliable to do so. I might go back to doing so if something good comes along. For now I like the setup I am using, it just works.

August 28, 2013 00:09
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ABIGAIL ARTHUR

I activated my Ting phone (LG Marquee) yesterday. I am using Google voice # and Spare Phone while on WIFI. I have WIFI at home and work. My google voice is set up to forward calls to all my phones including my Ting number. In Ting dashboard I have it set up to use data, not use voicemail and forward calls to my GV number. Call calling and received is not checked on Ting dashboard.

1. However, 2 people called my Ting number yesterday. Both calls showed up as missed calls with email notification to my gmail. But these 2 calls are also showing up as having used Ting minutes.  The calls showed the from number as my GV#. How is this possible given my set up in Ting? I had called Ting and was told call forwarding will not use my minutes.

2. I suspect asking GV to forward calls to my Ting number is now a double dipping with Ting forwarding calls to GV# and GV# forwading it back to Ting#. How do I work around this?

3. When out of WIFI (home & work), I would like to still use GV-Spare phone combo to receive and make calls. Are there special settings in Ting or the smartphone that I need to make?

4. I am using Autoair app to turn WIFI of and on but it doesn't appear reliable. Tasker and Locale appear complicated, is there a simple app to auto change from WIFI to cell data?

September 15, 2013 12:32
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ABIGAIL ARTHUR

My questions 1-2 above appeared to have been answered previously by others, here is a link https://help.ting.com/entries/21511822-1-min-charges

I will appreciate answers to questions 3-4. Thanks.

September 15, 2013 18:37
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william b

@ABIGAIL ARTHUR, hey I autoair app worked great with my LG Marquee and Nexus S.  Use automateit app to turn data on/off automatically.  I use talkatone free version and it works GREAT!!!!!!!!!  Quick tip, use wifi analyzer app to see what's the best wifi channel for your router so you get faster internet on your phone.

September 28, 2013 01:20
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John Gjertsen

If I understand correctly, everything about this thread is pretty much null and void after May 15 when Google Voice cuts off their 3rd party APIs. Anyone have any idea how calls can be made over wifi (particularly on iOS) in a post-Google Voice world?

January 15, 2014 16:40
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Ali Hadiashar
Ting Army

As of now, you can make calls over wifi using the Hangouts app on iOS. I am assuming before the 3rd party axe date, they will also add this functionality to the Android Hangouts app.

January 15, 2014 16:52
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Corina Carter

Okay, this is probably an easy fix but seems I'm not saving any minutes even when I'm making the calls.  I have Sparephone and Google voice.  GrooveIP did not work for me, too staticky.  I get the voicemail through Gmail.  Problem is I don't have the settings correctly on anything, especially my phone and the app.  I have a Samsung Note II.  My minutes are still being billed when I make phone calls using Sparephone.  Any ideas what I'm doing wrong?  Thanks!

February 25, 2014 10:13