Transitioning to Google Voice with GV Mobile iPhone App

Earlier this week, I wrote about Trying out the Google Voice service, focusing on some of the service highlights. But what made my transition to the new number even easier was the use of the GV Mobile iPhone application. This application is available in two versions: free and premium ($2.99).

gv mobile icons on itunesOne of the commonly cited shortcomings of the gvoice service is that your true number is not hidden by default when you call someone. There is a workaround where the dialer can call their gvoice number, press 2, and then the number they wish to reach. The GV Mobile application handles this: you dial the number you wish to reach, and the service calls YOU. When you accept the call, it forwards to your intended party. Yes, it’s not completely seamless, but it doesn’t require any additional thought. Both the free and the premium version of this service support this action.


gvmobile premium screenThe GV Mobile application ties directly into your phone’s address book for both dialing and sending SMS messages. (SMS messages available on the premium version only). The one shortcoming I’ve seen on the SMS feature is that you can’t send a text to multiple parties at once. However, it appears that way on the gvoice website as well, so that may be more of a shortcoming of gvoice than this application.

The free version of the application only offers calling features, and the premium version allows the user to send text messages, see a history of calls and check their voicemail. The screens are familiar, very similar to the native iPhone experience.

gvoice voicemailgvoice-sms

Moving to a new service is never easy, but the GV Mobile application by Sean Kovacs eases some of the pain of the transition. A noted future enhancement is an “offline” mode (currently the application is dependent on Internet connectivity), and while Sean has said it’s not in the product roadmap, I can see a definite benefit to using “push” technology. At that point, there would be no reason to use the integrated phone dialer and messaging features built into my phone.

If you’re using Google Voice on an iPhone, why don’t you have this app yet??

ADD: MobileCrunch just released an article comparing the features of a few iPhone gVoice apps: Battle Of The Google Voice iPhone Apps: VoiceCentral vs. GV Mobile

10 thoughts on “Transitioning to Google Voice with GV Mobile iPhone App

  • Nice writeup on GV Mobile. The reason I haven’t fully migrated to the service is the exact reason you mentioned – your real phone number still shows on caller ID.

    I am still trying to figure out how to use Google Voice completely – have it manage all of my calls. It is so complicated that it is hard to move to it without changing your number over. Also, since I have multiple phone #s ringing to my cell phone, it adds to my personal complication of the issue.

    Anyway, GV Mobile is a great program for anyone who is in the Google Voice program and has an iPhone!

    Follow me on twitter: ddrager

  • I do not understand what you mean when I make a call with the free version of GV Mobile the phone I call comes up with my Gvoice number not my reall cell phone number!! I am trying to figure the whole Gvoice out and don’t want the wrong number showing up on caller I’d but I don’t see where it would? And if it does how do I do the 2 thing, the description is not helping me!
    Thanks!!

    Follow me on twitter: iphoneapp4that

  • Hi “App4That” (p.s. I really prefer when people leave their real names…),

    Most folks who are using google voice want their gvoice number to show up – it sounds like you want your regular cell phone number to show up? If so – the simple solution is not to use GV Mobile and just dial directly..

    Follow me on twitter: afhill262

  • Sorry about the name! Corrected it on this post.
    Regarding your comment I want my Gvoice number to show up on caller ID and it does! I was just wondering under what conditions does the Cell number show instead of the Gvoice number, so that I can avoid those condition or know when to use the dial 2 method?

    Also I was saying I don’t understand the dial 2 method? Is this….
    Maybe I figured it out, do these conditions exist when not using
    GV Mobile?

    Follow me on twitter: iphoneapp4that

  • thanks Jason — using your real name just makes it easier for me to refer to you, and filter out the spam comments 🙂

    It seems to me that when you dial via the GV Mobile dialer, it will show up as your GVoice number. This is because you don’t actually dial directly: the dialer routes you through the GVoice service. If you dial a friend’s number directly from your phone, they’ll see your standard number, because you’re not actually using the GVoice system at all.

    One exception: the way GVoice seems to work is that it assigns a (406) number to anyone you contact through the system. If you save that number in your address book for a contact, dialing that number will show up as coming from your GVoice number. Again, this is because you’re using the GVoice system to route the call.

    As for the “dial 2” thing.. I’ll admit I haven’t actually done this myself, since I have the GV Mobile app. Basically it seems to work this way:
    Call your own gVoice number from a phone associated with your account. You’ll get the operator asking you for your pin if you have one, to access your account. Do so, and then you’ll be given the option to place a call by pressing 2. You need to do that, and then you can dial the number you want. I think that’s way too many steps to simply place a call.

    Follow me on twitter: afhill262

  • Ok I think I get it now..
    if you dial any number from your cell or home phone(number using GV) they still see that number not the GV number – that I guess was just too obvious for me to pick up on at first.

    Exception: now you are complicating it! haha just kidding. So how do I find this 406 number? do I need to dial the person or just wait for someone to call my GV number and then that number will be a 406 number?

    Thanks for all your help I had Grand Central for like 6 weeks before Google took it over so I never got into changing my number over but now I got another invite to GV so I am seriously contemplating doing the switch but am half waiting to see if Google will throw me a bone and put out a GV iPhone app, with Push.

    Follow me on twitter: iphoneapp4that

  • Hey Jason — for right now, it seems like the only way to find the 406 number is to get the person to TEXT you. (http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/voice/thread?tid=22e341d7f6e3694a&hl=en) Kind of a pain, but the way I managed it was to send out text messages to my contacts via the google voice website (so I could cut and paste easily) telling people to update their address books. Most folks would text me back, and then I was able to pick up on their (406).

    Another piece that totally blows my mind: the (406) number is only mapped to a person in association with your gvoice number. So my friend Mike could be (406)111-1111 when that’s dialed from my phone, and your friend Jill could be (406)111-1111 from your phone.

    See how convoluted this all is? This is why this app is so helpful, you don’t need to worry about any of it!

    Follow me on twitter: afhill262

  • Yeah I am about 5 mins away from just buying the app! I talked to the Dev and he told me he was working on a Push possibility but would have to charge more.

    Follow me on twitter: iphoneapp4that

  • I have a problem. I thought using the free version under settings where it says “phone number to call from ” and under the paid verion in settings where it says ” phone to ring” you can use any number regardless if it is associated with your google voice account to make a call out? That’s how I recently remember doing it and it worked. But now the only number that works mostly is the number associated with my gv mobile. I read on seans
    Website that those two sections or at least the one on the free version is only locally tied to the app and the second section on the paid version where it says “phone numbers to forward calls to ” was actually tied to your gv account. Is that not true?? Thanks

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