Using Google Voice on your Ting phone

I'd like to share my solution for successfully using Google Voice on my Ting phone. For reference, I opted for a new phone number from Ting (i.e., I did not port).

First, configure GVoice as you would for any other phone. GVoice should recognize your handset as a Sprint handset. If you plan on using Google Voice's voicemail as your primary voicemail system, configure that, too. Be aware: the on-screen prompts from Google may provide inaccurate information for initiating call forwarding (on which GVoice relies when activating voicemail for you). See your handset's manual for instructions on properly configuring call forwarding.

This is the most important step: In your Ting Dashboard, load the Settings page for your handset. Uncheck "Call Forwarding can be set on phone." Instead, check "Forward 'No Answer' calls to this number," and type your GVoice number in the corresponding field. This will ensure that GVoice properly "hands off" calls placed to it.

Note that this method has been verified by Ting customer support. Many thanks to Brian for his help and patience.

 

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Using Google Voice on Ting FAQ [Updated November 1, 2013]

Preface

Google recently announced sweeping changes to its Google Voice service—changes that could render the contents of this thread inaccurate. See this link (https://plus.google.com/106636280351174936240/posts/MjyncJEbzxK) for additional detail regarding these potential changes, the implementation of which could occur as early as May 2014.

What is Google Voice?

Google Voice (abbreviated "GVoice" or "GV" in this thread) is a service from Google that provides users with a way to "unite" their many telephone numbers. Google Voice users receive a new telephone number and can "link" their existing phone numbers to this new one. When dialed, the new number effectively "rings" all other telephones linked to it. For example, one might link both a home phone and an office phone to a Google Voice number which, when dialed, will cause both the home phone and office phone to ring. Google Voice also offers additional functionality—such as voicemail archiving and transcription, customized voicemail greetings, "do not disturb" protocols, and spam blocking—that users in this thread find useful. For more information, visit http://voice.google.com.

Does Google Voice allow me to make telephone calls over the Internet?

No. Google Voice is not a Voice over Internet Protocol service (or application). Some Ting customers pair Google Voice with GrooveIP to acquire Voice over Internet Protocol functionality.

So why does the Google Voice application ask me to "use Google Voice to make all calls." Isn't it making my telephone calls over the Internet?

No. By making telephone calls "through" Google Voice, you are asking Google Voice to display your Google Voice number as your caller ID information, so that others will see your Google Voice number on their handsets when you call them (and not the caller ID information of, say, the mobile phone or office phone you have linked to Google Voice). You are not making VoIP calls. Using Google Voice to make telephone calls will require you to pay for minutes with Ting. To make VoIP telephone calls, use an application like GrooveIP (see below).

Am I using my Ting minutes when I place calls with Google Voice?

**Yes
.** Google Voice is not an application for making free telephone calls.

What does Google Voice cost?

Nothing. Google offers Google Voice for free. Of course, as is the case with any of Google's "free" services, the company uses data collected from Google Voice users to produce and distribute targeted advertising.

I see that Google and Sprint have partnered to allow Sprint customers to deeply integrate Google Voice with their mobile phones. Can I do this?

No. This special integration is available only to Sprint customers, not Ting customers.

Can I send text messages with Google Voice?

Yes. Google Voice features free text messaging to mobile phones in the United States or Canada. By downloading Google's Google Voice application to their Ting handsets, users are able to send and receive text messages without incurring text messaging charges from Ting, drastically reducing their messaging bills. To do this, you must use the Google Voice application and not Android's built-in Messages application. However, Ting users are reporting that sending text messages via the Google Voice application does in fact require a tiny amount of data, though the amount is almost negligible (and using the application over a wifi connection does not incur data charges). Read the thread for these reports.

People are calling my Google Voice number, but my Ting phone isn't ringing. What should I do?

