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
  • Tasker is a good choice. You might have a look at Atooma. It is beta and can do some on off and location kinds of things. I use Automateit pro and, like most of these tools, consumes far too much battery. 

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  • @Eric, some ROMs (e.g. TouchWiz) will disable bluetooth when Airplane Mode is activated while some (e.g. CyanogenMod) leave bluetooth enabled. So if you're considering rooting/ROMing, that would be an extra reason. I second Zarthan's positive comment regarding Tasker. It's what I use. If you decide to go with Tasker, here's an xml file that can be imported to Tasker that will only disable the cellular radio when connected to Wi-Fi. It'll also kill/reload GrooVe IP (if your phone is rooted) when you connect to Wi-Fi. I created that action, because occasionally GrooVe IP wouldn't notice my Wi-Fi had connected quick enough, so reloading the app would force it to search and connect.

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  • My wife just got the GS3 and I installed the GV app on the phone (she didn't previously have a GV Account), I told it to associate her gmail account and to use her mobile number (this may be where my issue is but not sure).  When all is said an done there is no way to send text messages through the google voice app.  I've tried to change the settings to use the native messaging app or to use the GV app for texts but neither work.  There is no option in the menu to create a text nor is there an icon anywhere else to create a text message.  I'm wondering if I need to have her create a google voice number on a PC then return to the phone and go through the setup and use the GV number and have GV forward to her Ting phone Number.... not sure how clear this is but if anyone has thoughts that would be great.  She really just wants to use the texting not the voice calling or voice mail... don't ask me why I cant convince her :)

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  • @ chris - GV app  - menu - Compose is the texting function.  Fill in To with number or contact, partial contact info reveals people and phone #s in your contacts. Type your text where it says Type to compose. Hit send. 

    I have 3 google phones including to on Ting and they all send texts through GV just fine. Make sure you are using the official Voice app (light blue icon with white phone.) Not Talk or GrooveIP etc.

    You also need to make sure you go to the Voice web app and log in and associate your phone and settings. If you don't set up your phone through the web app I don't think anything related to GV on the phone is going to work right. It sounds like you've only set up the phone and not GV on the web. That don't work. There are plenty of how-tos on how to set up GV.

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  • @Eric thanks, I think the online part is what I need to do for her.  There isn't a compose option in the GV app when you hit the menu button.  I use GV all the time on my iPhone but I'd also created a GV phone number etc then setup the phone.  For some reason I was thinking I wouldn't have to do this on an android phone since I told GV to associate itself with here Google Account during setup but sounds like that is the missing link.  I'll give it a shot!  

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  • I just got the LG Marquee and I'm trying to automate my phone to stay on wifi when available and keep the phone in airplane model. When it disconnects it turns the radio back on.  I'm going to try the auto air app, but I'd like to use tasker.  However, in gingerbread it seems airplane mode forces wifi to tun off, even if you tell it to keep it on.  Has anybody found a good solution for automating this in gingerbread, with tasker?  On my galaxy sIII work phone airplane mode doesn't do anything to wifi.

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  • I have tried this in the past. It is beta and I don't remember whether I did get this working to my satisfaction or not.Sorry I am without my phone at the moment.

     

    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.atooma  

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  • One other question for those using the AutoAir app to automate when you toggle between airplane mode (on wifi).  Has anyone noticed what battery effect this app has on the phone?  It seems to work well, but I noticed in the settings that it has to check frequently for the phone's state and I don't know how much juice it might use.  If anybody can comment on this it would be helpful.

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  • I bought 2 paid versions of groove ip for both of my  lg marquee phones and need help setting up with google voice. Groove ip settings are, built- in dialer preference, "use groove ip on wifi only". 

    1.  So when my phone is on wifi at home with airplane mode on, groove ip will not ring. I have to turn airplane mode off to hear the ringer.

    2.  Can I  make a free call with native dialer with groove ip or do I just use groove ip dialer for sending and receiving all calls?

    3. If I call from one phone to my second phone google voice # and leave a voice mail, the second phone says I have a new google  voicemail and when I press play there's no audio.

