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
  • @ Joseph

    Quick check, do you have "Call Forwarding can be set on phone" on your device unchecked? This is recommended.

    Additionally I have Forward 'Busy Signal' and 'No Answer' calls to my Google Voice number.

    Additionally I have bought the full version of GrooveIP for $5, the native dialer integration is worth the price of admission. You also may want to check if airplane mode is enabled when you want to receive calls on wifi, helps to avoid confusion. Autoair can help you with this when on remembered wifi networks.

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  • Right. I think Bryan did misunderstand what you were describing.  If you have it set in your Ting dashboard to forward calls anywhere, that does use a regular cellular connection and will count on Ting minutes.  So that usage scenario doesn't really help you at all.  You're dealing with the crappy sound quality of GrooveIP over wifi, but still using your minutes--might as well have just answered directly, so you could at least have better sound quality.  What you are doing is basically backward from how Google Voice is most useful.  Giving out your Google Voice number as your main number works better.  You can then have it set to ring multiple phones or only particular ones, and it will connect whichever one you answer.  There is an app called Groove Forwarder that some people use to switch their Google Voice forwarding numbers semi-automatically.  When you go on wifi, it sets Google Voice to ring the Google Chat (GrooveIP) connection, and when you go off wifi, it will switch it to ring the cellular number.  The footnote on that is that changing the setting needs a data connection, so you would need to have your mobile data accessible when you drop off wifi so it can make the change over to your cellular number.

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  • I have tried out a lot of this, but determined that it wasn't quite worth it to me both with the complication and the worse sound quality to deal with doing calls over wifi.  I'm not a really heavy minutes user (two phones always fit within the 500 minutes bucket), so it wasn't going to be that much savings.  I do, however, use the setting to forward busy and no answer calls to my Google Voice number because I really like the features of it for voice mail.

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  • I have done some more testing with airplane mode switched on, and I already had the call forwarding set from device unchecked.  I made another call to my ting # and answered my google voice # from GrooveIP after it had been forwarded by ting.  I am now just waiting for my call logs to update on the website (this seems to take up to a few hours.)  @Rocky as much as I hope you are wrong about this, I think you are correct that once your ting # is dialed from another phone you are going to be charged minutes wether they forward it to another # or not.

    I am just trying to limit my minutes, but am not willing yet to change my phone # or pay to forward it to Google Voice.  Like you @Rocky the call quality and the hassle of dealing with autoair, groove forwarder, sip, etc. make it less desireable.  However if I find myself at the end of my billing cycle close to the top of my bucket load it is sure nice to have the option of offloading some of those munutes to my employers wifi :)  Forwarding my Ting # to Google Voice is really easy, as you all know, but if it still charges me minutes it does me no good.  Rejecting a call from the native dialer when I have a good wifi connection and simply answering the GrooveIP call an instant later is a really simple way limit my minutes without having to deal with not getting ANY MMS or messing with automated settings apps. AS LONG AS IT REALLY SAVES MINUTES!

    @Bryan thank you for your help.  As always, Ting support is the best there is! If you have any more input after reading mine and @Rocky's reply it is appreciated.  I am still hoping for this to work.

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  • Rocky is correct: I mis-read your initial post and misconstrued the "directionality" of your setup. I did not notice that you were forwarding from Ting to GVoice (I must say I've never heard of this scenario!). But Rocky is also correct when he states that any call coming to your Ting number will automatically accrue minutes, regardless of where you forward it. I'm going to guess that your Ting logs will show activity, even despite the fact that your antenna was off.

    One solution is to simply ask a select group of callers to start calling your GVoice number, then use the techniques outlined in this thread for incorporating GrooveIP.

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  • Thank you all for your help. I think until google voice iplementation gets a little better and integrates MMS I will just continue to reject calls and call people back with GrooveIP when trying to save a few minutes.  Ting is the best deal around. I feel a bit like I'm trying to beat a dead horse to get more out of it.

