How to SMS with Google Voice from Any Mobile Phone

July 16, 2009

Google Voice SMS 406 numberJust because you don't have an Android phone or BlackBerry doesn't mean you can't text from your cellphone using your Google Voice number. If you've gotten an invite to Google Voice and you're an iPhone or non-smartphone user, you might be disappointed about not having clear access to the texting feature. However, you CAN use Google Voice SMS capabilities on any phone. Even if you do have an Android phone or BlackBerry, you can use this method to use the native SMS app on it. It's an inconvenient kluge, but it works.

First, log into Google Voice and configure it to forward text messages to your cell phone. When someone sends a text message to your Google Voice number, you'll receive the text on your phone--but not from the recipient's phone number. Instead, it will be a 406 number you've never seen before, with the person's name preceding the message (as pictured here). Add that number to your recipient's address book entry as "Other" or a custom label (like "GV SMS"). Each one of your text recipients will have a different 406 number.

From there on in, if you SMS that 406 number, your recipient will receive text messages from you--and it will look like they're coming from your Google Voice number. Their replies to any messages you send to that number will go back to your Google Voice number and come to you via the 406--meaning, your recipient never sees the 406 number. Like I said, it's a kluge, but it works.

It’s also worth noting that this number works for actual phone calls as well. Calling the (406) number will show your Google Voice number on the recipient’s phone as the caller ID.

Brett Kelly
Jul 16 09 at 12:03 pm

Oh no way! I hadn’t tried that. Good to know, thanks Brett.

Gina Trapani [+195]
Jul 16 09 at 2:00 pm

OK that’s cool. So you could create “Google Voice Speed Dial Numbers” for all your friends that would automatically call from your GV account. GV is making using the phone fun again :-)

Eric
Jul 16 09 at 2:13 pm

Now here is a question I have not yet figured out. If you call a person using their 406 (Google Assigned) number, does it affect your calling plan? For example, I’m on Verizon, if I call someone on their 406 number, even though they are on Verizon, am I charged with calling a non-Verizon user?

This could be important to people who have low minute plans, and use the “in” calling.

Chris Hunsanger
Jul 16 09 at 3:29 pm

I got my invite! :) YES! Let the fun times row…

Cheers!

-Mig

“Now here is a question I have not yet figured out. If you call a person using their 406 (Google Assigned) number, does it affect your calling plan? For example, I’m on Verizon, if I call someone on their 406 number, even though they are on Verizon, am I charged with calling a non-Verizon user?

This could be important to people who have low minute plans, and use the “in” calling.”

——

It’s no different than if you called your fellow Verizon user on their land line at home. Or on their office phone. You may be calling a Verizon user, but you’re calling Verizon to Google Voice to Verizon. “In” calling is only for direct Verizon# to Verizon#.

And even if it were a gray area, one only need remember that we’re talking about arguably the most restrictive, closed carrier in the U.S. No way in hell are they going to give someone free usage of a potentially competing product…

benry
Aug 2 09 at 7:28 am


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