First, be sure your Ting number is properly "linked" to your Google Voice account. You should modify your Google Voice settings to include your Ting telephone number in the list of numbers GV will ring when someone calls your GV number. In your Google Voice dashboard, click "Settings > Phones" to ensure your configurtion is correct. Next, check your Ting dashboard to ensure that the "Call Forwarding can be set on phone" option is unchecked. Instead, check "Forward 'No Answer' calls to this number," and type your GV number in the corresponding field. You should now receive calls placed to your GV number.

What is GrooveIP?

GrooveIP is Android software from snrb Labs that allows users to make telephone calls using their wireless Internet connections rather their cellular connections (something typically called "Voice over Internet Protocol," or "VoIP"). To do this, GrooveIP utilizes Google Voice, so anyone wishing to use GrooveIP must also have a Google Voice account. But using Google Voice does not necessitate the use of GrooveIP. Put another way: While one must use Google Voice in order to to GrooveIP, one needn't use GrooveIP in order to use Google Voice.

So why are you discussing GrooveIP here in a thread about Google Voice?

Many Ting users have found clever ways to use Google Voice and GrooveIP in tandem in order to significantly reduce their monthly Ting bills. Read the thread for more on how this can be done.

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Comments

404 comments
  • Mark:

    You can't turn off Google voicemail if your using the Google number for incoming calls.

    Since your not giving out your Ting number and all your calls to your old and now Google number go through Google voice, you can just turn off Ting voicemail.

    You can retrieve your voicemails by either opening the Google Voice apk on your phone,  from your computer or by calling your Google number.

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  • You can also have google voicemail notice sent to your email (works great) and can also have google try to transcribe (not the best).

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  • Related to Auto Air and Smart WiFi Toggler...I see how folks have used Auto Air to turn cell and wifi on and off to maximize use of Google Voice (that works well if forwarding calls to Ting to GV and if using GV via Talkatone or Groove for primary calling out and in calling if folks have the number. I have also seen but not heard any here talk about Smarth WiFi Toggle. This turns WiFfi on and off when it is  and isn't available, primarily a battery saver I feel, but also can be sure to have WiFi on (for GV and other Internet use) if not pre-set to be on so it is used over instead of data as well. I do find my battery use on smartphone (Samsung Transform Ultra) isn't great, so looking at this. Wonder if you can use both Auto Air and Smart Wifi Toggler together and what and Tingers experience is?

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  • I just bought a Ting phone under the assumption that I could still use my current GV setup. It seems like that's the case, but if someone could validate my assumptions that would be great. I have a number with Verizon (that I plan to port to Ting) and a GV number.

    If I do the setup as described here I'm expecting the following:

    Calls to GV will forward to my Ting number.

    Missed calls on either will go to my GV voicemail.

    I will be charged minutes for voicemails because of the forwarding.

     

    Is that all correct?

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  • Hi Ken,

    In short, yes. You can set up calls to forward to your Ting phone number and voicemail on your GV number. Since all calls are routed through your Ting phone number, you will still be charged for accessing your voicemails as you mentioned. Cheers!

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  • I've been using GV and Ting pretty successfully, but because I use Talkatone and the double ring thing, sometimes, depending how quick I am, and sometimes, depending on whether I am on wifi or not, I may use one or the other and know I use minutes if I answer with the Ting dialer. But one question about voice mail, I know i will use minutes to access voicemails as Siham notes, I am not sure if minutes or data are used for the actual forward of the call from GV to Ting and if not answered by dialer or Talkatone (really Google Chat,) or other phones forwarded to by GV and the call goes to GV voicemail, are minutes used for the forward and/or recording of the voicemail. Not a big deal but curious...Rick

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  • Rick:

    Are you forwarding GV calls to your Ting number?  do you have Ting voicemail disabled?  If yes, then calls that were placed to the Google number that go to Google voicemail have never enter the Ting stream.