        (but if someone else calls my google goive # and leaves a voice mail I can hear it just fine)

    1.  with airplane mode on, in wifi, when I send a text to my other google voice phone, there is no audio notification, but they do receive it. If I leave airplane mode off will it be free?
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  • @ William B

    1. Not quite sure about why GrooveIP won't ring. Is it signed in on wifi?

    2. With the paid version you should be able to just use the native dailer if the integration is setup correctly, refer to GrooveIP documentation for any questions.

    3. I have also seen this behavior with no audio, I don't have a workaround for it at the moment and I don't think it's a known issue for SNRB Labs.

    4. Not quite sure about that one. It almost sounds like you've got the ringer setup incorrectly or something.

    Have you got some of these issue resolved at this point?

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  • When you have two VOIP clients in the same network subnet only one of them will work correctly since they can not both share the same ports on the router for incoming connections. For home and Google Voice I would suggest that you look at   http://www.obihai.com/product-primer.html The 202 device can connect to your Cellphone using BT for an Airave like experience without the Airave. They work almost flawlessly.  

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  • Brad D, thanks for your input.

    My only issue now is......

    GV voice mail and Groove IP

    william b

    posted this on Dec 13 14:40

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    I have 2 LG marquee's, with both phones on wifi, airplane mode on, Groove IP on, and when I call one and leave a voice mail to the other phone, the other phone says I have a new GV voice mail but 90% of the time there is NO audio when playing. :( 

     

    If I place a call from one phone on Sprint network  with airplane mode off and Groove IP off, to the other phone still on wifi, Groove IP on, and airplane mode on, the GV voice mail is received and audio plays just fine.

     

    If I place a call from my computer on GV to both phones, everything works just fine.

     

    It seems Groove IP is doing some wrong when sending a voice mail on GV, any ideas???

    Also I googled all this (pun intended) and there's a bunch of people complaining about not hearing the GV voice mail audio. :(

    I emailed Groove IP and they said they only support voice calls.

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  • Thanks for explaining that Zarthan South.

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  • Google Voice now knows who we are.  As of this morning, on GV, our TING numbers are recognized as TUCOWS, and NOT Sprint.  SO, GV no longer bugs you to try out Sprint/GV integration. 

    A few observations on TING and GV.   Porting from Ting to GV takes almost exactly 24 hours.  When you port a number FROM Ting TO GV, the TING device goes away instantly.  When that happened, I thought I would have to wait another 24 hours after I re-setup my phone for TING for Ting to recognize and allow activation. WRONG.  Once you bring a Sprint phone ESN number over to TING, Ting remembers it.  Yesterday at 4pm, GV finished the port.  The phone on Ting with now ported number instantly disappeared.  I brought up the BYOSD screen to bring the the phone back into TING and get a generic number.  When i filled in the ESN and hit the Bring It Over Button, it instantly had it ready for instant activation.  Process took a minute.  AND, the phone kept all the manual configuration info - MMS, Wimax.   SO,  porting over from TING to GV takes 24 hours (phone still works fine during that time)  but re-establishing the Ting phone back on Ting takes a minute.

     

    And, by the way, GV and Ting are working flawlessly.  Glad I did it -- i loved the Sprint/GV integration. As many have mentioned  make sure you disable the VM box in your TING online dashboard.  

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  • Any pointers on good documentation about Google Voice?  I'm a little confused about how it works.  Is this enabling your phone number to be called via VOIP?  Are there any drawbacks or common difficulties with using GV?

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  • Gary, you bet its confusing.  These blogs are nice but getting a bit out of hand, IMHO.  These blogs need be replaced with How To's at some point.  A new Ting user should not have to read two pages of blog posts to figure out how to use GV.    AND MANY PARTS OF THE GV porting process are not on any BLOG. Here are my two cents

    GV is not Voip - you can use some VOIP providers with them, such as Obihai.  But you do not need to. GV is just an intermediary.  You can make free calls with GV and voip services, like Obihai, but GV only guarantees free calls through 2012 - and has not said about 2013.  I am told that at the most Google would charge for Voip calls would be .01, but i digress. 

