Google Voice minutes?

I am going to start using Skype to dial out. The added advantage of skype is that you can then use the internet while making phone calls.

I went to Gizmo but it looks like Google bought them and are not taking new customers
 
Big D, I feel the same way haha. I feel so stupid when I read these Google Voice threads. I have no clue what it even is.
 
anyone know if you can use Google Voice from international to US. Not worried about eating my verizon minutes but tVerizon charges @ $2.50/min roaming and If google would save me some money it would be great.
 
When someone calls you using your google voice number using a verizon cell phone, is that considered mobile to mobile or will it go against your minutes?
 
Google Voice on the Droid explained to a 2nd grader - by request

There's a lot of confusion about Google Voice, so I hope I can clear it all up right here.

First, the Service. Ignoring any specifics about cell phones, smartphones, apps, etc. This section is all possible using a normal cell or landline phone and a computer with internet access:

Google Voice provides you with a phone number. That phone number can be set to forward to a number of existing phones or other services (gizmo5, etc). When somebody calls that number, your phone or other service will ring.

The benefits of Google Voice are:
- You can use a single number and be reached in multiple locations
- You can go from a phone number to an alternate service (gizmo5)
- You can send and receive SMS
- You get an online voicemail box, with transcription
- Other cool calling features, like conference, recording.

To receive a phone call using Google Voice, all you need to do is tell somebody to call your Google Voice number. Whatever phones/services you have set up in your account will ring, and you can answer the call. The caller will be charged whatever they would normally be charged to dial a number (your google voice number).

What you will be charged for a received call depends on how you have Google Voice set up. There is an option for Caller ID where you can either have it show the actual caller's ID or your Google Voice number. You will be charged the normal rate for received calls from either of those numbers.

To make a call through google voice, you have two options. 1, you open up a web browser, log into google voice, select "call", tell it which phone to call and who you want to call. Your phone will ring, you pick it up, and it will then connect you to the recipient. 2). You dial your own Google Voice number with your phone. From there, you can choose to make an outgoing call by dialing the number you want to call.



Now, onto the exciting part. The Droid with the Google Voice app.

The android OS has an open architecture that allows for a closer integration for things like Google Voice. The Google Voice app for android does a lot of things for you. First and foremost, it gives you the option of replacing your dialer. This replacement dialer operates as follows:
- Connects via data to Google Voice servers
- Connects via voice to a Google Voice number, which then calls your intended recipient.

This is transparent to you and your recipient, which is very nice. The Google Voice number that it uses to dial out seems to be non-deterministic. It's not your own number, and it's not always the same number. It's not configurable in the software, and I can only assume that the data connection at the beginning of the call is requesting it.

Caveat: If you have no data available, you cannot make a call with Google Voice using the built-in dialer. You CAN still make a call by dialing your own GV number and then the number of the recipient. The GV dialer also gives you the easy option of calling without Google Voice once the call initially fails.

The Google Voice app also provides visual voicemail (over data), and SMS sending and receiving (over data). You are not charged voice or SMS rates for voicemail and SMS if you use this app. You ARE charged for SMS if you forward the SMS to your mobile number or call voicemail from the dialer.

What does this all mean?

If you just want to use the exciting new features of Google Voice (recording, internet voicemail, etc), you're good to go. You also get free SMS messages, as they are sent over data instead of the normal SMS network.

If you want to use Google Voice to get free or cheap calls, there are a number of ways to do it, and a number of caveats:

1). If you have an expensive-enough plan (I believe $50/month or more for voice), you are able to select some "Friends and Family" numbers. If you select your own Google Voice number to be one of them, your incoming calls can be free, provided that you turn off Caller ID.
- This comes with the unfortunate side-effect of having no caller ID - all incoming calls will look like the same number, and you won't know until you answer it who they are.

2). Using that same Friends-and-family number selection, you can add the number that the Google Voice app is using to make calls. This will make your outgoing calls free. That number may change at any time!!

3). If you have a Gizmo5 account, you can install a VoIP program like SIPDroid and tell your Google Voice number to forward to that. If you have SIPDroid running on your phone, it will be able to receive a call using data instead of voice. Similarly, you can use SIPDroid to make outgoing calls. The quality on these calls is quite poor and in my experience there is an annoying echo. Both incoming and outgoing can be done over 3G or WiFi.

4). You can use Fring to make skype and Google Chat voice calls. These are not calls to a landline, but they are fairly good quality and are still useful. You can do that over 3G or WiFi.

In Summary:

Google Voice is NOT, I repeat NOT a VoIP provider. They use VoIP, but only to route calls. They DID recently acquire gizmo5, and gizmo5 IS a VoIP provider, so Google may soon go that route. At the time of this posting, however, Google does NOT make voice calls over data with the Google Voice app.

I do not recommend trying out any of the methods for getting "free" voice calls. They are probably all against the VZ terms of service, so go forth at your own risk of termination or additional fees.
 
I see a number of people have posted some great responses here, however, I am still mystified.

My interest is in being able to communicate with my boyfriend while he is deployed for a year. With the time difference and my work schedule, I need to depend on my mobile phone as the means to talk with him. However, the international per minute rates to where he is going to be are pretty steep so I am looking for less-expensive alternatives.