     

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  • I just switched to Ting. I uncovered a "hack" to get my google voice # to show up on outgoing caller ids:

     

    If you have an android phone install the "Prefixer" app. Set up a prefix and suffix to allow automatic pass through your google voice when using the native dialer. The actual prefix will vary depending on whether you have a voicemail password (I do) and I haven't tested it but I think that if I have unheard voicemails it will throw it off so I'll test for that later. The suffix will always be "#". My prefix is:

    [my GV#];[my GV vmail pword]#;2;

    The ";"'s prompt me to send the next input. If you time it right you could probably use ","'s which are an automatic pause of a certain length but I prefer at the moment to have full control over when these things send. Set the Suffix as "#" which will be sent after your normal number is dialed.

    I only use this for native dialing. When on wifi I use GrooVe IP Lite to dial so the Prefixer app isn't triggered.

    I doubt anyone out there has a way for me to receive mms from anyone other than Sprint to my GV number but if you do- I would be super appreciative:)

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  • Edit: you have to enable outgoing caller id on your ting account to do the google voice pass through showing your GV number on caller id like I just described.

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  • Everyone!!

    Today Google is releasing the iPhone hangouts app update that allows using the Hangouts app to be used on a iPhone or iPad to call and receive phone calls using WiFi or Data such as 4G.

    I know it's not released for Android yet but that's just around the corner! After all, who backed and then bought Android OS?

     

    Matthew Kokidku:

    There is also an app called "Flex Dialer"  that lets you enter in a prefix and suffix and I agree that it can come in handy if your using your Android to dial through a Google number for which your mobile isn't a verified number.  You still can't use a phone identified as "Mobile" on more than one account for receiving calls and MMS is still not available except with the Sprint SOC.

     

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  • I'm waiting to hear the answer to your apparently rhetorical question: "Who backed and then bought Android OS?"  It was an open source project started by Google and as far as I know, has never been "bought" by anyone.

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  • Ting doesn't sell IOS phones so I know that IOS info may not be appreciated but the fact that it's coming to Android should be of interest.

    The Google help documentation has been updated for the new IOS app release and may be of interest considering that it will be coming to Android soon as well.

    Here is some helpful articles about this launch below:

    -

    Receive calls from Hangouts on iOS

    -

    Make Calls from Hangouts on iOS

    -

    Hangouts Contacts on iOS

    You will also find the same articles in the Google Voice Help center located here.  

    Here are some more facts about the launch you may find useful or informative!  

    1.

    These outbound and inbound calls, if made over data, will not show up on user’s phone bills as traditional calls.  They will, however, utilize a user’s data plan.

    2.

    Inbound calling is only supported for US users with a full Google Voice account.

    3.

    The country availability will follow the same as calls out from Hangouts currently today.

    4.

    All billing and functionality will work the same as calls in and out currently behaves in Hangouts and GV today.  

    5.

    Only available for iOS at launch.  Android TBD.

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  • Well, Google is making some big changes to Google Voice. Namely, shutting down 3rd party apps like GrooveIP, in order to bring more people in under their own apps and, presumably, driving more revenue.

    http://thenextweb.com/google/2013/10/31/google-shut-unauthorized-google-voice-apps-may-2014/

    Hopefully this recent news won't mean that many of us will be left out in the cold, it sounds like they will be working to increase Google Voice functionality, namely "...Google is looking at enabling its Voice numbers to work outside of the US _and _to support MMS."

    Another article directly from a Google Product Manager: https://plus.google.com/106636280351174936240/posts/MjyncJEbzxK

    So no reason to panic at this point, they are not cutting over until May 15, 2014. Hopefully there will be nothing more than the inconvenience of switching to a new app for voip calls and perhaps we will get more functionality for our trouble.

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  • Thanks for these links, Brad. I 'd have missed them. I'm very glad to see Google paying some attention to GVoice. I'm wondering if Voice won't just be stripped of its SMS capabilities (as these will be integrated into Hangouts, which will also add MMS).

