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.

 

+++++

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.

63

Comments

404 comments
  • @Zarthan: My understanding (and experience) is that this is not entirely true. The GVoice app can still send SMS when the phone does not have an Internet connection. It uses a tower—and therefore a minuscule amount of data. But it will send a message. However, if one were to be caught outside Internet range—and also caught without (for some reason) a working GVoice app—then, yes, one would not be able to send SMS with this configuration. But someone should feel free to correct me if I am wrong about this.

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • If you disable texting and you were roaming you would not have data since there is no roaming data. The GV app would not work in that case. Text messages are so cheap that it doesn't make sense to disable them entirely since it is something that could have unintended consequences. Text messaging is reliable and available almost everywhere because of roaming. Data and WIFI availability and reliability is not ubiquitous yet. It is for some text messaging is their primary form of communication. Just my opinion of course.  

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • I'm new to Ting and GV. I am not clear as to the difference between Voice and Voice Lite.  I would like to set my family up to use VOIP when at home and I'll use it at work as well. I also want to take advantage of texting thru wifi. Does choosing Voice Lite effect the ability to exploit these features?

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • @Jim

    What app are you asking about? There is no Google Voice Lite. If you are referring to GrooveIP Lite than there are slight differences but you should try the Lite version to make sure it is suitable. Google Voice over data or WIFI on a cellphone is not as good as one might hope. If you haven't set up a Google Voice number then I suggest you do so and try. For fixed locations (home or office) I would suggest you look at an OBI device   http://www.obihai.com/googlevoice.html The sound quality is as good as a landline (although I haven't had a landline in close to 20 years). They have a device that can support 2 Google Voice numbers and one that can support 4 GV numbers. 

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • If you mean the Google Voice Lite referred to in Google's various web pages, it's referring to using GV for voicemail only, in which case it doesn't have its own phone number for accepting and forwarding calls. (You would configure your Ting phone to forward unanswered and busy calls to a GV Lite voicemail access number.)

    It would be possible to make calls through a Lite account with some significant effort, but you wouldn't be able to receive them. A full Google Voice account would serve you better, though you'll have to go all-in on using a new number or porting your existing one.

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Hello,

    I've read through most of all the comments and decided i'd give this question a try. First I'm new to a smart phone and was just looking for a prepaid service out of verizon. I'm finding that although I use my wifi from home I'm still being charged megabytes. So after reading through this thread and coming to the conclusion that although texting through GV or GIP I will still see megabyte chargesthey will be of  significant lower charges than regular texting through Ting, correct?

    My initial question for this comment was, is there a way through all of this to have my ting number show up instead of Gv, for texting and calling outgoing and incoming?

    Also if i may ask...is there a way to not get charges for internet ever. Settings page? Haven't checked it out, and also for calls that I don't answer.

    I'm far off from technial as of now...so simple terms please if i may ask. lol

     

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Just went to dashboard, but when i clicked on settings

    Settings

     

    those were my only options.

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • @Natalia ...  Try this ---->  Go to Your Account / Devices / then click on your phone.  You can manage each category.  You can also switch off data on your phone under Settings/ Mobile Networks / Data Enable

     

    You can also put a "widget" on your screen to turn data on and off.  (makes it quicker)   Let me know if you want more information on how to do that.

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • @Natalie, sorry I didn't address your other questions.  The GV number has to be different than your Ting number I believe (unless you ported you Ting number to GV and got a new Ting number)   Although it might save money using GV for text and voice, I would suggest you see what your bills are just using Ting.  I know in my case it isn't worth the hassle of using GV (and possible lower quality of voice connections and sometimes delayed texts).  I also don't go over 1000 texts and I think $5 is pretty cheap. (you also need to use other apps for GV for voice communications over wi-fi)

    Other people disagree of course but it depends if you really save enough to make it worth it.  

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • @Natalie

    I agree with Mike on testing and if you don't need MMS picture mail then like Mike suggested shutting off data from the dashboard is the easiest way.

    Saving on your bills involves a lot of experimentation. There are lots of strategies but most of them require some compromise and usually it means  inconvenience. I would try some of the suggestions here and experiment. 

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Thank you both...i would like to do that widget @ mike
    I was wondering if when I disable data will I still be allowed to download apps to my phone. I tried to download a battery saver but it hasnt worked although the site says installed. W. Data enabled and.disabled
    If mms is regular pic txting I do want that
    And sometimes it would be convenient to use gv for when im at home but not if its a hassle

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • @Natalie. you can go to the Play Store and download "DataSwitch" and download it.  Then press down on an empty spot on the screen (home page preferably) that will open up "add to home screen" then select "widgets".  There you will find "DataSwitch" just click on it and it will then appear on your home page.  You can now turn data on and off as needed.  If you have wi-fi available you can turn off data and use wi-fi.  All of the tings you need data for, you can use wi-fi for.  I usually leave my data off and only turn it on when needed.

