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Ultimate guide to using Google Voice with your FreedomPop phone

Gregory GilletteGregory Gillette Posts: 7FreedomPop Newbie
edited July 2015 in Google Voice #1
If you have a FreedomPop phone (i.e. a phone that uses the FreedomPop mobile carrier service), and you want to use your Google Voice number with it, this is the post for you. I’ve compiled a detailed list of the tests I’ve done, and I would greatly appreciate everyone’s feedback. I’ll watch as people comment and update this post as needed. If this post becomes comprehensive / popular enough perhaps the forum admins will pin it.

How to get incoming Google Voice calls on your FreedomPop phone

Method 1: Add a forwarder phone in Google Voice settings
Go to https://www.google.com/voice/b/0/#phones, click Add Another Phone > enter your FreedomPop phone number > follow the wizard to add your phone number. This method gives you the best possible call quality when you’re on 4G/3G because the FreedomPop app is optimized for calls over the FreedomPop/Sprint mobile carrier network.

Method 2: Use the Google Hangouts app for Android (see tips)
Enable Hangouts and Voice integration (https://support.google.com/voice/answer/3205713?hl=en) > Install the Google Hangouts app from Google Play Store > Settings > choose your account > Google Voice > check the box that says “Incoming Phone Calls”. This method works very well on stable wifi networks. Over mobile data it is susceptible to call quality problems, especially if you are in a moving car or on 3G. However, if you’re standing still and have a solid 4G signal it works just fine, but it does use your FreedomPop data.

QUESTION FOR USERS OF THIS METHOD: When you’re on 3G does this method work well for you? Also, if you’re a FreedomPop subscriber with the unlimited data plan and you go over 1GB and become throttled, does it still work well for you? SEE TIPS

How to make outbound phone calls FROM your Google Voice number using your FreedomPop phone:

This has been a great source of difficulty for me, and I would greatly appreciate everyone’s feedback on these methods.

Method 1: Use the Hangouts app for Android (my preferred method)
Enable Hangouts and Voice integration (https://support.google.com/voice/answer/3205713?hl=en) > Install the Google Hangouts app, and also the Hangouts Dialer app. Open Hangouts > click the the phone pad icon > dial a number or choose a contact to call. This method works very well on stable wifi networks (see tips), but over mobile data it is susceptible to call quality problems, especially if you are in a moving car or on 3G. However, if you’re standing still and have a solid 4G signal it works just fine, but it does use your FreedomPop data.

QUESTION FOR USERS OF THIS METHOD: When you’re on 3G does this method work well for you? Also, if you’re a FreedomPop subscriber with the unlimited data plan and you go over 1GB and become throttled, does it still work well for you? SEE TIPS

Method 2: Use a desktop browser (see tips) to launch calls from the Google Contacts website
Go to https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#contacts on a desktop browser > choose the contact you wish to call > hover over the phone number > on the right click the phone icon > choose your FreedomPop phone > click Place Call > the call will be placed to your FreedomPop number. This works very well in all full desktop browsers. For mobile browsers, I found that it does not work well in Chrome for Android, but works well in Mercury for Android.

Method 3: Use a desktop browser (see tips) to launch calls from Google Voice website
Open a desktop browser and go to https://www.google.com/voice?pli=1#inbox > click Call > type the name of the Google Contact you wish to call or dial a number > under “Phone To Call With” choose your FreedomPop phone > click Connect > the call will be placed to your FreedomPop number. This works very well in all full desktop browsers. For mobile browsers, I found that it does not work well in Chrome for Android, but works well in Mercury for Android.

Method 4: Use the Google Voice app for Android - NON FUNCTIONAL AT THE TIME OF THIS POST
Install the Google Voice app from Google Play Store > open the app > walk through the wizard to set up Google Voice. Whenever I place an outbound call, the call ALWAYS shows up as coming from my FreedomPop number, and I cannot figure out a way around this.