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  • Hey I like to keep up with Republic Wireless and they said in a blog, "MMS: For some of you, having the ability to use MMS is a pretty big deal. We agree and we want to be able to offer it to you. For a long time, strict and complex guidelines prevented us from being able to offer this functionality along with Hybrid calling. As of February 2013, these guidelines have been updated."   It's too bad RW is still in BETA.

    I'm guessing if GV wanted they could add MMS in the future.....http://files.ctia.org/pdf/MMS_Interoperability_Guidelines_V3-0As_Adopted_Feb2013.pdf

    Just think GOOGLE CELL SERVICE: google hardware, google software, unlimited talk and data (sprint), and integrated GV VIOP with MMS app, all for $19 month :)

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  • Psshht. Good luck with Google supporting it more. They used to have an email gateway back when they were Grand Central. At some point since Google bought it, they did away with that, and I've found threads online at least as far back as 2009 with people begging for that feature or doing really crazy workarounds.

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  • Hi I've add this up and working for a while (GrooveIP, Autoair), but I recently upgraded to a Samsung Galaxy Nexus and now AutoAir doesn't seem to work.  I can start the service but it never kicks airplane mode on when wifi is present (and actually kicks it off if you manually turn airplane mode on).  I now get two rings when on wifi (cell network and grooveIP).  I've searched market for an app similar to AutoAir, but haven't been successful.  Anyone else experience this or have an idea how to fix this?

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    1. Jason, I think I know what the problem is  I have read that Android 4.2 no longer allows switching wifi on when in airplane mode.  I am guessing that since you have a nexus phone you are one of the few who are running Android 4.2. If so this is most likely your problem. I could be wrong but I think if you want to continue to use autoair you will have to revert back to Android 4.1.2 :(  However there is another app that may be a good work around. Rocky mentioned Groove Forwarder a few posts above, and as long as you keep your mobile data switched on it will accomplish the same thing as autoair. Rather than switching airplane mode on and off, it manages your forwarding numbers on your Google voice account depending on your wifi connection.  I hope that helps and good luck  
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  • I do have Android 4.2.1. I've read that as well about the wifi and airplane mode, but I have SwitchPro widget and it can switch me into airplane mode and leave wifi on no problem. Thanks for the tip on Groove Forwarder- I'll give it a go.

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  • Anyone considered using NFC tags to set WiFi on/Cell off? I was thinking having a tag at home and one at work would cover the majority of my needs. Too bad there is no totally seamless solution.

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  • automateit app works great

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  • Regarding wifi automagically on and off, I tried automateit and though it is a great app, I couldn't get it to turn off my wifi. I installed Smart WIFI Toggler, a free app, and it works great. When I leave home the wifi goes off and when I return it turns on. Yesterday at the golf course, the pro shop had free wifi so I manually turned on wifi. When I got out of range, the app turned it off, and when I got back within range, it turned it on. It had learned the new wifi. Only have used it two days, but works great so far.

    Jim

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  • I was wondering if anybody had successfully gotten around the issue of GV  giving this message...

    Porting your mobile number to Google Voice is unavailable

    Your mobile number can not be ported at this time.
    - We currently don't support porting from your carrier. We apologize and are working on adding support for more carriers.

    ...when trying to port the numbers to GV.  I have my phones for Ting on the way, and checked with Customer Service before buying them that I would be able to bring over both my wife and I's numbers straight to Ting before I bought the phones. Now that I am looking at using the GV option and being told these same numbers can't be ported to GV, it appears my options are limited.  This had been briefly mentioned in this thread earlier about possibly being able to port my numbers (currently with AT&T) to Ting, and then port them to GV (and subsequently getting new and never-given-out numbers from Ting).  I am just wondering if anybody has done this and if just the act of porting the numbers to a different carrier would suddenly make them available to GV to be ported in.  Thanks,

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  • If your message is Ooops! We currently don't support porting from your carrier. We apologize and are working on adding support for more carriers.

    Then  your phone is still being recognized as a landline but may be a good sign that after a week or two, probably less it will propagate the system and become available to port soon.