    I see no drawbacks with GV.  I have used it for three years.  I used it with Sprint when it was fully integrated   The only difficulties i have seen is that A FEW area codes are not recognized by GV, but very few.  GV lets you check your number first.  The best part of GV is the voice mail.  The vm's come to email with the message embedded  Have not called my VM in years to pick up a message. Tons of other benefits of GV.

    As I said in my post above, although porting to GV took 24 hours, it was painless and phones were fully operational until the second of porting.

    NOT MENTIONED BY TING:  As will all porting, MAY SURE THE INFO you put into GV porting screen is EXACTLY AS ON the account where your number will be ported from.  When I wanted to port a number FROM TING over to GV, the GV port screen wanted my TING ACCOUNT number and Ting PIN.  I could not find a TING account number or PIN ANYWHERE.   Ting does NOT tell you your account number or PIN, UNLESS you ask for it.  A phone call to Ting CS and i had my account number and pin instantly.  BUT, would have been nice to know this.  Your PIN is your MSL by the way.  The Ting rep said that do not give out the account number unless specifically asked. 

    After you get your number ported to GV, assuming you ported from TING, you need to re-activate your TING phone, get a random number, put that number into GV, set up GV for how you want it to operate, install the Google Voice App on your cell phone and then LINK your GV app with your GV account. then set up the GV app on your phone. Make sure you set up your phone so uses GV for all calls.  Neither  GV or Ting explains this but when you set the app up to: "Use GV for all calls," it uses GV only as an intermediary for US calls... its not viop.. calls still go through Ting/Sprint.

    My only other suggestion would be to port to GV exactly 24 hours before a quiet time, i.e. if you port at 7pm on Tuesday  the port will occur within minutes of 7pm on Wednesday  So, 7 to 7:30 on Wednesday you will be finalizing the GV set up, the TING device set up and then the GV app setup on the TING phone.    

    The more I type, the more I realize TING needs a good How To on this.  

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  • That is a pretty good explanation. One thing should be added. In order to make calls using the GV app, you must have some sort of data connection either through wifi or cellular data. So making a GV call with uses a tiny bit of data for every call.

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  • Peter, I think you're putting a little bit too much blame on Ting here.  I don't see how it's their responsibility to tell us how to use Google Voice on our phone.  They're happy that we figure out how to do stuff like that, but its not like they're advertising it as part of their service.

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  • Right, this whole Google Voice/GrooveIP solution is in no way warrantied or advertised by Ting. This is a community effort supported only by users. There are a number of us that use this solution with a remarkable amount of success and are glad to help others understand and use it also. There is a good deal of information in this thread, I would say most of what any reasonably tech savvie individual would need to implement this solution, however you may need to troubleshoot issues as they arise. We are glad to help. You may also check Google Voice help and documentation as well as GrooveIP FAQs and troubleshooting tips, both found on their respective websites.

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  • Because so many of us have started using GV and GrooveIP in tandem, this thread has perhaps become a bit confusing for new customers, who may be operating under a few misconceptions regarding precisely what GV does. I have begun the work of disambiguation at the top of the thread.

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  • Thanks for the informative details, Peter.  While Ting is not responsible for Google Voice integration, the fact is that some of their customer base uses it and providing some documentation that is tailored to using it with Ting would be useful.  The more clear and comprehensive documentation provided on-line, the better.  Not only does it inform the customer base, it helps mitigate support calls and postings.

    Anyway, I did some additional reading up on this and have realized that it really does NOT make sense to use GV if you've got just one phone number, or you have 2 phone numbers but have low activity on one of them.  It seems to be best when you've got at least 2 numbers and must respond promptly to calls received on all of them.

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  • @Gary

    There are as many uses for GV as there are people on this list. Any one who has every had to carry a second "on call" phone has experienced a great reason to use GV. Port the number to GV and simply change the number that rings whoever is on call. I have my business number as a GV number. I can have one phone handle two distinct uses. My personal use is as a replacement for the Airave. We have poor reception at our home office and had an Airave device to improve reception. The Airave was never totally successful for me often requiring a weekly restart. Teamed with an OBI device from obihai.com we get our Google Voice calls on a normal wireless phone. 

