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
  • william b - I have a setup based on what your asking however it is on two separate phones.

    On my Ting phone I use the GV app so all texting goes through data (wifi or 3g). Since I do not use Ting's SMS I have that turned off in the dashboard.

    On my backup phone (LG Optimus T) I use Lycamobile's paygo service, a T-Mobile MVNO. I do not use their mobile data so I have mobile data shutoff on that phone. Instead of having the GV app installed I have GV forward the texts as SMS messages. In the GV web setting for this number, both - "Receive text messages on this phone" & "Notify me of new voicemails via text" are "checked". These settings are opposite if you have the GV app installed.

    When I receive a text or transcribed voice mails on my Ting phone it appears in the GV app as most are accustomed to.

    On the Lyca phone they are received in the SMS stock app. When I have a voice mail I receive the transcribed VM as SMS messages. As far as texting from this phone, the only way to make it appear it is coming from your GV number is to have someone text your first. You'll notice the number will be the 406, 972, etc type number. Save that number as an alternate contact number and when texting use that or simply reply to a text received. This way your GV number will show properly.

    Calling this alternate number will also have the same affect - making the call appear to be coming from your GV number as opposed to the phones underlying number. To make a call out on this phone appear as my GV number when I have not received a text first I have installed the app Prefixer. Within that I have created a rule that automates the process of calling your GV number, entering your password, pressing the number 2 to call out and dialing the number. By doing this, outbound calls will show as your GV number.

    This particular setup for my backup phone works well for me because Lycamobile does not charge for incoming texts. So it doesn't cost me to have GV texts and transcribed vm's redirecting to two separate phones. It works especially well when I am in a area that has no Sprint data signal so I can still receive and reply to texts (assuming I have a T-Mobile cell signal).

    If you only want to pay Ting for SMS -or- Mobile Data but not both. For simplicity I would recommend going with the mobile data and setting up the GV app. You can receive texts away from wifi and have the flexibility when on Wifi to be in airplane mode - still receiving texts as well as phone calls (if using Groove or Talkatone).

    If you prefer to go the SMS route or you find yourself out of Sprint data range often I would suggest something similar to my Lyca phone setup. Though depending on how many texts you send and receive that could push you into the next Ting bucket. The GV app uses very little data to send/receive.

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  • R E, WOW! thanks for breaking it all down for me.  My plan is to leave my wife's phone with Ting and get Lycamobile paygo for my self just like you.  I'm entertaining the idea of not using cellular data like you, but boy is your setup complicated.  I have looked in Lyca quite a bit and read they round up data every 200KB, sounds bad right, is that true? I also heard it's really 4 cents a minute for talk because there is a 2 cents per minute surcharge, is that true? I'm assuming Ting does not round up on data?  And because Lyca is on the shady side I read it would be cheaper over all with Ptel paygo as Ptel doesn't round up data, what do you think?  

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  • I have had no problems with Lyca, though I use it specifically as a back up phone. Which means very little. I put $10 on my account in June and 5 months later my balance is $9.04. Of the few calls I made I have only been charged the stated 2 cents/min for a phone call (placed or received) and 4 cents for an outgoing text. The big pluses for me are the free incoming texts as well as free outgoing calls to toll free numbers. As well as the fact you only need to make or receive one phone call or send one text in a four month period to keep it active. That mean's as little as 6 cents a year to keep the number active if you never use it. Pretty crazy.

    Another plus to the service is they use another provider, in this case Tmo. Not that I have had any issues with Sprint I just like the comfort of having multiple providers availble, just in case - Hint, Hint Ting ;)

    Because of my research on how they calculate data. The first thing I did before inserting the Lyca SIM card was turn off Mobile Data on the Optimus T in System Settings. I never experienced how they calculate the data.

    The first post on that monster thread over on Slickdeals pretty much covers everything you need to know about Lycamobile. Opinions in the thread as I'm sure you're well aware are all over the board on the service. For my needs its fine. As they say YMMV.

    My Ting phone (Epic 4g) is and will always be my main phone.

    As for the GV setup, it is honestly not that complicated. Once you make the setting on the webpage and setup the rule in Prefixer it pretty much functions as a regular phone. The only caveat is having to receive a text from someone first to be able to send a text as your GV number.

    (Phew! I wasn't quite sure how I was going to get my post back on topic. My apologies for going off track a bit.)

    Have you thought about you staying with Ting for your phone and just picking up a cheap Optimus S or something similar? If your usage between your wife and yourself stays within your current amount it will only cost you an extra $6/month. Plus you can just setup the GV app and be done with it.

    I have an Optimus S that I used when I was with Republic that I currently use as a mini music server. If anything ever happened to my Epic 4g this will transform into my backup Ting phone.

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  • Just to chime in...if texting is the interest, Its so easy to use either Ting or Google Voice for texting. The costs are so little for either, but probably a bit cheaper using GV since you may be on wifi for free or bit cheaper data, but we are talking very cheap. I would avoid using other services that will provide one more complication. I wouldn't use iGrove or Talkatone (which I have used to great success, but they are going away due to Google's new policy). Texting will still be possible via Google, through their Hangouts feature, as well as free calls on wifi and data. Just the way to go. I also have my GV texts forwarded to email so I can see them there as well. 

