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
  • I Finally had some time to get familiar with the Android integration with Google Voice and Found out it was simpler that I could ever imagine

    1) The Google app integrates seamlessly with the android and for calls it requires no data for intergration. So it's good for placing calls anywhere and your call shows your Google CID. just dial normally. No need for dial strings like I used on my old pos iPhone when WiFi or Data wasn't available

    However, For text the google app still requires data to send The workaround is to receive a text sent through GV on your phone message app from a contact first, their number will be different (406) or     (972) save that number and text sent from the phone message app will cost but will show up as coming from your Google number

    2) GrooveIP or (CSipSimple for the advanced hacker) will show calls coming from your GV number

    3) AutoAir helps you control your cellular radio automatically according to the WIFI status. Once your phone is connected to the internet through WIFI, you cellular radio will be turned off. Once your phone looses the WIFI connection, cellular radio will be turned on. as it turns on/off your GrooveIP or CSipSimple at the same time

    Note that with your cell radio off, test sent to the Ting number won't come through on WiFi

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  • I have also recently gone live with a Ting phone and have implemented the GrooveIP/Google Voice combination. I actually just discovered the same thing about the Google Voice number. If you want your Google Voice number to display when making calls OVER CELL TOWERS do NOT select "hide your Caller ID from others" and on your phone select use Google Voice for all calls, I don't believe that uses any data, just minutes. With the setup described above, making calls over Wifi with GrooveIP/Google Voice your Google Voice number will show up on the caller ID of the recipient of the call.

    I think that sending texts over Google Voice regardless of being in range of Wifi or using the Cell towers is the way to go. It will use data on the cell network, but a very small amont so it's pretty insignificant.

    Since I'm a nerd I've also gotten into attempting to set QOS preferences on my home router for the MAC address on my Ting device as well as the ports used by GrooveIP. I've also kicked up the wireless broadcast range on my router to help alleviate low signal in my home. If anyone is interested in getting this deep into that you can find the specific ports used by GrooveIP here: http://snrblabs.com/snrb/Apps/GrooveIP/FAQ.aspx

    Using custom firmware on your router can greatly improve the functionality of it, mine is a fairly cheap residential grade router/wireless access point made lots more useful with a custom firmware. Popular custom firmware flavors that I'm aware of are DD-WRT and Tomato.

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  • @Brad:

    If your going out of data range, be sure you change where you receive text messages to "Via the messaging app" while your still in range

    Launch GV / phone settings button **/ **More / Settings Sync and notifications / Receive text messages / (either via the GV app or the messaging app)

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  • Ever since I ported my land line phone number over to Ting, Google Voice acts like it's working but Ting still charges me for all minutes used. I tried Groove IP but the call quality is unacceptable. Anyone else running into this? I cleared out GV and redid the setup and still no dice. Ting support just referred me to Groove IP via reading the forum post to me while I was on the phone with their CS rep.

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  • If you're not using GrooveIP (or some competitors that are starting to pop up in the Play store) to make calls with Google Voice over Wi-Fi, then they are going out over cellular. 

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  • Not sure if this is what you are asking, but GrooveIP was/is unusable for me.  Either bad echos or they just can't hear me on the other end no matter where I have the settings.  I bought an OBIhan OBI100 box for $40 on Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/OBi100-Telephone-Adapter-Service-Bridge) to use my Google voice at my house and only use GV/Ting when I am truly on a cellular connection.  Wish I could get the money I spent on GrooveIP back, the call quality is totally horrible, Google voice over works cellular great, my OBIhan Obi100 on my home network is great.  GrooveIP is junk for me, laggy, echos, or silence on other end, but YMMV.

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  • As for GrooveIP (for now I'm on the trial version, but so far I'm pretty happy with it so I will likely buy it) I use the following settings: Accept Calls on answer (check), Audio/Echo Settings > Echo Cancel > Basic (check), I moved the microphone gain a couple of clicks to the left to help more with echo on the other person's side, Troubleshooting > Audio Processing (check), Synchronize Voice (check), Still playing with Mic Buffer (Has been set on Medium, I get some slight delay of my voice into the earpiece of the other phone sometimes, from my understanding a bigger buffer may improve voice quality coming from my phone but increase delay, thus I'm going to try a Small buffer size for a few calls), Miscellaneous > Startup > Autostart (check). I think that's it, everything else is as it came.

    Make sure that you have an internet connection plenty wide coming down and up, need something high speed.

    Let me say that GrooveIP isn't perfect, it's not quite clear as a bell. So far I get better results talking with some people over others, (it's usually consistent so their cell coverage may play a part) but it's quite useable for everyone. I've been using this for about a week and I think it'll work for me.

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  • @John Kinsey:

    When you ported your number to Google Voice and make a call using your Ting Phone, it will charge minutes to your Ting account because you are using the Ting/Sprint cell towers.

    Google Voice is not a cell provider, but rather a "phone call routing system".

    If you use GrooveIP, it allows you to make a phone call through Google Voice via Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP).

    You will not be charged for those minutes because they are not going over the Ting/Sprint towers. It is all going through the internet. 

