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
  • Beth, that will only matter if you are using GrooveIP to make a call over the cell phone network using metered data, pretty much identical to streaming videos or surfing the web on the cell network. You wouldn't really do that since minutes are cheaper than data on Ting's plans. This would also apply if you are charged based on your usage by your internet service provider, which is not a typical arrangement. 

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  • Beth,

    Vonage Mobile app can make pretty clear calls for FREE. I use Vonage app at home all the time because the app itself is also FREE. It's very easy to set up, and you don't even need a Google Voice number to activate it. But it can make outgoing calls ONLY. 

    Groove IP can make and receive free calls over WiFi. The paid version costs $5, and the sound quality depends on the speed of the WiFi signals. Calls over 3G are practically unusable. I would recommend the free Groove IP Lite (with ads) for you to try it out first.

    Talkatone is pretty much the same as Groove IP, but it works better with iPhone.

    Calls you make over WiFi are free. It doesn't matter whether your friends are on Ting network or not. 

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  • Some of my outgoing calls properly show my Google Voice number on the called ID, but a few do not. They show the Ting number. It is not predictable or reproducible. Anyone else have this problem? 

    Ting, is there a fix to stop it from happening and make sure only the GV number shows up and not the Ting number? 

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  • I guess we all have the same problem. The Google Voice App is still very unstable. Sometimes it shows the GV number while sometimes it shows the Ting number.  But the problem is the Google Voice App because Ting doesn't has Google Voice Integration. 

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  • It's not a problem for me that I'm aware of. I would recommend that you guys carefully read the first message in this thread by Bryan, notably addressing this he states..

    "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)."

    In the Google Voice app on your phone you need to make sure that for the option Making Calls that you have** Use Google Voice to make all calls** selected.

    I also was able to glean other helpful tips by reading through the first page of this thread, several users have taken time to share alot of helpful information which has allowed me to run this setup for several months with much success.

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  • I knew exactly how to  _*"use Google Voice to make all calls." *_but sometimes it still shows my Ting number instead of Google Voice number. It happens a lot when I turn off WiFi or 3G data. 

    Ting doesn't has Google Voice Integration, so we have to rely on the Google Voice App to place calls. Sprint has Google Voice Integration, so Sprint users don't need this unstable Google Voice App to show their Google Voice number. 

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  • Chun Lam:

    Do you see a notice  "this call is unable to be placed through Google voice" when this happens?

    Also please understand that the the Google Voice "SOC" code  is only available if it is enabled by Sprint. Ting has no control over it.

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  • Chun Lam:

    GV does not support seven-digit local dialing. As a result, all calls dialed with seven digits will bypass the app.

    To use GV, always use 10 digit, area code dialing.

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  • Robin,

    I didn't see any notice. I knew it happened when my friend asked me about my new phone number. 

    I understand that Ting has no control over it. GV App is the problem.

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  • Does this happen when you dial 10 digits?

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  • Yes, sometimes it does. We always dial 10 digits in Omaha.

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  • Chun Lam:

    Check your Google voice history to ensure that the numbers went through Google Voice and if so test to see if you can re create the issue then,

    Please post this in the Google voice forum from the associated Google account http://productforums.google.com/forum/#!forum/voice

    1) Include the last 4 digits of your Google voice number and

    2) The last four digits of the numbers you call that your Ting number shows up instead of your Google number and .

    3) The time that the calls were placed.

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  • Okay, I seem to have gotten my brain into a loop that I cannot think my way out of.  

    If I read everything right, to get GV to be your voicemail provider you turn off ting voicemail, forward your ting phone (busy and not answered) to GV and forward GV to google chat.

    My use case is little different, and I am unsure how to proceed.  My current ting number (ported from my previous carrier another sprint MVNO), is my personal phone number.  I run a small business on a shoestring and my business number is my GV number.  99.9% of the time the GV number is forwarded to my ting number so it arrives in my pocket.  This also allows me to have two different voicemail messages, one carrier provided, and one GV provided.  This has been working fine for a long time, especially since I used the Sprint visual voicemail app for personal voicemails (no text to speech though).

    The caveat is that I miss the sprint VVM app.  I liked the notifications and interface provided to manage voicemail on the phone, instead of having to call in and check.  My thinking is that to use GV as my voicemail provider I will lose having two mailboxes with differing messages.

    The only workaround I can think of is to have two google voice numbers/accounts.  My existing one that forwards business calls to my cellphone, and a second one that takes missed calls from my cellphone and provides voicemail for it.

    Where I get confused is that my phone's google apps are logged into my primary google account which also has my business number GV associated with it.

    If I were to set up a separate google acct for personal voicemails, can I make the GV android app log into that account while the other google apps are logged into my main account?  I use that account extensively for chat and mail, so I cannot switch the phone to the new account.

    Am I missing something? Is there a simpler solution that I am missing?  Keep in mind I eventually may want to add GrooveIP in too, at least for outgoing calls.

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  • @William Robbins:

    Your exceeding the scope of Google voice and heading your business towards a train wreck.

    I have a pretty heavy presence at the GV forum but not under this name. I've read and re read your post and I think you should consider giving up the idea of VVM with calls to your mobile forwarded to one GV account and another GV account forwarded back or upgrade to a host better able to integrate more than one number and supply you with enterprise level support.

    The few dollars your saving using GV is going to end up being very expensive if you mess up the association with your phone and loose contact with all your customers for some length of time that it takes to untangle and figure out what's going on.

