There are a lot of great reasons to give Google Voice a try, I am entirely dependent on it now. Those two links give you a lot of great reasons, but neither of them hit on the reason I love Google Plus — it allows me to make and take phone calls right from in gmail. As gmail is already a cornerstone of my workflow, this is FANTASTIC for me. It allows me to leave my headphones on and continue working away. The spam feature is a nice benefit too, never get a telemarketer call twice.
But, despite having most of my calls go over the internet, and the vast majority of the time being on wireless of some sort, I was still paying a great deal (~$125 a month) for my minutes / text messages / data… better way to think about it… a little over $1500 dollars a year.
Enter Ting a tiny little wireless phone carrier piggy-backing on Sprint. I look at some of my bills and find out what I would be paying for my monthly bill with all the service I need via Ting… 38 bucks (including taxes) … saving over $1000 bucks a year ($1044 to be precise)…. but there is a catch, you buy the devices virtually outright (slightly discounted, more if you go to http://ting.com/twig) .. but even after dropping $350 on a phone… it pays for itself in 4 months.
Anyway, the point of this little post was to explain how I setup everything to work automatically using Google Voice whenever I am on wireless, and using standard 3G/4G coverage when I am away from a Hotspot/Home/Work.
- Google Voice (free)
- GrooveIP ($4)
- AutoAir (free)
The setup (parts lifted from here…)
- Google Voice # forwarded to my Ting #
- Google Voice # forwarded to Google Chat
- Ting device has voice-mail disabled; rely on Google Voice instead and forward notifications via e-mail or SMS
- Ting device has “busy” and “no answer” calls forwarded to my Google Voice #
- Ting device has “hide your Caller ID from others” option enabled
- GrooveIP installed on my handset (uses the Google Chat forward)
- GrooveIP 3G/4G calling disabled
- GrooveIP accept calls on answer enabled
- GrooveIP built-in dialer preference set to use GrooveIP on WIFI only
- GrooveIP native fallback enabled
- Hide the native phone app on the handset, it just gets in the way
- Hide the GrooveIP app also
- Use the GV app for texting and voicemail retrieval
- Use AutoAir to automatically disable the radio when you are on Wifi, this stops the phone from ringing in two different ways (One via standard phone forwarding, one via GrooveIP) …