iPhone And Google Voice Calls
I am a heavy Google Voice user for two big reasons – The first is free texts sent through email to my phone (I pay for a data plan but not a text message plan.) The second reason is the ability to give out one central number and be able to be contacted at pretty much any location at that number. I’ve broken that down pretty well in my [cref get-a-google-voice-account] article.
Google Voice has a Free App
In my opinion, this app is cumbersome and not as well-made as some of the second-party apps. I don’t really recommend it as your final solution. I DO, however, recommend that you at least check it out. You have to have it installed to use the app I recommend anyway. And if your phone is not jailbroken, this is pretty much your only option.
To get this app, see my instructions below.
For my free text messaging, I am using the following solution: I am using BiteSMS and SMS GV Extension. This system cost me about $12 for the apps. No montly fee. ($3.29 if you don’t want to use BiteSMS.) Read my [cref iphone-and-Google-Voice-SMS] article for more info on that.
How To Use Google Voice With Your iPhone
Prerequisites: Jailbroken iPhone, Google Voice Account. If you have an iPhone, but it’s not Jailbroken, or need a Google Voice Account, see my articles:
- [cref why-jailbreak-an-iphone-4]
- [cref downgrade-an-iphone-4-ios] – this also tells you how to flash the correct firmware
- [cref how-to-jailbreak-an-iphone]
- [cref how-to-unlock-an-iphone] – if you need that for a different carrier
- [cref how-to-install-jailbreak-apps] – how to do this stuff if you’re a newb
- [cref my-jailbreak-setup] – the stuff I put on my phone
- [cref make-multiple-backups-in-itunes] – if you’re using iTunes, you NEED this!!
- [cref restoring-your-jailbroken-iphone] – yep, you WILL have to do this at some point
- [cref get-a-google-voice-account]
On to the Tutorial…
Step 1 – Set Up Google Voice
- Go to Google Voice and go to Settings > Voice Settings.
- Get all of your phones connected and checked if you want calls forwarding to them. If you are also doing SMS like I suggest, uncheck the Text Settings box next to “Receive text messages on this phone” for all mobile phones. Otherwise, you will receive double texts and the ones being forwarded this way will be charged through your carrier. Under Advanced Settings, decide how you want to access your Google Voicemail, and how you want your phones to ring. I recommend that for your iPhone you set up your Voicemail like you see below. You can even set up a custom schedule so your work phone doesn’t ring during your 9-10 AM meetings.
- Save, of course. Then go to Settings > Voice Settings > Voicemail & Text. Make sure your voicemail is all handled the way you want and if you are also doing SMS like I suggest, check the box next to “Forward Text Messages to my Email”.
Step 2 – Get the Phone GV Extension App
- Launch Cydia and search : Phone GV Extension
- Install the application and restart springboard.
- Go to Settings > SMS GV Extension and click the Check License Off and back on to buy it. Go through the Paypal process to pay $3.29 for the app. Shut up. It’s worth it. If you like, you have a few days to try this one. But get it over with. You know you want it.
- Fill in your settings:
- iPhone Number – make sure you put the +1 in front of your number for the international code.
- Username – this is your Google Voice username. Don’t add the @google.com
- Password – this is your Google Voice password. There is no error checking, so make sure this is right. (*** Important – If your password for Google contains symbols, go to Google now and change it. It will not work with Phone GV Extension. Then come back and put the new password in here now.)
- Mode – I recommend GV Direct Dial, but there are several options:
- GV Direct Dialing will use your phone minutes but will feel like you’re using your regular phone, even though it goes through Google Voice. Calls placed this way will show up in your phone history online.
- GV Call Back is a call initiated by Google Voice. GV calls the other person and calls you. You place the call, then you have to answer the call. Kind of pointless…
- GV Offline dial – If you have phone service but no Edge, 3G, or wifi, you can place a call by calling Google voice as if you were calling your voice mail.
- Carrier – if you use this setting, it looks like you dialed with your iPhone. That’s the number people will see on their caller ID, not your Google Voice number. Basically like turning the app off temporarily.
- Ask before dialing – this adds an extra step, but is useful if you need to swap between any of the methods above.
GV Offline Dial Settings – GV Number – enter your Google Voice Number. Pin Code is your code to access your voice mail. Make adjustments if you made changes in step 1;2 above.
- Show Real ID – I recommend you have this turned on so you can see people’s phone numbers in your call history.
- Check License – Go ahead and hit this twice to turn it off and back on to see if your license has gone through after your purchase. It takes up to an hour to go through the database. When it is done, it will say “License Status: Registered.”
Step 3 – Get the Official Google Voice App
It needs to be on the phone. If you already have it, you can skip this step.
- Go to the App Store and do a search for Google Voice. Get the Google Voice app by Google. It has a blue background with a white talk bubble and a blue phone in it.
- Open the app and sign in using your Google Voice username (no @gmail.com) and password.
- In settings, select This phone – Don’t use for calls.
- Exit the app and go to the phone Settings > Notifications > Google Voice. Turn off all notifications. They’re annoying.
Step 4 – Test Using the Native App
- Pick up your phone and dial a friend in the same room. Check the caller ID and see what number is calling.
- Depending on your settings, you may get the pop-up or extra clicks necessary.
Step 5 – Adding Google Voice SMS
You REALLY need to read my [cref get-a-google-voice-SMS] article.