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  • Ok...So trying to figure  what new Google policy and moves means for me and folks like me..I use Talkatone on Ting phone (and iPad) mostly for text with GV number, but some calls when on WiFi. I assume I can still text using Google Voice app or website on phone, but no more free calls since GV doesn't work as a softphone, only a relay.  Am a bit confused regarding the Google+ Hangouts capacity for MMS as well as video calls within the app...says only for Google enabled Sprint phones...I'm thinking that  doesn't include Ting-Sprint phones, but has to do with integration with Sprint as service provider only...tell me I am wrong, but don't think so. So this means no use of Google+ video conferencing on Ting either. Please clarify if you know;)

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  • rick:

    What that means is that you will soon be able to use the Google Hangouts app to do everything and more that your presently doing with the third party apps like Talkatone.

    The iPhone app is presently working and the Android Nexus 5 just rolled out with an updated version of Hangouts that supports placing phone calls directly from the app. in the next few weeks the Hangouts app will be rolling out for the different Android versions too.

    The benefit will be increased security of your communications and better call quality due to better compatibility with calling over WiFi with codecs that will work better over WiFi as the present Google Google XMPP backbone used by GroveIP and Talkatone isn't designed for use over WiFi and while it worked, I'm expecting it to work a whole lot better with Hangouts.

    This isn't being done in a vendetta from Google against the developers of those apps but instead it is for better security.

    With all this talk these days about NSA spying you'd be surprised to find that Google actually takes a rather dim view on the Govt snooping and for that reason, Google made a change some time ago and instead of encrypting some stuff they decided to encrypt every dayum thing. 

    of course that doesn't stop a subpoena but it cuts back on unauthorized snooping.

    You can read the post by Google employee Nikhyl Singhal 

       https://plus.google.com/u/0/106636280351174936240/posts/MjyncJEbzxK 

     

    and by Randall Sarafa here  https://plus.google.com/111585420523722254035/posts/EVTpMGNDnwi

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  • Oh, and YES!  the Hangouts app will support MMS as well.

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  • @Robin Lewis

    , that's great to know Google Hangouts will be updated sooner than later for all phones.  Let me know when Google will start selling cell service, you think they would get there feet wet by starting a MVNO with T- Mobile, I guess they are set on finding a telcom partner.

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  • Here are GrooVe IP's and Talkatone's response to the Google news:

    GrooVe IP: https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=544918605588834&id=118608074886558

    Talkatone: https://www.facebook.com/talkatone/posts/755174614498473

     

    If you also have an Obi device setup like I do. Here is their response:

    Obihai: http://blog.obihai.com/2013/10/important-message-about-google-voice.html

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  • I had to give a read to the GrooVe IP response  and while I don't use his products I've seen several times when SNR Labs was quick to address any issue their customers had as he often posted in other forums I am a part of.

    I'd take a good look at any thing developed by them to be a good quality product with good support.

    I'd also expect that it won't take long before there are options popping up every where.

    I set up my stuff about six years ago for free with what was available then and it didn't access Google through XMPP,  but rather through a HTTP request and SIP (and that stuff is still available but not as simple as downloading an app)  and isn't effected by Google's use or lack of useof XMPP chat

    :)

     

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  • The feature I do hope they add to Google Voice is an email gateway.  I was shocked to find out that they do not have a system set up where you can email a message to get converted to a text message, like every other test messaging system supports.  (Like Ting has @message.ting.com)  Actually when it was Grand Central, they did have that, until Google bought them and then removed that feature.  I want this because with my work, we have text pagers for notifications, but if you don't want to carry the pager, you can just have it set up to get the messages as texts to your phone.  However, it does that by emailing it to your texting address.

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  • Google employee Alex Wiesen posted:

    another step towards improving MMS support for Google Voice.

    T-Mobile has allowed MMS messages from their users to be sent to Google Voice users.

    Similar to MMS messages from Sprint users, these messages will appear in Gmail,

    and you can be notified of the message via SMS.