    The downside is that you need a very strong WiFi signal connection in order to make a decent phone conversation. (echoing, static, cutting in/out). 

    Hope that clears it up a little. 

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  • I've heard that some people out there are having really bad luck with the Google Voice app. Lock ups, Texts not sending, etc. Has anyone else had this issue?

    I'm still trying to figure out if I'll port my number to my ting phone or GV in a few weeks when I get my phone. I'd love to use GV (even w/o GrooveIP) but just want to make sure the phone calls (over the Cell Tower but through GV) and texts provide a good experience. It wouldn't be worth it to get better voicemail control but much worse phone/text.

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  • I'm a long time Google Voice user since it was GrandCentral,  But new to using it on Android. With a Transform Ultra and a Optimus Elite. The integration is perfect, Do not use the Sprint integration as it isn't supported. I see no point in forwarding the mobile to GV either. just send calls from Google to the phone or phones.

    Importing your Google Voice contacts is simple too.

    Information concerning using Google Voice on Android https://support.google.com/voice/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=1083068

    The Messaging can be configured to the app or to the phone's messaging. The App relies on Data or WiFi to send and receive.

    Be sure to give plenty of time for the port to complete at least 24-30 when porting in.

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  • Great, thanks. That really does sound great. I guess I'll be getting a new # for my Ting phone and porting my current number to GV. $20 isn't bad and I assume if all else fails I can always port from GV back to my Ting phone.

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  • I can echo Robin's comments, Kevin. I've been using this setup for months (ever since I started this thread, I guess!), and I can attest that it's essentially seamless. Occasionally I do experience some lag using the official Google Voice app for Android. But who knows why this is--an underpowered handset, network trouble, buggy software, or something else (the factors could really be myriad). In any event, this does not significantly detract from my enjoyment of the service both Google Voice and Ting provide. Your plan sounds perfect: port to Google Voice, link your new Ting number to it, and none of your contacts will be any the wiser.

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  • All of the previous freezing problems that I experienced occasionally in the GV app several months ago were completely eliminated with the IC4 update.

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  • Has anyone ported a number from Sprint that has already been "Sprint integrated" into Google Voice? I was wondering if the tighter integration might survive the port to Ting. I was hoping I would end up with my ported number on the new Ting phone and still active as my GV number. That makes all the caller ID and forwarding to GV problems go away. On the other hand, I might end up with my Sprint number ported to my Ting phone and no GV number. In which case I'd probably port the old Sprint number to GV and get a new Ting number. Kind of jerking Ting around if that happens.

     

    Can anyone confirm that the Sprint integration (GV number = Sprint number) stays or breaks when porting a Sprint number to Ting?

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  • Hi Dan,

    I was with Sprint about 1 month ago and was using the GV/Sprint integration.  This allowed my GV and Sprint number to be the same.

    That GV integration is not supported by Google for the Ting service.

    However, I use the following set-up and don't miss the Sprint/GV integration.

    Step-1: Purchase and active your Ting handset.  You will get a Ting phone number (which you will never give to anyone).

    Step-2: Port your Sprint number to Google Voice.  Costs $20 and takes 24 hours.  

    Step-3: After your Sprint number has been ported to GV, add the Ting phone number to GV.

    Step-4: On your android Ting phone, open the GV app.  Click on Menu > Settings > Making Calls.  Select "Use Google Voice to make all calls"

    With this setup, no one ever needs to know your Ting number.

    When ever anyone calls your old Sprint number (that is now your Google Voice number), they will not know that they are calling your Ting handset.

    BUT, best of all, when you initiate a call from your TING hand set (with a Ting number), the person receiving the call will see your GV (old Sprint) number.

    It works perfectly!

    Let me know if any other questions. 

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  • I have three questions for those who have been using the GrooveIP/GV solution:

    1. What happens if Google stops supporting free calls through GV?  I'm assuming its tied to the service through google email that enables you to call a phone, and they haven't committed to providing this as a free service beyond this year.

    2. Any problems with battery life by having GrooveIP on all the time (and by necessity having wi-fi always enabled)?  I ask because I've been playing around with it a little on my Droid X through Verizon and I've noticed that I had to change the wi-fi setting to never sleep (or it wouldn't route calls through GrooveIP) and had to keep GrooveIP on all the time.  It seems like my battery has taken a hit.  But possibly through Ting, having the setup where going onto wi-fi automatically disable the phone signal does enough to save battery life?  Just curious.

    3. I've also noticed my call is often dropped when I'm using GrooveIP to make an outbound call.  Anybody else had this problem?

    Thanks for all of the awesome work you have all  done and for sharing it.  I'm looking forward to the switch to Ting!

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  • Matthew,

    1. As I understanding it, GrooveIP hacks GTalk to do VoIP calling, and does not use the GMail calling technology, but someone more savvy than I am might correct me on this point.

    2. I do experience a small decrease in battery life when GrooveIP is enabled; however, turning off wifi seems to keep GrooveIP from sucking power. I do this at night before going to bed, or any other time I need the silence (instead of using "do not disturb" on GVoice).