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  • Ya, Ting not mating what Lyca is offering is very disappointing, I guess you can't have it all.  I'm around wifi half the time, I was thinking if I used data with Lyca for SMS it may be the same cost as your setup with Lyca, since I would send/receive SMS on wifi for free, guess only one way to find out.  My wife and I both use to have Ting, only $18 plus tax a month very good deal.  Then I went off the deep end and cut the "cell phone cord" (I already cut the cable TV cord, landline cord, movie theater cord, software cord (Ubuntu:), my next project is going to a one car household it's going to take two years to get wife approval)  to see if I could survive on wifi, VOIPing with GV and Talkatone, I have not died yet and surprisingly works OK.  

    So let me get this straight, I'm chatting with an RW founder? :>  RW seems to be doing big things, getting ready to sell the Moto X, but they won't offer "paygo" and will charge $5 to VOIP on wifi only, more disappointment.  Why did you leave RW, tired of the unreliability? 

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  • @Rick, all we need now is Google MVNO, paygo, with Google hangouts next year and they would mop the floor IMHO :)

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  • While mostly an Apple person, I do go to the church of Google too and have first smart phone on Ting (a Samsung Ultra Transform...got cheap, works great)...I think GV and soon Google Hangouts will be able to do most everything on cell, for little cost via wifi or data. Only sad that it wont work with Obi at home (alternative to landline) in a few months, so had to go with voip.ms (pretty cheap and great customer service, like Ting:) 

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  • williamb - Yes, I was part of the initial RW beta. I never really had any problem with the service. Ironically, I learned about Ting from the RW forums. I even found a referral code on there that I used when signing up here. Ting selling points for me were: BYOD, great custom rom attitude, their customer support  and (since I am around wifi most of the day) my monthly bill would be less.

    rick alleva - thanks for the voip.ms mention. I too have a obi setup using a former landline that I ported to GV. I'm keeping an eye on the voip providers and their offerings. For the moment I am going to sit back and watch as things develop.

    On the mobile side, I am a big GrooVe IP user. It has always worked very well for me. I assume Google's replacement will be even better.

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  • Anyone know if Google's changes will effect using Google Voice for voicemail with Ting after 5/4 or if will still work as it now does?

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  • rick:

    Using Google voice as designed will not be effected.

    Be sure you understand the method of setting up Google voicemail with your phone and follow the documentation here in Ting for forwarding your unanswered and forward when busy calls to your Google voice number.

    The documentation at Google won't work as with most MVNOs the system recognizes the carrier as Sprint but Sprint doesn't pass the needed options to Ting to work that way with Google. 

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  • Google Voice is working fine for me for voicemail on Ting since I set up over a month ago...GV picks up and also sends me an email with transcription if it can, way cool! I just wondered if this may change when Google stops allowing third party softphone and voip type services to use GV (iGroove and Talkatone and ObiTalk). I'm hoping voicemail with Ting able to use GV will continue as it is...and wondered if anyone had any knowledge of that.

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  • Yes. You are using Google voice as designed.

    Google has announced that they will no longer support XMPP after May 2014 but this will have no effect on using Google voice with the apps developed by Google and it will have no effect in using GV for voicemail

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  • I have a question for you.  So I have a Nexus 5 due in about a week and a half.  The question is do you think I should just port my long time cell number to Ting or should I port it to GV.  I will be porting my wife's number to her Ting phone and she will be texting normally as well as using < 100mb per month of data.  I use around 500mb of data each month but have never really tried to limit my usage.  I will be saving money by switching to Ting so I am not thinking about the cost.  Just the ease of use when making an receiving texts and calls.  My feeling is that either option will be easy but I wanted to know if you would go one way or the other.  

    If I just port to Ting then I will use Hangouts for MMS and SMS.  If I port to GV will I have any real problems doing either MMS or SMS through the GV app.  Phone calls will be easy either way as GV integration for call looks to be seemless.

    Thanks

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  • @Corey you're about 1-3 months early for proper/seamless GV functionality. The differences are why we haven't ported all out numbers to GV yet. I do just fine ported to GV but the rest of the family just couldn't get used to it. I'd probably recommend you do like we plan to, port everyone's number to Ting except yours. When Google makes good on the next GV update you can re-evaluate and move everyone over.

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  • @ J L So if I were to setup GV to forward texts to my Ting phone, would they all come through properly, with the exception that they would show a different phone number on them.  I should be able to just save those phone numbers under contacts as the text phone number and use the text on my phone to respond to them.  Then in May (hopefully) when GV gets updated I should be able to switch over to that.   

    Does that sound correct.