Method 5: Use the Voice+ app for Android - ONLY PARTIALLY FUNCTIONAL AT THE TIME OF THIS POST
Install the “Voice+ (Google Voice Callback)” app from Google Play Store > open the app > check the box for “Outgoing Call Integration” and follow the wizard to proceed. Open your Android Contacts list > choose a contact > tap the phone number you wish to call > FreedomPop will place the VOIP call through the FreedomPop app > immediately press the big red button to end the call > the Voice+ dialer should pop up and ask which phone you want to be called back at. I’ve had limited success with this method. The Voice+ app does not always pop up when I hang up the initial outbound FreedomPop VOIP call.

Method 6: Call your Google Voice phone number from your FreedomPop phone
Call your own Google number using the FreedomPop app > Press 2 > Enter the number you want to call > Press the pound # key. This works well, but has the obvious disadvantage that you cannot choose a number from your contacts list.

Method 7: Use the GrooveLite Android App
Apparently this VOIP app has some sort of integration with Google Voice. I have not experimented with this. If you have, please write up your results and I’ll copy/paste them into my post.

Please vote this thread up, and give me your thoughts on the experiences I’ve had and other ideas you might have.

Thank you in advance to the FreedomPop team for reading / listening to your customers!
Post edited by Gregory Gillette on
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Comments

  • Gregory GilletteGregory Gillette Posts: 7FreedomPop Newbie
    edited July 2015 #2
    TIPS!!!!!!

    TIP 1: If you are behind a heavily firewalled wifi connection, generally speaking the network admins will block Google Hangouts voice calls because it uses UDP, but the instant messaging / texting will usually work because it uses SSL. With some persuasion, network admins are likely to allow Hangouts voice calls if you can make a good use case for it. In my case, my coworkers and I rely heavily upon Google Hangouts for communication with our Google Apps For Education accounts, so the network admins allowed it. Here are instructions how to allow it that you can send to your network admins: https://support.google.com/a/answer/1279090?hl=en. Another alternative is to use a VPN connection to an internet connection outside the corporate wifi network that does allow Hangouts traffic. There are many free solutions out there like OpenVPN that you can install on a computer on your home network (note: this requires some technical knowledge of Linux and networking, but there are some great guides on YouTube how to set this up). There are also many hosted solutions on the internet that allow free trials such as VyprVPN, NordVPN, Astrill, Kepard, and for more just Google “free vpn trial”. However, most heavily firewalled corporate networks do not allow VPN connections outside their firewall, as they are considered “evasive protocols” (i.e. ways to get around the corporate firewall and use the corporate network to access content that is not appropriate for work, or worse… do illegal stuff).

    TIP 2: I have yet to find a comprehensive list of protocols, ports, and IP addresses or DNS names that FreedomPop uses. I suspect this is by design, as FreedomPop is constantly changing the way the service works in order to provide a better / more flexible experience for its users. From my testing, I used Wireshark to analyze the traffic, and the connections for FreedomPop calls appear to be inconsistent but one thing does remain constant… UDP frames, lots of ‘em.

    TIP 3: There are many methods to getting a true full desktop browser experience on your phone. Proceed with caution as these apps have the potential to use A LOT of data. Here are a few:

    Use the Chrome Remote Desktop app for Android to remote control a computer at home or elsewhere in the cloud
    Use the TeamViewer Android app to remote control a computer at home or elsewhere in the cloud
    Use SplashTop to remote control a computer at home or elsewhere in the cloud
    Use a cloud hosted DaaS (desktop as a service) virtual desktop. There are many options out there (e.g. VMware Horizon View, Citrix XenApp, Amazon AWS, etc.), but the one I’ve had the most success with on Android is VMware Horizon Air. Here’s a free trial: http://www.vmware.com/cloud-services/desktop/horizon-air-desktop/

    TIP 4: You can force most mobile browsers into desktop mode. I found that with Chrome for Android when I go to the Google Voice page while in desktop mode and I press the CALL button, when I type a contact’s name into the field it does not auto populate, so Chrome for Android does not work well for making Google Voice calls. It does, however, work just fine in Mercury while in desktop mode. To enable desktop mode in Mercury go to the Google Play Store > install “Mercury Browser for Android” > open it > click the menu key > User Agent > check the box for Desktop > log on to the Google Voice website.