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • I like to use power toggles app, it's free and you can customize it to turn bunch of things off and on from you home screen, also I use auto air app. I heard people talk about the tasker app which sounds like the best as everything would be dome automatically so it is not a hassel.

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Have a look at Atooma. It is still beta but somewhat easier to set up than tasker.  https://play.google.com/store/search?q=atooma&c=apps

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • **Zarthan South, **thanks for the tip. I just installed Atooma, and now my data automatically turns on and off when i go in and out of my home wifi, but the airplane feature won't work so I'm still using the autoair app. And do you know how to automatically have my media player play where it left off when I connect the headphone jack? 

     

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • I just found autoplay app, works like a champ.

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • I tried downloading DataSwitch and now that I read the rest of the comments Im going to try the other ones, but for someone reason my phone hasn't presented any of the apps Ive tried downloading although it has said download successful.

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • NVM i reread your instructions and it downloaded, thanks!

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • @Natalie, you have to clicck on the checkered box at the bottom of the home page, next to the phone symbol.

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • I got charged 1-2 mins for each spam call forwarded to GV, so I unchecked Forward 'Busy Signal' & 'No Answer' to save money. I use my GV # as my primary phone number, so the Ting number is not important to me. I also unchecked Voicemail, Send Text and Receive Text as well. Google Voice Service is always FREE.

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • I think we (or at least I) need a Google Voice For Dummies thread!  I"ve been trying to read through all the info.  I just got my first smart phone so I"m very new to all this.  My question is, is it seamless to go from calls over wifi to cell?  I guess I"m trying to say if I go from making calls in my house to outside is there any difference in what I need to do to place a call or does it transition automatically? 

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • If you want to make FREE calls over WiFi at home, you need to open an app, such as GrooveIP, Talkatone, or Vonage mobile, then dial a number and press Send. 

    When you are outside without WiFi, you simply open the regular keypad to make a phone call.

    If this is your first Android, you might need someone to help you set up Google Voice and GrooveIP. 

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Thank you.  Of the 3 apps you mentioned, which do you feel is best/easiest?  Also, if I"m placing a wifi call to another Ting phone, is it free on their end as well? 

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • @Beth

    There are so many different ways and reasons people use GV that it is difficult to have a clear path. I would just start by getting a GV number and trying it. If you are satisfied with WiFi calls them start ending tools to help you manage the WiFi to cell transition.

    I use GV through a hardware device from OBi that connects GV to a cordless phone at our home office. Saving money wasn't our concern but rather poor Sprint reception. The call quality is excellent 

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Beth, I think that GrooveIP is probably your best bet, Talkatone seems to be fine also. I would recommend paying $5 and getting the paid version of GrooveIP, reason being, native dailer integration, meaning you won't have to use the regular dialer for cell phone calls and the GrooveIP app for wifi calls, just use the regular dialer for both, it's all done behind the scenes. Just get a Google Voice account/number if you have not already, set up GrooveIP with your GV account, make sure your phone is connected to your home wifi network, the program Autoair is also recommended to turn off your cell phone radio when connected to wifi to ensure calls are going over that instead of the cell towers, saving you $$$.

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Beth, I think that GrooveIP is probably your best bet, Talkatone seems to be fine also. I would recommend paying $5 and getting the paid version of GrooveIP, reason being, native dailer integration, meaning you won't have to use the regular dialer for cell phone calls and the GrooveIP app for wifi calls, just use the regular dialer for both, it's all done behind the scenes. Just get a Google Voice account/number if you have not already, set up GrooveIP with your GV account, make sure your phone is connected to your home wifi network, the program Autoair is also recommended to turn off your cell phone radio when connected to wifi to ensure calls are going over that instead of the cell towers, saving you $$$.

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Oh no it posted twice, not sure what happened, sorry.

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Calls you make over WiFi are free on your end but for the receiver will depend on how they were connected. If it is over WiFi with aGV number it would be free buy it would cost minutes if it were directed over the cell connection.

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Make sure that the call quality is acceptable to those you call. Ting minutes are cheap. Losing an important call may not be worth the effort to save a few minutes. 

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Thank you very much for all this info.  Time for me to do some experimenting here.  I do see on the app details that "GrooVe IP uses 1.2 MB per minute during a call".   Not sure what that really translates to cost-wise in the long run. 

    0
    Comment actions Permalink

Please sign in to leave a comment.