    You can keep trying daily using the porting tool here https://www.google.com/voice/b/0/porting

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  • @Jason Beach I use airplane mode with WiFi on only all the time since 4.2 up to and including 4.2.2.  Now I use custom ROMs, never a stock one... but this was never functionality added by the ROM makers.  I never even knew there was an issue with it! Learn something new everyday, but I don't have that issue at all.

     

    For people using GrooveIP... have you noticed call quality really degrading over recent versions? Talking since February at least.  

     

    I purchased another Gvoice dialer called Spare Phone that has been working SO MUCH better for 9/10 times.  For that 1/10 I keep GrooveIP around ;) All in all though, Spare Phone has been the better of the two for Gvoice calling (for myself at least on Epic 4g Touch)

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  • Question regarding setting up Chat, with GrooveIP and GV. When setting up chat (now Hangouts), do I confirm my phone number as my ting phone number or my GV phone number?

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  • Hey Christine! So far as WHICH number you use, I don't believe it matters.  Since they plan on having SMS integration added into Hangouts(formerly Talk), I would use which ever number you would like that functionality for.  Also if you are like me, and are not a big fan of the new Hangouts app, you can find a GREAT app called Talk.to.  It supports Google Talk, and it is a very lightweight and reliable app for me.  It also handles a few other networks :)

    Though I don't know if they will send a verification code to a Gvoice number for Hangouts.  I know some services are hit and miss whether it will/can send automated things like that.  If I were you, I'd just try which ever you might want to have SMS functionality in Hangouts in the future with.  If Gvoice won't verify, then Ting number it is!

     

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  • Unlike most other posters, I want to keep giving out my regular cell phone number which I had ported to Ting. AND, I want to be able to make calls and texts go through WiFi whenever I'm connected to a WiFi, and only use my Ting call minutes when I'm away from WiFi. I followed the directions at the beginning of this thread, but

    I have created:

    • a GV account and downloaded to my phone

    • installed GrooVeIP

    • installed AutoAir

    Here are my questions:

    1) What do I need to do so that when I call someone they see my regular cell number show up in my caller ID. No one will take my call when they see some unknown cell phone number from California coming in (texts too).

    2) What do I need to do so that my phone automatically switches to regular calling and text through Ting only when OFF WiFi, but always default to GV & GrooVeIP when ON WiFi.

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  • Ok this is all in "as far as I know" territory here, but I've done a bit of research into this in the past with all my tinkerings with how Google Voice is currently configured.

    1) Basically you are either going to have to tell people your Google Voice number is your new number, and then just use the part of GV service that forwards your calls through their number.  The only way (I know) you are going to get a different number to show up when calling OUT though  Google Voice would be to get a Caller ID spoofer.  I don't suggest that AT ALL, nor do I think one will even work with GrooveIP or Spare Phone.

    2) You are either going to have to use an app like  https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=AutomateIt.mainPackage&feature=search_result#?t=W251bGwsMSwxLDEsIkF1dG9tYXRlSXQubWFpblBhY2thZ2UiXQ.. to set some automated tasks for you to tell your phone to do that.  Or just do what I do, and just do it yourself.  I have a short cut to the normal dialer and a shortcut to GrooveIP.  When on Wifi I use GrooveIP, when not I use the regular phone. 

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  • Meant to add that in the settings for Google Voice on the webpage, under calls, there is a setting for what number shows as TEXT number only right now.  They SAY they are working on calls too, with no ETA.

     

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  • Hello All,

    I have been following this discussion since I got my Ting phone 6 weeks ago.  

    I had been using my Google Voice number for about 2 years.  It is a simple matter of redirecting calls to my Google Voice number to my new Ting number.  That is the easy part.

    Now the hard part ... The cellular signal at my home is so low that it cannot keep a call connected if it got through at all. SO, Groove ip is a perfect solution for me.  Otherwise, I would have to close my Ting account and waste the money spent on the new Kyocera phone.