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  • Hi, everyone. I haven't read this entire thread, but I have some questions about using Google Voice with Ting and so I thought I'd post here.

    I am not a Ting member yet. I just found out about Ting tonight, but I'm very interested in their products.  I'm thinking of getting the LG Optimus S. I already have a Google Voice number which I just started using with Skype and an IPod Touch under wifi. My needs for a cell phone are minimal, but I want  cell phone that uses Google Voice, so I can use it when I'm not in a wifi area too.

    Anyway, my major questions are this: how many megabytes of data should I sign up for in my plan? For now, the only apps I will use for data are Google Voice and occasionally Google Maps. I'm wondering: how much data usage is needed, for instance, to listen to an average-sized voicemail message (I'm guessing around 15 or 20 seconds)? Is one voicemail message less than 1 megabyte?

    Related question: are voicemails downloaded to the device or are they accessed from Google's servers? 

    Thanks!

    David

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  • I'm responding to my previous post. I found the answer to my question by downloading a voicemail from my Google Voice account on the web. The voicemail was 22 seconds long and took up 46K. So, I think 100 mg of data should be enough for my current usage. 

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  • @David

    There is no need to decided how much to sign up for. Just choose the 0 plan for everything. For any service that goes above 0 you will automatically moved to the next higher bucket. It is expected that this is how Ting service will be presented sometime in the near future to avoid confusion.

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  • @Donna

    Thanks for the advice! That makes sense.

    I realized I do have two other questions: When I'm home and connected to my home's wifi network, I may not want my Google Voice voicemails to be downloaded/streamed on my Android Phone via data. Can I shut off data on my phone when I'm home so that doesn't happen? Will I be able to get voicemails and texts within the Google Voice app via wifi on the phone app with data shut off?  I'm guessing yes, but I've never owned an Android phone so I just want to make sure.

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  • @David

    If you are connected to your home wifi, apps that use data, like the Google Voice app for instance, will operate over the wifi connection by default, not the cell phone data path, which you pay for. Texts that you send or receive and any voicemails that you stream to your phone through the Google Voice app while connected to wifi will go through that connection by default. Another recommended app that you ought to at least try is called AutoAir, it puts your phone into airplane mode when connected to wifi so that you know that anything sent or received is going through that connection. I would recommend at least reading through the first page of this thread, most of my preliminary questions where answered that way.

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  • @Brad

    Thanks so much for the help!

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  • Hi again. I have another few questions: I just realized the LG Optimus S only supports 3G, not 4G. Are 3G speeds sufficient for downloading/streaming voicemails from Google Voice? Also, this is less important: but I'm wondering if 3G is sufficient for getting driving directions using Google Maps. 

    Again, Google Voice and Google Maps are the only apps I'm interested in that require a data connection. But if 4G speeds are a big difference then I might look into getting a used/refurbished HTC EVO 4G. Thanks.

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  • @David

    You should have no trouble using Google Voice on a 3G connection. As for your question regarding Google Maps: I believe you will have better luck asking that in a thread devoted to the Optimus S handset, or one that concerns Google Maps.

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  • @ David,

    3G is fast enough for Google Voice and Google Map.

    HTC EVO 3D has 4G Wimax (old tech) which will be obsolete soon.

    Galaxy Nexus has the latest 4G LTE. I bought a used one for $150.

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  • My issue is that I cannot receive calls via Google Voice on my Samsung Note II.  I think the problem has to do with missing options in my GV settings.

    I have attached a screenshot of my GV settings. thanks

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  • @Nathan, You need to "Get a Google Voice number" if you want people to call GV and be forwarded to your phone phablet. What you have now is known as Google Voice Lite, and it only provides voicemail service.

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  • I have to agree with Brad D. I've used Google Voice with both GrooVeIP and Talkatone on a wide variety of devices from tablets to phones. My suggestion is to try them both because you will invariably find one that suits your phone (and you) better. 

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  • Just a quick question.. If I forward my ting number from my device settings to send unanswered calls to my google voice number will the forwarded call use minuites? I am using Groove IP to get voip calls over the internet.

    Thanks.

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  • @ Joseph

    If you are using GrooveIP to make VoIP calls, then you will not accrue minutes on Ting. This is only possible when you're placing calls over the cellular network. Whether or how your calls are forwarded has no bearing on this matter.

    Put another way: If you are not using GrooveIP (i.e., you're out of range of a wireless Internet connection), then you will be placing calls over a cellular network and will accrue minutes. This is true regardless of whether or not your Ting number is set to pass calls to GVoice.

    I hope I have properly understood your question.

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  • I think you may have misunderstood my question.  I did a couple of test calls this morning and those calls showed up on my call history and accrued minutes.  I have set my ting phone # to forward unanswered calls to my google voice # in my device settings on the ting website. When my phone rings I just decline the call and within a second GrooveIP starts to ring and I answer the call using wifi.  It appears that once the call is forwarded it starts the counter and charges minutes wether the call is over the cell tower or internet.  Note that this is the case for incomming calls only. for outgoing calls I can just dial from GrooveIP and of course that is free.

    Please let me know if I am wrong and need to do further testing or change other settings.  I would love for this to work, it is the easiest way for me to limit my minutes and not have to mess with changing my phone #'s.

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  • I suspect your native dialer is still accepting the incoming call. I would suggest turning off your cellular radio and asking someone to call you. Accept the call with GrooveIP, chat for a few minutes,  then check your call logs. If GrooveIP is truly doing all the work in this scenario, you should not have accrued minutes.

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