    Keep your mind open to the many uses. 

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  • I use GV to reduce cell charges on my one phone number, since most of my long conversations are from home where I'm already paying flat rate for Internet service. I've found that the increased audio quality I get by using a decent headset on the computer is a nontrivial benefit as well.

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  • Thank you, Zarthan.  I didn't realize GV presented that kind of flexibility.  :-)

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  • I already posted this on another thread I was following, but for anyone who isn't following it as well, I wanted to share.  Hopefully this can be a helpful alternative guide to how to effectively use Google Voice and Ting together.

    I was using Grooveip, but call quality for up and down, so I went with the following:

    -Google voice number is the only one I use to keep things simple.  When I joined Ting, I just got a new number, but never give it out: opting instead to use 100% my Google voice number to take advantage of its many features.  

    -Tasker has been an essential app in making all of this work.  When I am connected to my home wifi network, I have created a Tasker profile that shuts off my phone's wireless radio to conserve battery and keep two phones from ringing.  When I disconnect from my home wifi, it turns the radio back on.  I was using the autoair app, which would still work, but I wanted more control (like to be able to turn off wifi at night, and being able to easily make an emergency call if needed- I'll explain below).  I can give more details about how to create the Tasker profiles if anybody needs it.

    -I purchased the Obi100 adapter and set it up to my home router, and plugged in a regular home phone.  Now all calls to my GV number ring on this phone and I can make free outgoing calls.  I'm at home when I make most calls, so this cuts down my use significantly.

    -Now, when I am at home, only my Obi100 connected phone rings when someone calls my Google Voice number and my cell does not (Tasker has it connected only to wifi, no radio).  When I leave home (as soon as I disconnect from wifi), my radio turns back on and now both phones ring (but I don't hear the one at home).

    -Note about 911 calling: all of this created the conundrum of how to make emergency calls, since when at home my cell phone can't make calls (Tasker has the radio turned off) and I can't call 911 with the Obi100 connected phones because Google Voice doesn't support 911 calls.  I created two workarounds that should be seamless.  The first is programming a speed dial on my home phones that has the local 10 digit dispatch number.  This works OK, but not perfect.  The dispatch goes to the same call center as 911 calls, but are not always handled with the same priority.  The second and better workaround is again through Tasker.  Tasker supports the creation of widgets by long pressing an empty spot anywhere on a home screen and selecting "add widget".  I created a profile that displays a "911 emergency" logo on my screen (an image I found on the internet), that when tapped, enables the phone's radio and automatically enters 911 into the phone's dialer.  Then all I have to do is hit send.  Everyone in the family has been shown how to use both options. 

    Hope this helps someone.  I'm loving the new system.  For about $12 a month to Ting, I've got a smartphone that meets all of my needs and a home phone service.  Couldn't be happier.

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  • I have read the comments and this looks great to use.  Everyone states that the text (SMS) isn't calculated in the number of Text usage from Ting, however in my testing this I'm still having that issue.  I'm not using the Ting messaging but GV.  I have the Samsung Galaxy III - is there a setting that I need to change?  Any input would be appreciated.

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  • Nicole, I disabled Ting texting so I won't be charged. I text on wifi at home then I text and get google voicemail on data when I'm away from home, this would be the cheapest setup by far. But, sometimes I don't get google voice text or is delayed a few hours, this has become a annoying problem and is a known problem when is researched GV online.

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  • @NicoleGoo

    You need to use the Google Voice app when you text. The Google Voice app uses WIFI. 

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  • Make sure you go to google voice online, to your settings, then to the "phones" tab.  Under your phone that it forwards to, make sure that "Receive text messages on this phone" is NOT selected.  If it is, it will cause received messages to go both to google voice and through your phone's sms and you will get charged for it.

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  • I realized I am using a separate GV number on my tablet for most of my SMS. Just a personal opinion but it could present some unwanted consequences. Understand that when you disable texting in the dashboard you won't have any way to send SMS if you are roaming like "I'm running a little late" en route to an important meeting. 

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