    TIP 5: UPDATE 2015-07-22 in regards to Hangouts calls on 3G and 4G (throttled): I signed up for the unlimited plan, used 1GB of data, and began getting throttled at about 0.3Mbps. As long as I had a solid "4G" signal, calls over Hangouts worked fine. I also did a test on true 3G (prior to going over the 1GB), and again as long as I had a solid signal Hangouts worked ok. The second that I started to drive, or go down to about 2 bars of 3G or 4G, the call quality suffered.
    Post edited by Gregory Gillette on
  • Ali Ali Posts: 6,735FreedomPop Master, Test Role, iOS Master ✭✭✭✭✭
  • Gregory GilletteGregory Gillette Posts: 7FreedomPop Newbie
    @Ali thanks for the heads up. Yep, I saw that post, since it's pinned of course, and it contained a lot of useful posts but I didn't get all the info I was looking for so I just decided to go test every single method I could think of and write it all up in one place. I would be really curious to see if @Adolfo Galvan has any feedback on this post, especially the questions I have in italics. Perhaps his experiences and mine combined can help people everyone who is interested in using Google Voice with FreedomPop carrier service.
  • Linda KovalchikLinda Kovalchik Posts: 12FreedomPop Newbie
    I have had no problems using google voice to make calls without a wifi connection. It's clear even in the car. What I need to know is how to use something besides the Freedom pop app to answer calls. The phone rings, the banner appears, and sometimes I get the option to Decline/answer. Other times it just keeps ringing. Can't forward calls with FP. So how can I get a reliable way to answer the calls.
  • djinksdjinks Posts: 1,270FreedomPop Newbie, FreedomPop Expert ✭✭✭✭
    @Linda Kovalchik
    Do you prefer your FreedomPop number over your Google Voice number? I ported my old moble number to Google Voice and answer all calls with Google Hangouts. No forwarding required.

    If you prefer your FP number be the one your friends and contacts call, you can port that number to a service that will forward, like ring.to (free) or Google Voice ($20 fee). Then you can forward the calls to any number you want. When porting is complete, make sure to assign a new number to your FP account.
  • HammyHammy Posts: 8FreedomPop Newbie
    I have a tip for if you are using Voice+ as your method. If you set another app as your default messaging app (such as hangouts), and use that for texts instead of the freedompop app, it prevents the freedompop app from auto-calling out and makes Voice+ much more reliable at popping up. However, this prevents you from actually entering the freedompop app as it starts spamming you to set it as default, but calls can still come in.
  • Adolfo GalvanAdolfo Galvan Posts: 719FreedomPop Newbie, FreedomPop Master, Test Role, FreedomPop Expert, FP Flyer ✭✭✭✭
    edited August 2015 #8
    Good post; you have included every method to use GV thus far. I don't have much to add at the moment. We needed a new post here. I created the original thread with the old app that did work will with Voice+; and Hangouts had not been integrated with GV yet. I am working on method that will work with Voice+ and the new app, but I am looking for approval to post first. It would be much simpler if Voice+ had its own dialer. I think the FreedomPop Messaging app is superior to Hangouts on voice quality on low bandwidth. Hangouts is better on WiFi.
  • The OodThe Ood Posts: 13FreedomPop Newbie
    Thank you @Gregory Gillette for your advice on Google Hangouts. I think I have it set up properly.

    Of course, I don't want text messages coming in on Hangouts when I'm in my car and not on Wifi. Is there a simple way to switch it back?

    This is my first cell phone, so I'm really not aware of how these gadgets work. I'm learning, though.
    We thank you, friend of Oodkind. Will you stay? There is room in the song for you.
  • Adolfo GalvanAdolfo Galvan Posts: 719FreedomPop Newbie, FreedomPop Master, Test Role, FreedomPop Expert, FP Flyer ✭✭✭✭
    The Ood said:

    Thank you @Gregory Gillette for your advice on Google Hangouts. I think I have it set up properly.

    Of course, I don't want text messages coming in on Hangouts when I'm in my car and not on Wifi. Is there a simple way to switch it back?

