Using Google Voice Over WiFi on a Mobile Device
A while ago, I had complained that Google wasn’t doing the right thing by its users by holding back on easily implementable functionality which they must be knowing is in great demand. I’m referring of course to the fact that users can make and receive calls using the Gmail/GTak integration, but the same luxury is denied to those using Gtalk on their mobile devices. Some people think that they’re holding off on this because it would make the carriers burst a blood vessel. While there might be some truth to that, I personally think that they’re waiting for the “free US calling” offer to expire before they make it so easily available – otherwise they could end up footing the bill for every call made within the United States!
But those who really want this feature on their mobile phones can make use of two great applications – one for the iPhone and one on Android which allows you to place calls on your mobile just as if you had a Gmail client open. It works without any voice minutes and is entirely over the Internet – and is free. The iPhone app is called Talkatone and is a free download. The Android app is called GrooveIP and is paid (a strange reversal). It costs $5 and is totally worth the money.
buy google voice accounts sign in details and the apps probably register themselves in the same way a browser would when running the calling application within email. It’s perfect! The only problem I found was that when I receive an incoming call on my Google Voice number which forwards to my Google chat, it rings only one device even if I’m logged into GTalk on my browser as well as the phone.
Ideally, I should be able to choose which client to pick up based on which one I’m closer to. There’s a simple workaround for this. Just forward your Google Voice number to an SIP address via a service such as IPKall, and keep an SIP client open on your laptop or PC. This way, your phone will ring with Talkatone or GrooveIP and so will your computer with the SIP client. You can then choose which device you want to use. Not ideal, but it serves the purpose.
Now I know this probably isn’t what Google wants users to do. On the other hand, the number of people doing it may be so tiny that it might not matter to them. Let’s hope that it doesn’t make these programs stop working -that would be sad for those of us who love Gmail calling and want to use it with our mobiles as well.