    I got Grove ip Lite set up on my phone and everything worked just fine for the last 5 weeks.  There are a few observations:

    1/  The default Groove ip Lite had some echos heard at the other end.  People I was talking to complaint of an echo.  I went to the Groove ip settings and check the box to enable Basic Echo Canceler.  I did not notice any increase in voice transmission delays so I did not have to play with the "fine adjustments" of the Adaptive Canceler.  Apparently, the echo canceling requires some data buffering and that induces those annoying delays.  Less aggressive echo canceling means less buffering means less delay.

    2/  PROBLEM:  If the WiFi Groove ip is signed into is my home WiFi, or my Mom's, my sister's, my friend's house, etc.  The Groove ip works just fine.  If I am at Barnes and Nobals, Starbucks, McDonalds, or Dunkin Donuts, Groove ip failed to sign in.  Anyone know what the problem is?  Maybe those businesses limits certain higher bandwidth apps like Groov ip?  I have no problem connected to their WiFi. It is just Groove ip cannot sign in.  I appreciate any inputs.

    3/  PROBLEM:  Somehow, text messages to my Google Voice number cannot get through to my Ting phone while on WiFi/Groove ip.  Text to my Google Voice number DO get through if I am on cellular signal.  It is annoying.  Cannot figure out the problem.  

    SOLUTION:  I check the check box in Google Voice to forward all text to my email.  I already have my Google email linked to my Ting 3G data plan.  So, my text notification comes to the phone via email notification.  I click the Google Voice shortcut to go to the Google Voice website to read and reply to my text.  This is done via WiFi or cellular 3G data plan.  Anyone noticed that I no longer need the Ting Text Plan?  Well, I just save myself $$$ per month by cancelling my Ting Text Plan.  I am not a heavy 3G data plan user.  The extra texting load transferred to my 3G data plan did not show any impact.

    4/  I will be upgrading to the paid version of Groove ip.  It can make calls via the 3G data plan.  I keep track of my monthly voice minutes.  Once I reach near the limit, I will make calls with my 3G data instead so I don't have to jump into the next $$$ Voice Minutes block.

    QUESTION:  I have control in Groove ip to make OUT GOING call via WiFi or 3G data plan.  Do I have control on IN COMING calls?

    5/  QUESTION:  Once I upgrade to the full paid version of Groove ip, would all my current Groove ip Lite settings be replace by default settings from  Groove ip Full?

     

    Thanks to all those that contributed to this discussion.  You guys are amazing.

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  • 2/  PROBLEM:  If the WiFi Groove ip is signed into is my home WiFi, or my Mom's, my sister's, my friend's house, etc.  The Groove ip works just fine.  If I am at Barnes and Nobals, Starbucks, McDonalds, or Dunkin Donuts, Groove ip failed to sign in.  Anyone know what the problem is?  Maybe those businesses limits certain higher bandwidth apps like Groov ip?  I have no problem connected to their WiFi. It is just Groove ip cannot sign in.  I appreciate any inputs.

    There are two reasons that I know of this can happen.  The first reason is that you have not 'signed in' to their wifi.  As you probably already know, many public hotspots require you to go to a web page and agree to their terms before the connection will really allow connections to the internet, even if you are physically connected to the wifi.  Since you say you have no problem connected to their wif, I dout this is it, but check and make sure you can browse to a website first.

    The second issue is that they may have ports that GrooveIP uses blocked by their firewall.  If this is the case there is nothing you can do (unless GrooveIP lets you change its ports, I don't know, I never dug in that deep and do not currently use it.).

     

    Hope that helps.

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  • Hi William Robbins,

    Thanks for the insight regarding the public WiFi sign in.  When I surf the web, with my laptop, at any of the Starbucks, McDonalds, Dunkin Donuts, etc, I do have to check box the agreement to their usage terms before I can surf or log into my gmail.  Next time, with my phone, I will surf to their agreement page and do the check box FIRST, and then try to sign in.  I am optimistic.

    Assuming it works, the manual step of the check box would not be as seamless as my automatic sign-in using AutoAir Service.  With AutoAir Service, my phone will go into Airplane Mode, as I drive into my driveway when I get home.  Groove ip will automatically sign into my home WiFi.

    I checked the settings on Groove ip Lite.  I cannot find any place where I can change the port.  Let's hope this is not the case of a blocked port.