    This is my first cell phone, so I'm really not aware of how these gadgets work. I'm learning, though.

    If you have a newer phone, you can turn off mobile data on the pull down menu. Click on the "Sprint" or "FreedomPop" icon with the signal bars. It will put an x on the icon. Of course this will take away the ability to make phone calls. If it is an older phone, go to Settings then "Data Usage". Then toggle off mobile data. Texts generally do not use much data anyway.
  • TeXcoderTeXcoder Posts: 26FreedomPop Newbie
    Google Voice is able to handle all calls from the native phone dialer on the Kyocera Hydro Icon after uninstalling the FreedomPop messaging app, which didn't require root. So for incoming calls, I have two dialers side by side, Phone and Hangouts. If I'm not on WiFi, then I use Phone to make calls through my GV number.

    I can't find a way to have the appropriate dialer handle incoming calls. They all come through to Hangouts first, or Phone if no data connection is available, but I'd rather it prioritized WiFi > cell > data, rather than WiFi > data > cell.
  • alelesaleles Posts: 10FreedomPop Newbie
    Purchasing the Premium Voice Service seems to be the easiest option to have seamless outbound calls with GV. After purchasing it I deleted all FP apps from my phone (not FP phone) and now it works good as it would with a regular phone provider or Ting. The outbound calls go through the regular cell service with a good sound quality via the native dialer with GV.
  • alelesaleles Posts: 10FreedomPop Newbie
    aleles said:

    Purchasing the Premium Voice Service seems to be the easiest option to have seamless outbound calls with GV. After purchasing it I deleted all FP apps from my phone (not FP phone) and now it works good as it would with a regular phone provider or Ting. The outbound calls go through the regular cell service with a good sound quality via the native dialer with GV.

    Nevermind. Outgoing calls work great, but without the FP messaging app there are no incoming calls. I guess the only option is to use hangouts for incoming calls, but that will result in a poor sound quality over data.
  • Adolfo GalvanAdolfo Galvan Posts: 719FreedomPop Newbie, FreedomPop Master, Test Role, FreedomPop Expert, FP Flyer ✭✭✭✭
    The FP Messaging app is better than Hangouts in low bandwidth. The issue is that it redirects outgoing calls to its app and does not allow the Voice+ callback app to work in my guide. Until they correct that issue, Hangouts is the only option.
  • James_in_UtahJames_in_Utah Posts: 243FreedomPop Newbie
    Can someone explain the Voice+ app to me? I installed it, and it really didn't seem to do anything.
  • Adolfo GalvanAdolfo Galvan Posts: 719FreedomPop Newbie, FreedomPop Master, Test Role, FreedomPop Expert, FP Flyer ✭✭✭✭

    Can someone explain the Voice+ app to me? I installed it, and it really didn't seem to do anything.

    It sends a signal to Google of the number you want to dial from the stock dialer. It will ring you back (the number that you selected in the Voice+ menu), then place the call. Since the FP Messaging app takes over the function of the stock dialer, the app will not work.

    It does work with other VoIP apps, free-incoming telephone operators, and cellular providers. The old FP Messaging app worked with it, but not the current one.
  • James_in_UtahJames_in_Utah Posts: 243FreedomPop Newbie
    How do I get Hangouts or Voice to handle the incoming calls to the GV number? From another line, if I call my GV number, the call comes into the FP Messaging App. I would prefer to answer using Voice or Hangouts. Does anyone have that actually working?
  • James_in_UtahJames_in_Utah Posts: 243FreedomPop Newbie
    As far as having the Google Voice Voicemail pick up on calls to my GV number, if FP Voicemail is enabled, it picks up before the GV Voicemail has a chance to do so. If you go into your FP Account settings, and disable Voicemail, then calls placed to the GV number will go to the GV Voicemail eventually. You even get a notivication, and then a transcribed text. I still cant figure out how get Voice or Hangouts to take the incoming calls, but everything else seems to be working as desired.
  • Adolfo GalvanAdolfo Galvan Posts: 719FreedomPop Newbie, FreedomPop Master, Test Role, FreedomPop Expert, FP Flyer ✭✭✭✭
    edited October 2015 #19

    How do I get Hangouts or Voice to handle the incoming calls to the GV number? From another line, if I call my GV number, the call comes into the FP Messaging App. I would prefer to answer using Voice or Hangouts. Does anyone have that actually working?