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  • @Corey Yes they would come through properly, you'll have to test out your theory on sending texts out. I used forwarding when I first signed up with Ting and I believe it shows the originating number and not my GV number. I think it was as simple as checking the "Receive text messages on this phone" box under the number on the primary tab. Regarding the ETA I read Google was estimating Q'4 this year but I'd expect it more like January-February. In any event proper functionality is coming! Cheers to that!

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  • I have set up my Ting phone as described in this forum.  The problem I am having is that I am going through data very fast.  When someone mentioned that sending and receiving texts takes a small amount of data - how small is small?  I'm trying to stay under the 100 MB per month for data.  I have 16 days left in my billing cycle and have already used 70 MB of data.  Is my texting really taking that much data or is something else going on?  I looked at my data usage setting on my phone (Samsung Galaxy S2) and almost all of the data is being used by Google Voice, with quite lot of it being "background data." Can anyone please advise me how I can reduce the data usage?  Also, is there any way to force texting to go through Ting instead of Google Voice when not using wifi so it doesn't use the data?

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  • When I SMS over data it will use .03 -.06MB, and when your on wifi you don't use cellular data.  Go through your settings on all your apps/Google services and make "update over wifi only" is checked, I use about 35MB per month.

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  • Following this advice made Google Voice work as Voicemail on my Nexus 5:

     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. 

    Thank you!

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  • I just got a new Nexus 5 from the play store, set it up on Ting, and followed the instructions in this thread for GV. I can make outgoing calls from GrooveIP (which I'm assuming is using the google talk integration of GV), but the calls do not get forwarded to my Nexus 5 if I dial my GV number.

    Any additional thoughts?

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  • I wanted to come back and point out that I am an absolute tool. I was trying to forward calls to my google voicemail access number, not my google voice number. Turns out I didn't have a google voice number and I couldn't get one through searching.

    I really wanted to port my verizon number to ting and get the ETF credit, but it actually makes more sense to port it to GV. I've had that number forever and now it will be my GV number. No need to update people's contact information. I'm even looking into using GV at home via VIOP hooked up to a landline phone. 

    I know this was a smidge off-topic, but I wanted to clarify my previous post. Thanks for the tutorial!

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  • Charles...mostly makes sense if you can port number to GV as they need to have numbers in your exchange area to do so. Also, just FYI, won't be able to use GV as home VOIP landline after March. I use a Obi100 and pay very little (about $4/mo) for Voip.ms service (Callcentric also good) and have GV number forward to that at well as Ting...Enjoy.

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  • So is there a way to let Google know that if they end XMPP support,  we'd really really really like them to provide a suitable replacement so that devices like the OBI can still function?  Something like the tingmynexus website?  It's just bad form to make an "upgrade" and lose existing functionality.

     

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  • Thanks for sharing your information.

    Through the http://www.google.com/  i found this thread

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  • Just wondering if anyone has any input on this:  I've been using GrooveIP with my Android phone for about 8 months now.  Knew about the impending (May 15th) drop-dead date for XMPP support with Google Voice, so I've been waiting to see what happened on May 15 to decide how I will handle things moving forward.  (I use Tasker, along with location specific contexts, to route my calls either to my cell number, my Google Talk number, or my home number).  I expected a big announcement at/around May 15th from Google about how Hangouts will be improved--but no such announcement was made.

    What I did not expect is, as far as I can tell, there is absolutely no change in the function of GrooveIP!  Still receive calls when I am in wi-fi only areas with the phone in Airplane mode--only possible if Google Talk is still getting calls.  Can make calls in the same situation.  

    Anybody else notice the same thing?

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  • Using Google Voice on your Ting phone?   I simply use "Free Calls & Text" by Mo+. __ https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.moplus.moplusapp

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  • Groove IP posted a notification that it is no longer used by Google Voice, I just checked my phone history and Google Voice, and it appears Voice has been upgraded to no longer need the Groove IP service. When I am on wifi I am not being billed for calls. Now if Voice had a more user friendly UI , and an icon (to show connection status) in the notification area, life would be good!

     

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  • Hi Everyone,

    Has anyone else found that with recent GV changes that GV no longer display its number for outgoing calls?  I.e. all my GV calls now look like they are coming from my Ting #.  Any thoughts?  BTW, I am not using VOIP, just ordinary phone minutes. 

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  • Hi David Hornor, 

    "Any thoughts?"  Yes, Mo+,   www.mopl.us

    This app has been working well for the past month.  I turned off all Ting Voice & Messages ($avings), and only have Ting Data with Mo+. 

    Free Calls & Text by Mo+

    Mo+ is the only app on the Google Play that provides free calls & text to both phone numbers and other Mo+ users. Enjoy with friends for HD quality free calls, walkie-talkie, and multimedia messages together.

    Mo+ is packed with features:

    - Free calls and text to any phone numbers in US & Canada

    - Free calls and text to any other Mo+ users world wide

    - High-quality voice calls

    - Live walkie talkie with friends

    - Multimedia messages

    - Set your favorite wallpapers

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  • I can no longer use VOIP and was wondering if there is an ap that will alow me to?  I still need to use GV because it has texts that I am documenting.  

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