GV Integrates Google Voice into Android

March 31, 2009

GV for AndroidAndroid users who are switching over to their Google Voice phone number full-time like I am need a handy little app called GV. GV provides calling and SMS support via your Google Voice number in Android that isn't perfect, but is getting there.

GV's About dialog says that GOOG hasn't released an official, supported API for the product, so it'll only work as long as Google Voice's mobile interface doesn't change. No doubt the Android developers at Google are busy at work building default hooks to Google Voice into a future release of the mobile phone operating system. But until Google Voice support comes out of the box, GV's the way to go.

Install GV from the Android Market (it's free), and hit up the settings to enter your Google Voice username, password, and phone number. From there, any time you make a call or send an SMS, you have the choice to use your Google Voice number or your cell phone number.

Here's what that looks like.

Tap and hold on a contact you want to text or call, and GV will ask which method you want to use, as shown.

GV Choose how to call/SMS

Since I'm switching to my Google Voice number full-time, I checked off that "Use by default for this action" box before I chose GV for both texting and calling.

For the most part the transition to Google Voice with GV is going well for me, save a couple oddities that take some getting used to.

First, to place a call, you tap your contact, and GV calls you first. You pick up, and then it rings your contact. That's the only way to have your GV number show up on the caller ID on the other end--but it's still weird when you're used to just picking up a phone and dialing.

Update: Commenter Oren points out that in GV's settings, you can choose "Dial out" instead of "Call back" as the method for calling a contact. That option calls Google Voice, which prompts you to "dial the number of the person you want to call." Hang in for a moment, and do nothing, and GV will ring the contact you chose automatically. Awesome, thanks, Oren!

GV Dial Out

Second, when you text message a contact from your GV number via GV, and that person replies, you can reply back to their message--but the "From:" number is an unknown 406 phone number. Again, you can save that Google-Voice-to-contact specific number in their contact record, but it introduces yet another phone number into the scenario.

Google Voice is still young and needs more work to grab the folks without high tolerances for multiple-phone-number complexity in exchange for the convenience it provides. But for the early-ish adopters on Android, the GV app is a good bet. (Thanks for the tip, emailtoid!)

I’ve heard rumors since early last fall about how Google’s official support will work. Android apps can fully replace the dialer, so the GV app could suppress the ringer on your phone and pick up automatically. This would make GV dialing seem identical to regular dialing.

If you press menu in the app and go to preferences, you will see that there are 2 ways to dial out, both of which use your gv# on caller id. The 2nd option allows you to take advantage of the “press 2 to dial out” option on your voice menu, but automates the whole process. I much prefer this method. If you can, you should probably correct your article, as it states that the callback method is the only way to do it.

Oren Goldberg
Mar 31 09 at 3:10 pm

Oren–I saw that option and tried it, but at first it seemed like it required you type in the phone number you want to call, which doesn’t work for me (who remembers actual phone numbers any more?).

Though I tried it again, and if you wait a moment after the “Dial the phone number you’d like to call” bit, it DOES automatically call the contact you chose without manual entry. So thanks! That rocks. Will update the post.

Gina Trapani [+195]
Mar 31 09 at 4:35 pm

Seen anything like this for a Blackberry Curve?

Lee Jones
Apr 1 09 at 12:21 pm


My new Android arrived today! :) Please tell us, what apps do you use and avoid? Thanks!


Migs [+15]
Apr 3 09 at 6:03 pm

I had the GrandCentral app and that worked pretty similar to this one but this app seems newer yet – probably the same guy tho.
I just wish GV would have worked with my google apps account (which is where all my contacts are, not in my gmail account).

Apr 5 09 at 10:13 am

Any word on an iPhone version?

Dennis Chiuten
Apr 9 09 at 7:50 am

Does anyone has any problem connecting to GV? I have a problem connecting to any sites that require user name and the password. And now not able to log in to GV application. Maybe some encryption setting?

ogeccut1 [+1]
Apr 30 09 at 7:27 am

Correction. Called tmobile, after rebooting the phone i can log in the web site using the browser. However when try to “Test login” in GV i get “2131034141 Invalid user name or password”. But can log in in google voice with no problems.

ogeccut1 [+1]
Apr 30 09 at 7:40 am

Hi Gina, have you heard anything about when Google Voice will be opened to the masses? It seems like the “few weeks” they originally talked about has slipped

Russell McLean [+6]
May 6 09 at 1:50 pm

And for those who would like the SMS and dialing from windows mobile phones, I give you:

Jeremy Lambert
May 8 09 at 8:17 am

Comments are closed. Thanks for reading!