    Go to the Google Voice website and uncheck the FreedomPop phone number. Then you can use Hangouts alone to answer calls.
  • James_in_UtahJames_in_Utah Posts: 243FreedomPop Newbie
    Hi @Adolfo Galvan,
    I tried that, but it didn't work. If I uncheck the FP phone, then it never rings when I call the GV number. It's really strange. Occasionally Hangouts will get the call. Not very often though.
  • James_in_UtahJames_in_Utah Posts: 243FreedomPop Newbie
    Ok, a little more info. I had two Google accounts on this phone. I removed one of them, rebooted the phone, and now it works a little better. When I have an incoming call, I get the FP Messaging Answer screen, but I also get a sliding drop down at the top of the screen from Hangouts allowing me to Answer or Decline the incoming call. If I answer with that, then it seems to be using Hangouts. If I answer with the Messaging slider toward the bottom of the screen, then it seems to be using Messaging. Is this the way it works? Is this normal? So far, this seems to be working great after removing the second Google Account. Not sure why that would cause a problem, or maybe the phone needed to reboot. Not sure. I also just got a popup saysing "Sprint ID has stopped". Any idea what that is. The phone still works.
  • Adolfo GalvanAdolfo Galvan Posts: 719FreedomPop Newbie, FreedomPop Master, Test Role, FreedomPop Expert, FP Flyer ✭✭✭✭
    It sounds like you have the FP number still checked on your desktop Google Voice page of one of those accounts. It should not ring the FP number at all. I have 2 GV accounts, too.
  • James_in_UtahJames_in_Utah Posts: 243FreedomPop Newbie
    You were correct. I unchecked it and now I only get the GV notification. I'm not sure what the problem was, but previously my phone would not ring at all if I don't call the FP number. Now it seems to be working as desired.
    Thanks!
  • Daniel KronengoldDaniel Kronengold Posts: 12FreedomPop Newbie
    A lot of "solutions" offered to GV integration involve using a method that uses data such as the Hangouts app. For my current FP configuration, this is not ideal: on my phone I have (free) unlimited calls and texts, and I also pay for the FP Premium Voice feature which, let's face it, almost always provides better reliability and quality (as well as a better price in my case) than using a data line.

    So I was wondering if anyone knew a method for adding these two features to my phone system, which would effectively provide GV - FP integration (on both outgoing as well as incoming calls) as well as consistently better quality on all outgoing calls? :

    1) A method to "fake" the outgoing caller id number so it shows my GV number? I saw on Play Store that there are such apps, but I have no idea as to their actual reliability, and also they seem to all charge and have a limited number of "minutes." Would someone know if there is a way to do this more simply, such as to alter one of the system files on my phone (I have the LG Volt) so my GV number is shown on outgoing calls?

    2) A method to guarantee that all outgoing calls go through Premium Voice rather than the FP app? My first idea for this is some kind of app that automatically turns off data whenever a call is placed, so the call is placed through Premium Voice, and then automatically turns turns the data on a few seconds into the call... but maybe someone would have a method that allows the call to go through Premium Voice without ever even turning off data. I often manually turn off data in order to place a call through Premium Voice, but then forget to manually turn data back on.
    Anyone hag any ideas on these proposals? Thanks
  • Daniel KronengoldDaniel Kronengold Posts: 12FreedomPop Newbie
    To answer part of my own question -- choosing "Make all calls with Google Voice" in settings of the Google Voice app makes all calls placed through Premium Voice use the GV number in the outgoing caller ID! Thus, I've answered question number 1 asked above.

    However, non-Premium calls still use the FP number for caller ID. Thus, I would appreciate it if anyone has any solutions toward part 2 of my question above.
  • James_in_UtahJames_in_Utah Posts: 243FreedomPop Newbie
    For non-Premium calls, can't you just dial with the Hangouts dialer?
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