    3. Haven't experienced this.

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  • I'm waiting for my HTC EVO 4G LTE to come. I'm upgrading from a Palm 700p. Here's something that is fun to kill the waiting time:

    http://bluestacks.com/

    It's an Android emulator for Windows or Mac. It runs Android 2.3.4. I've installed most of the apps I've planned on getting for my new phone. And, the reason I posted here, it runs Groove IP just fine using the laptop's built in mic and speaker. You can make and receive phone calls throuigh GV with it!

    Joe: Thanks. I'll probably port my Sprint number to GV then.

     

     

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  • I have a question about Google voice. When I call someone with Google voice my Google number shows up. But every time I text with Google to someone's phone my Ting number comes up. I tried setting the Google voice app (with no luck) & tried using the messaging app (still no luck). Out of ideas, any help would be great!

    Thanks, Dan

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  • Hi Dan,

    When you send a message using the native Android Messaging app, the text message recipients will see your Ting number.

    When you send a message using the Google Voice app, the text message recipients will see your GV  number.

    Does that make sense?

    A BIG plus to using the GV app to send/receive text messages is that you will not get charged any texts against your Ting account because they all go over the data network. 

    Let me know if any other questions.

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  • I saw that there is an app out on the Google Play store that is supposed to let you use your native messaging app to send and receive GV texts. I don't have my phone yet so I'm not able to test it and knowing that, I'm also not able to recommend it. Someone out there might want to check it out and report back, though.

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  • Hey Joe,

    Thanks for your help. I'm all good now!!

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  • There is a certain type of integration between GV and the native messaging app on any phone used as a forwarding phone with GV.

    Note that as always, using the native messaging app always results in associated fees for using the native app.

    Now*,* if you have received a message on your native Android messaging app through GV you will notice that your contact has a different number. (save that number) If you send a text from the native app to that number your contact will see it as coming from your GV number. Handy if your out of range for data and can't use the GV app for messaging.

     

    Google Voice and your cell phone bill  http://support.google.com/voice/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=1083068 (near the bottom)

    With Google Voice for Android, text messages are sent through your data plan, as opposed to your text messaging plan, so there won't be any text messaging charges for messages that you send to numbers in the US or Canada.

    Note: If you have your mobile phone listed as one of your forwarding phones in your Google Voice account, replies will come to the Google Voice app, but will also be duplicated in the Android Messaging app. Depending on your carrier, you may be charged for your received text messages. To disable this and only have messages sent to the Google Voice app, sign in at voice.google.com, then go to Settings > Voice settings > Phones > (your mobile number) > Edit > Receive text messages on this phone > Uncheck and Save.

    Now, if you have received a message on your native Android messaging app through GV you will notice that your contact has a different number. (save that number) If you send a text from the native app to that number your contact will see it as coming from your GV number. Handy if your out of range for data and can't use the GV app for messaging.

     

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  • Sorry about all the links and copy paste from the GV help section but it can be really tough navigating through there unless you know damn near exactly what key phrase to put in the search.

    I heard someone is working on it though. :)

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  • I'm confused.  When I log into Google Voice on the computer it says free calls in U.S. and Canada.  The URL for Google voice and your cell phone above says it will use your cell minutes.  I installed Google Voice app on my Optimus Elite but it doesn't show up in the app list.  I can make a call through the browser at google.com/voice/m/callsms but is this going too use cell minutes - doesn't seem like it would if I have data turned off and only wi-fi on.

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  • @Edward

    GV does use your cell minutes. It can function with data or wifi if you install GrooveIP (available in Google Play https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.gvoip&hl=en). There is a Lite / Free version as well. 

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  • @Edward

    Forgot to mention, I use GrooveIP and GV to make and receive calls on my Nexus 7 tablet. I ported my old Sprint number to GV and set up GV to ring both my Ting phone and my Nexus 7. Now when someone calls me on my old number, both devices ring simultaneously. I answer on which ever one is closest. If I answer with the Ting phone I am charged minutes. If I answer on the Nexus 7 it is strictly wifi and no minutes are charged at Ting or Google.

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  • I would recommend trying GrooveIP Lite with your Google Voice account. Keep in mind that if GrooveIP Lite works well for you, you should buy the paid version like I have. The native dialer integration is great, but not to be glossed over, the ability for your screen to be turned off  when you are talking on the phone. In my case when making calls with GrooveIP Lite on my Optimus Elite I was getting random disconnects, the reason being the button to hang up was right next to my cheek, once I paid for the app and was able to enable the option to turn the screen off, now random disconnects are a thing of the past. I use GrooveIP on Wifi only, you could use it on Ting's data instead of using regular voice minutes but it's probably more expensive to do so.

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  • Thanks for the response David and Brad.  So when the Google Voice website says you can make free calls stateside and Canada it means computer to computer.  I'm on windows 7 64bit on the PC and I think there is a problem with the voice and video plug-in for now.  I really just want to make outgoing calls to phones so it sounds like I need GrooveIP.

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  • You can make outgoing calls from Google Voice using Google Talk (on your computer, using a mic and headphones) to call another land line. On your phone you have to use GrooveIP, though.

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