I'm considering getting an Android phone, and one thing that I'd like to do is drop my texting plan, and do all texting over wifi/data using Google Voice. If I do this, I need the following things to be true:

  • It must be easy to send texts over Google Voice.
  • It must be easy to receive texts (and notifications of new texts) over Google Voice, without them actually coming to me by SMS (so I don't get charged for them).
  • It must be easy to place calls using my Google Voice number (it doesn't have to be VOIP, but the person I'm calling has to see the call as originating from the Google Voice number, so that I don't have to get them two numbers).
  • It must be easy to receive calls using my Google Voice number (again, I only want to give out one number).

Are all these things possible with Android?

2 Answers 2



I use Google Voice for texting. It's great. Notifications are reliable, there have been no delays in receiving messages (or others receiving mine), and of course you can access it from your computer as well. Super handy, and no SMS charge.

As for voice calls, I also used to use it for that. The app manages everything nicely for outgoing calls -- you can set it to make every call "from" (show up as) your Google Voice number. And you can set it up to forward all calls to it to your "real" number -- so no one needs to know it except Google and you can give everyone your GVoice number. Plus, every call to the U.S. and Canada only uses your local minutes (or charges you a local rate if you don't have a plan).

Note: You can't receive texts from services such as Facebook that actually email you via [yournumber]@[yourcarrier].com or something similar, you cannot text short codes such as FBOOK (32665), and you can't send MMS messages (but that's what email's for amirite?).

  • 2
    Note: The app does not support VoIP calls (yet?) but the web interface does. To use it for VoIP on Android is somewhat complicated (you need to get a SIP number from somewhere else and run a SIP client on your phone, then forward GVoice to that number) and the call quality is terrible with about a 2 second delay. But you said it didn't have to do VoIP anyways, so that shouldn't be an issue :) Jan 25, 2011 at 7:23
  • this answer is right on the money.
    – Matt
    Jan 25, 2011 at 7:44
  • One other disadvantage to GV is that it's its own client. All these nifty little SMS extension apps ("SMS Popup", etc.) don't work with the GV client. Other than that, I use GV exclusively for my voice and texting.
    – ale
    Jan 25, 2011 at 14:13
  • Perhaps the biggest thing about Google Voice is that you must be able to fully commit to using your Google Voice number as your main number if you wish to use all of its features effectively
    – Bryan Denny
    Jan 25, 2011 at 14:21
  • For what it's worth, I only give out my GV number. No one has the direct number to my phone (except perhaps my wife). A pleasant side effect is that any calls to that number are almost certainly robocalls, so I can safely ignore those.
    – ale
    Apr 4, 2013 at 15:15

I use Google Voice for all SMS communication but I don't use it for outgoing calls unless I'm calling Canada or something. I don't like the delay of "double calling" where Google Voice calls a local number and then calls the number you want to call from there.

I can't turn SMS off with my carrier and that's okay because most people get it when I respond to there text from my GV number.

To me, the best feature of GV is how it also sends the message to my email account and I can write responses in email that go to their SMS number.

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