    We continue to work with other carriers to broaden support for messaging and bring MMS to Hangouts.

    More good things are coming!

    https://plus.google.com/+AlexWiesen/posts/5ZPhfqXgtYD

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  • I'm using google voice mostly for voicemail so my Ting number forwards to my google voice number. I have my google voice number as the number to forward to when Ting phone is busy or no answer. I just noticed that this forward doesn't ring my google voice phones (like the new hangouts interface or work phone). Actually this is fine for me for now, but I would have thought it would ring the phones that google voice forwards to. I do have my Ting cell number as one of the forwarded numbers (was sometimes using Talkatone...and awaiting new google voice/hangouts app capacity). Is this why the forward goes right to google voicemail and doesn't ring or is their another setting I'm not clear on. FYI, if I just dial my google voice number from my Ting phone it does ring other forwarded phones just fine. Can you clarify what's up and what I need to do if I want it to ring the google voice forwarded numbers rather than directly go to voicemail (although this is kinda good in that folks don't have to wait forever to leave a message:) Thanks, Rick

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  • I want to use google voice as my only number I give out, and texting without 3G data at all.  Is anyone doing this?  It seems it complicates things as google says,

     

    "Receiving text messages from unrecognized numbers

    When you send a text message through Google Voice, the text message appears to be sent from your Google number. When someone sends a text message to your Google number, and it's forwarded to your mobile phone, it won't appear as from the sender's actual number (e.g., the SMS may appear from 1-406-xxx-xxxx or 1-972-xxx-xxxx). This is so that when you reply to the 1-406-xxx-xxxx number or 1-972-xxx-xxxx number from your phone, the text message you send appears to be sent from your Google number and will be saved in your Google Voice inbox."

     

    Sooooo, if I send a text on wifi, I'll be changed a text messages with Ting sending/recieving because that text gets forwarded? Anyone have experience with this?

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  • William, don't set Google Voice to forward the texts to and from your mobile phone number, and then they won't be going through your Ting number, and you won't be charged.  With what you're trying to accomplish with texting on wi-fi, you should be just texting with the Google Voice app directly, and not having it forward them anywhere.

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  • Rocky, OK that sounds good on wifi (that's what I do now) but what about when I don't have wifi and I disable data how do I text and use my google voice number with Ting's texting service?

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  • Well, you can't.  Google Voice is a web site, so if you don't have wi-fi data or mobile data, you can't get to web sites.  Regular texting with your phone uses the cellular phone network, so that will still work all of the time.  Most people use their data some every month, so they keep it on and always have access to GV texts either through wi-fi or mobile data, and it generally ends up being a little cheaper to do all texting through those, and keep the cellular text messaging at 0.  I thought about doing that and tried for a while, but I generally don't use mobile data and keep it turned off, so I could only get my texts when I was in wi-fi, and that wasn't going to work for me, so I just use regular texting and keep the data at 0.

    You do have to make that choice of which way you want to go.  Google Voice is a data service, so you can use a lot of it on wi-fi, but you'll have to use some mobile data to keep accessing it when you're not around wi-fi.  Otherwise, it you don't want to use any mobile data at all, then you should probably just do regular texting.

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  • @William b - I would recommend that you disable texting on your Ting handset through the settings on this webpage and use the Google Voice app for texting, this will require having mobile data turned on. It's $3 for up to 100MB of data, which would be hundreds if not thousands of text messages, where 1-100 text messages put you in the $3 bucket. Plus on my particular phone when I disabled all mobile data it annoyed me with constant alerts about not being able to connect to it. How this will all shake out when Google peels the curtain all the way back, we'll see, it sounds like we will be using the Hangouts app for texting when they get is fleshed out for all Android OSes.

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  • Right now I use data for GV SMS and no cellular SMS service, but I'm planning on getting a phone W/O data so my question was how to use GV for SMS W/O cellular data and use wifi/cellular text with GV app and my GV #.

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