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  • From the Groove ip FAQ .... What are the ports used by Grove ip?

    ANS:  For registration and call signaling, GrooVe IP communicates with talk.google.com over TCP port 5222.

    • TCP 19294
    • UDP 19295
    • UDP 19302

    The ports for voice traffic are configurable from the Troubleshooting settings. In older versions of the app local UDP ports 19003 and 19004 are used for voice and are not configurable.

    I need to have the above translate to English. :)

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  • Hey William! Let's see if we can get your Voice/Groove IP issues smoothed!

    For what was answered already... +1.  When you first get on that Public Wifi, go to your browser and try to go to Google.  Once you accept the terms of the hotspot then you should be good to go. I've personally used GrooveIP, Spare Phone, and GV Phone all on public wifi at Starbucks and McDonalds.

     

    Before I go into issue to issue, I do want to have an aside to say you MAY want to check out a program called Spare Phone.  It is the same concept as GrooveIP, but for me over the past few months it has been MUCH smoother and calls sound and behave so much better than GrooveIP.  I have a paid version of both (don't think there is a trial for Spare Phone but its only 3 bucks), and I keep GrooveIP around as a back up but Spare Phone is my go to for GV service hands down.  Added bonus is when Spare Phone losses wifi for a second, it still keeps the call connected.  You just have a bit of silence til the wifi connects again.  Awesome for those spotty hotspots ;)

    Now lets get to the nuts and bolts of your questions.

    1) GrooveIPs echo cancellation can be finicky.  My best settings have been using adaptive cancel.  Even then...  I'll just say give Spare Phone a shot.  With zero echo cancellation  settings active, it is a MUCH better quality of calling than GrooveIP has been able to have.  GrooveIP has just gotten so picky, and even changes in wifi signal seem to put the echo settings into wack and screw with call quality.  This has all just been my experience though.  Experiences may vary.

    2) Addressed, let us know if you still have an issue.

    3) Log into Google Voice webpage, click the Gear in the upper right corner to go to settings.  In the Phones section, just make sure your phone is checked as active.  In the Google Voice app, go to settings, then sync and notifications.  Make sure everything looks good there.  I never had an issue like this before though myself.  Maybe try re-installing and setting up the GV app again.

    Are you running a Firewall app by any chance? If so make sure you are allowing Google Voice ;) This was an issue for me once...

    4) Yes, when you set the option for Wifi/Cell or both, then that is for both incoming and outgoing calls.  If I am understanding you correct, you wanted to know if you set the 3g/4g option only then outgoing calls would indeed be on 3g/4g... very much yes :)

    5)  AFAIK, since the Lite and Full apps are seperate (not an unlocker when you purchase) then it will not take your settings from Lite to Full version. He may have changed that recently, but as of last year when I purchased GrooveIP it did not keep any settings when I went to the Full version.

     

    Also as another aside, there are a couple other (free) choices for Google Voip.  Currently I am trying out an app called GV Phone from Moplus.  It is solid on calls so far, but there are ZERO settings to adjust if it does need tweaking.  Very big con.  Another is Talkatone, which isn't so bad but unreliable for me (closes itself a lot), and ads are too annoying (no paid version to get ad free).  Both of these handle Google Voice SMS as well, but their lack of features and/or ads keep me from truly calling them a good replacement for GrooveIP or Spare Phone.  

     

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  • William Cheung,  Let me know if the sign in works.  I have a suspicion that for most if not all places it will.  Most public wifi setups block all data outside their network until you agree to the terms.

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  • Hi Folks,

    The sign in worked at Barnes and Nobals.  I did not have a chance to try at DD, Starbucks, and McD yet.  Once I get connected to BN's WiFi, instead of launching Groove ip, I launch the browser and see the BN "accept terms of use" page and check the check-box.  THEN, I successfully launch the Groove ip phone dialer keypad.

    Too bad it cannot be seamlessly connect like my home WiFi.  It would be nice to just walk into Barnes and Nobals and not have to go through the manual steps.

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