Best way to handle two Google Voice lines?

I have two Google Voice accounts at present, one for personal use, which has been my main personal phone number for a few years now, and one for work which I acquired several months ago figuring it would let me use the same number whether I continued to carry my work BlackBerry or just went with a single phone.

It works OK at present; I have both Google Voice accounts ringing the same phone. However, that's only possible with GV if the forwarding phone is set up on one of the accounts as a non-mobile number, which means that SMS and SMS notification of voice mail won't work with it. So I can't text using my work line or get work VM unless I have my BlackBerry on me, which has been an annoyance on several occasions.

So I'm finally getting a "real" smartphone (Moto X through Ting) so I think I want to quit carrying two phones, and I'm trying to figure out the best way to go about this. I'd rather keep both my GV accounts than have to tell any of my contacts new numbers. So it seems that the easiest way to handle this would be to port my personal GV number to Ting and just use that as the main phone line on the new phone, and then set up the Google Voice app on the phone to use the work account. Then I could do personal calling & texting from the standard Android apps and use the GV app for work calling and texting.

In one way this would be better, as I would be able to fully utilize the work line and be sure I wasn't missing anything. The big drawback for me would be losing Google Voice for handling texts and voice mail on my personal line. I don't text a lot, but since with Google Voice it would cost me effectively nothing as the data use is negligible, it would represent a ~25% increase in my Ting bill. And I'd miss the visual voice mail and automatic transcription in Google Voice as well.

Any thoughts on slick solutions here? 

0

Comments

10 comments
  • I don't know how much texting you do that would cause a 25% increase in your Ting bill but it must be something close to 5000 or more per month.

    You might look at Google play for a text app, the offerings are practically endless.

     

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • $6 device charge + $3 (100 minutes) + $13 (500 MB) = $22/mo. today. I only send/receive texts about 150 times a month, but that would put me into the 1000 text bucket at $5, which is 22.7% of $22, so not quite 25% but in the ballpark.

    I've looked at the free texting apps, the problem with them is that they all (so far as I saw) would require me to use a new phone number for texting, which would require me to give a new number to anyone I want to text with (and I really want to avoid that, as switching numbers a lot a few years ago was a major impetus for getting GV in the first place). 

    In the grand scheme of things, I know this is just $5 a month, so it's not a huge deal, but Ting is all about saving money, so I'm just trying to see if I can save a little more. :)

    The other advantage of having GV be my main phone is that it's not dependent on an actual device. If I lose (or misplace) my phone, I can still send and receive calls and texts from any computer with an internet connection, and if I activate my old flip phone on a Verizon pre-paid (which I did at one point) I can forward the GV number to that. If I port the number to Ting I lose that. 

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • I've found a kludgy workaround that at least will give me a "good enough" solution - make regular phone calls through my personal GV account (linked to my phone so that all calls through the native dialer go out using this number), and use the GV app for personal texting and voice mail management. 

    Then I can use an app like GrooVe IP/Talkatone/Mo+ to link to my work Google account and make calls and send texts using that GV line over a data connection (if I absolutely have to make a work call when out and about away from a data connection, I can always do so using my personal line); and I can use Boomerang to manage both my personal Gmail account and the work Gmail account (which contains nothing but SMS and VM notifications, so it functions as a kind of visual voicemail).

    Really, though, what I wish existed were some kind of "communications hub" app that unifies email, SMS, IM, and voice communications (potentially multiple accounts for each) under a single umbrella. Not sure how feasible this is actually but I'd pay a lot (well, by smartphone app standards) for it if implemented well. 

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Maybe Ring Central? or any number of Hosted PBX solutions?

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • I'm trying to do this for free. Work won't pay for it (they'll pay for my BlackBerry, if I want some other solution, I'm on my own). 

    Basically, what I'd like, in a perfect world, is a single app that can do the following:

    • Handle voice calls, voice mail, and SMS/MMS for multiple lines;
    • Do so over WiFi when possible ("possible" depending on signal strengh, not just a wireless connection!), or on cellular voice otherwise.

    Failing that, I'm settling for:

    • GV for my personal calling, voicemail and texting (aside from MMS); (maybe with Groove IP and GV Locales installed later to switch between WiFi and cell) 
    • Talkatone or somesuch for work calls and texting, understanding that it will only work with a solid data connection;
    • Boomerang to handle email (only applicable for my personal account) and text and voicemail notifications for my work account.
    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Getting all that working for free will be a challenge so hope you get it working in a manner that's reasonably functional enough for your needs and hopefully your contacts will have alternate ways of contacting you.

     

     

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Thanks Robin.

    I don't think my solution would endanger my contacts' ability to reach me; GV forwarding of the work line to my phone should still work, I just would only be able to make an outbound call with Talkatone when I have a data connection (cellular or WiFi). So if I must place a work call when that's not available, I could still use my personal number. 

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Outgoing calls are actually pretty easy, you can dial into the voicemail and press 2 or you can use the Flex dialer app on android and program in everything but the number your calling even use contacts by simply toggling which account you want to call through.

     I was thinking it was the incoming and SMS you were having issue with through the mobile phone network but if your using WiFi or data, there are tons of simple and free or really cheap options for multiple numbers you can associate with GV for in and out bound including the Talkatone your presently using.

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • If anyone is interested, my solution is working fine on my new Moto X. The standard Gmail app handles two accounts fine, which I didn't realize, so I'm using that for email; I have the Google Voice app set up with my personal account for texting and voicemail (the latter being forwarded to the device VM as well for convenience), and I have GrooveIP set up with my work Google Voice account for texting, calls, and voicemail. 

    I also got the Outlook Web Mobile app to make my work OWA more smartphone friendly, and that app also checks my work calendar periodically so that my work meetings appear on my phone's calendar. The latter steps were to avoid letting my employer administer my phone, which forces encryption and also gives them the ability to remotely wipe which I'm not OK with.

    0
    Comment actions Permalink

Please sign in to leave a comment.