I have GV and got a separate GV number.

I have the Motorola Droid and installed the GV app.

I don't intend on making any calls except international to him. I expect we will have a half hour or so every few weeks.

So I am gathering from reading here that I will get charged by GV for the rate for that country AND by Verizon for any minutes that go over my allotment for out of network calls, is that correct?

Can I assume that as long as I'm not using GV at all I'm not incurring any charges with Verizon?

Do I have any other options? Would Fring/Skype work for international calls?

Thanks to anyone who can help me figure out what to do here. He leaves soon and I still don't have a solution on how we can stay in touch without it costing a fortune. :(
 
I see a number of people have posted some great responses here, however, I am still mystified.

My interest is in being able to communicate with my boyfriend while he is deployed for a year. With the time difference and my work schedule, I need to depend on my mobile phone as the means to talk with him. However, the international per minute rates to where he is going to be are pretty steep so I am looking for less-expensive alternatives.

I have GV and got a separate GV number.

I have the Motorola Droid and installed the GV app.

I don't intend on making any calls except international to him. I expect we will have a half hour or so every few weeks.

So I am gathering from reading here that I will get charged by GV for the rate for that country AND by Verizon for any minutes that go over my allotment for out of network calls, is that correct?

Can I assume that as long as I'm not using GV at all I'm not incurring any charges with Verizon?

Do I have any other options? Would Fring/Skype work for international calls?

Thanks to anyone who can help me figure out what to do here. He leaves soon and I still don't have a solution on how we can stay in touch without it costing a fortune. :(


Not sure how it works using your phone, but if ya call through the google voice web page (not smart enough to tell ya how) its extremely cheap. Maybe someone here can explain how to do that.

Think I might know how if ya have verizon friends and family. Add your google phone number to your list of free numbers. Then go to the google voice page, and make all incoming calls show your own google voice number (its in call options). And have your bf call your google voice phone number. If Im wrong, someone correct me.
 
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I do not have friends and family at 450 minutes. :(

Might be worth it to upgrade if your counting on regular calls from afghanistan. I imagine regular calls from there would add up to much more then what it costs to get to F&F. Just an idea.
 
I do not have friends and family at 450 minutes. :(

Might be worth it to upgrade if your counting on regular calls from afghanistan. I imagine regular calls from there would add up to much more then what it costs to get to F&F. Just an idea.

I THINK she said that she would ONLY be making international calls to him and only 30 minutes every few weeks. the 450 plan without friends and family should be fine for that.

If she's getting lots of calls from him all the time (which i kind of doubt), then I believe your plan would be best.

DroidGurl - are you going to be using that phone for anything else?
 
I see a number of people have posted some great responses here, however, I am still mystified.

My interest is in being able to communicate with my boyfriend while he is deployed for a year. With the time difference and my work schedule, I need to depend on my mobile phone as the means to talk with him. However, the international per minute rates to where he is going to be are pretty steep so I am looking for less-expensive alternatives.

I have GV and got a separate GV number.

I have the Motorola Droid and installed the GV app.

I don't intend on making any calls except international to him. I expect we will have a half hour or so every few weeks.

So I am gathering from reading here that I will get charged by GV for the rate for that country AND by Verizon for any minutes that go over my allotment for out of network calls, is that correct?

Can I assume that as long as I'm not using GV at all I'm not incurring any charges with Verizon?

Do I have any other options? Would Fring/Skype work for international calls?

Thanks to anyone who can help me figure out what to do here. He leaves soon and I still don't have a solution on how we can stay in touch without it costing a fortune. :(

To continue the previous post by me...

As long as you don't go over your minutes, you shouldn't have any other charges from Verizon. GV uses the balance in your GV account for international calls. Just make sure you have money in there before you make the call.

But why don't you just have your boyfriend call your phone? Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but incoming international calls are free and doesn't Uncle Sam pay for his outgoing?
 
Lol, yes, I've definitely found some other uses for it too. :) thanks for the replies!
 
Uncle Sam is not paying for his outgoing calls. If he calls me with a calling card or something I think it would just count against my out of network minutes.
 
Uncle Sam is not paying for his outgoing calls. If he calls me with a calling card or something I think it would just count against my out of network minutes.

That's correct. That sucks that he has to pay for those calls to you... tell him thank you for me. I can't speak for everyone, but I personally appreciate him and the rest of the men and women serving our country!
 
To receive a phone call using Google Voice, all you need to do is tell somebody to call your Google Voice number. Whatever phones/services you have set up in your account will ring, and you can answer the call. The caller will be charged whatever they would normally be charged to dial a number (your google voice number).

What you will be charged for a received call depends on how you have Google Voice set up. There is an option for Caller ID where you can either have it show the actual caller's ID or your Google Voice number. You will be charged the normal rate for received calls from either of those numbers.QUOTE]

So i have verizon. im in canada right now. I have my caller id set to show my google voice #. i have my google # as a friends and family. So just to get this straight i tell my fiancee to call me using the google #, I have my phone roaming in canada. I receive the call i answer and get an automated prompt to accept the call from my fiancee i pres #1 on the dialpad and it connects....without any charges at all?? Does my fiancee get charged for calling this way?

would appreciate any help.
 
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