Google Voice for iPhone – Free Calls and SMS via Wi-Fi

Wednesday, January 8th, 2014 By

Google goes end-around Apple by going to web app

Looking for ways to save on your phone service? Tired of needing payday loans to pay your iPhone’s monthly bill?  Google tried to bring a Google Voice app to the iPhone via the App Store last summer, but Apple shot it down. Their thinking was that it would duplicate their own phone service application, making it obsolete. There was public uproar and the FCC even got involved. Reuters reports that Google CEO Eric Schmidt even stepped down from Apple’s board over this quagmire.

Now Google Voice comes to iPhone via a web app, which is something the Apple App store Gestapo cannot regulate, at least not without a court order. If you have a Wi-Fi connection and a Google Voice phone number, you can now use your iPhone to make free telephone calls in the U.S. and Canada and send free SMS messages!

Simple as Wi-Fi

Recently, it looked like T-Mobile or the Nexus Google Phone were the only ways to enjoy the full Google experience on a smart phone. Now the Blackberry, Palm and the iPhone can use the power of Google Voice, and Apple the gatekeeper can’t stop you. Simply open Safari in your iPhone (it must have at least the 3.0 OS) and go to Log in with your Google account info and use your Google Voice number as it was intended.

If you haven’t heard about Google Voice

Google Voice enables users to call anywhere in the U.S. or Canada for free via Wi-Fi. SMS messages are free, and international calls can be made at a low rate. Other neat features include forwarding calls to multiple phone numbers from the Google Voice number and visual voicemail with text transcription. Aside from calling outside the U.S. and Canada, it’s all free if you’ve been invited to sign up for Google Voice (and have a Google account).

An upgrade from the previous browser-based service

Google Voice on iPhone gives the ability to listen to voicemail directly from the Safari browser and dial phone numbers via the onscreen keypad (see photo). This is an upgrade from the “beta” browser experience. While Google Voice users enjoy the phone and SMS service, Apple is apparently still reviewing the old Google Voice app submission. No word from Apple on the approval status there, but it’s a safe bet that people won’t be needing quite so many payday loans with the new Google Voice iPhone web app.

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This post has 4 comments

  1. Steve says:

    Just wanted to add a comment as the information contained here is not correct as far as I know. Google voice does not dial voip over wi-fi. It needs a voice connection (telco) and internet service (data) to operate. You still have to pay for a connection from a cell phone or landline (telco) to connect to googles switch. If you can figure out a way to connect to them for free (t-mobile myfaves or a specific connection to there service unlimited) than all other calls become unlimited no matter where you call in the country. Also know that you must now have a “phone” (telco) connection to there “switch” but also an internet connection (data) to there servers for this to operate. The software tells the server that your number is about to call and where to send it then your telco connection is established and routed… If someone understands this better I would love to know or if the “free calls via wi-fi” statement is true I would love to understand that. SMS is free but also requires data connection as it is handled by software.

    • Steven Tarlow says:

      Apparently Google does work over WiFi for some, Steve. It does for me.…

      • Bill says:

        "Apparently Google does work over WiFi for some, Steve. It does for me."

        That is not direct wifi support from Google. That thread talks about something very common that users are doing but it is a workaround. Most people will not go through that much trouble. I think everybody understands what the desire for wi-fi means…that Google support it natively in Google Voice…not via a workaround.

      • Steve Tarlow says:

        Understood, Bill. I did not intend to imply in my statement that Google was granting direct support. Nevertheless, your point is sound.

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