GrooVe IP User Guide

A PDF copy of this guide can be found here.

Introduction

GrooVe IP is an android app that that connects to Google Voice using Voice over IP (VoIP). What this means for you is you can make free unlimited calls to any phone in the US or Canada without using your voice minutes. GrooVe IP works on any android device, phone or tablet, and allow you to make calls using the device’s data (WiFi or mobile data) connection. The only requirement for outgoing calls is a Gmail account. For incoming calls, you need to sign up for a free phone number from Google Voice (only available in the US).

Google Voice Basics

Google Voice provides the following main functionality:

  • Ability to make free outgoing calls from Gmail running in the browser on a PC (Gmail does NOT provide this functionality on a smart phone or tablet)
  • A free North American phone number for proper caller ID, and for receiving incoming calls—the user can forward the calls coming into this number to any of his/her home, office or mobile phone.

The Google Voice app on a mobile device gives you the above outgoing/incoming call functionality, however, all calls use the mobile VOICE network and your voice plan minutes.

How GrooVe IP extends the functionality of Google Voice

GrooVe IP integrates with Google Voice to provide you the same outgoing/incoming call capability over your DATA connection, thereby not using any of your voice minutes! The data connection can be using WiFi, typically at home or in an office environment. Alternatively, the data connection can be using 3G/4G network provided by your mobile carrier.

What is needed to get started

Before you can use GrooVe IP, you need the following:

  • A smart phone or tablet running Android. Currently, GrooVe IP works only on Android 2.1 and above.
  • Your smart phone or tablet will need a data connection--WiFi and/or 3G/4G.
  • You will need a Gmail (or apps.google.com) account. Since you will be using an Android phone/tablet, most likely you already have such an account. Otherwise, to sign-up, please visit: http://mail.google.com/mail/signup
  • In addition, for incoming calls to work, you will need a Google Voice account and a Google Voice phone number assigned to yourself. For more information and/or to sign-up, please visit: http://www.google.com/voice

Note: At this time Google Voice only provides phone numbers to US-based customers. This means that for incoming calls to work, your account has to be set up from a US-based PC or device. Once set up in US, you will be able to receive incoming calls anywhere in the World to your Google Voice number using GrooVe IP. You can still make outgoing calls with GrooVe IP with just a Gmail or apps.google.com account.

Initial Download and Setup

Once you have an Android smart phone/tablet with a data connection, and a Gmail account, you are ready to utilize GrooVe IP. GrooVe IP is available from either the Android Market or the Amazon App Store. When you run GrooVe IP for the very first time after download and install, you will be taken to a login screen. At that screen you will have to enter your Gmail credentials (user name and password) and press Sign In. If you are NOT on WiFi, a message will ask you to confirm that you want to run the app over your carrier’s 3G/4G data network. After successfully signing in, you will be taken to the app’s ‘Dialer’ screen. If you want to customize the app behavior, you can go to the ‘Settings’ screen by pressing menu then ‘Settings’.

Making Calls

From the Dialer screen, you will be able to make outgoing calls by directly dialing them (just like you would using your normal phone). For North American numbers, please dial:

1 + Area Code + 7 digit number

In some cases, even though you did everything properly, you may get a “Please try again” message and all your outgoing calls may fail. In this case, you will need to open your web browser and visit the Google Mail Web site at www.gmail.com. Log in to Gmail using your Google credentials. Find your contact list and click on the Call Phone action at the lower left section of the page. (Please see the illustration below depicting how this is done.)

Call From Goodle Home Page

Make one phone call using the phone widget in Gmail to any phone number of your choosing. After one call, outgoing calls from GrooVe IP should work.

For international numbers, please dial: 011 + Country code + Foreign area code and phone number

(Please note that you will be able to make international calls only if you have enough credits in your Google Voice account.)

Receiving Calls

As explained in the “What is needed to get started” section, to receive calls you will need to open a free Google Voice account and choose a phone number. This is the number that someone will have to dial in order to reach you through GrooVe IP. For more information and/or to sign-up, please visit: http://www.google.com/voice

Once you have a Google Voice phone number, you will need to forward incoming calls to Google Chat. To do this, log in to your Google Voice account using your Google credentials. Click on the Settings (“gear” shaped icon) on the upper right side of the page and select “Voice settings” (see illustration below).

Gmail Settings Dropdown

Make sure that the checkbox next to Google chat is checked in the “Forwards calls to” section (see illustration below). The email address under Google chat should match the email address you used to sign-in when you launched GrooVe IP.

Your Google Voice phone number is listed right above the forwarding options.

Forward Calls Google Chat

Incoming calls to GrooVe IP should work now.

Troubleshooting and Fine Tuning

The above steps should be enough to get good quality outgoing and incoming calls working on most Android phones/tablets. In case you do run into problems or want to fine tune GrooVe IP, please visit the GrooVe IP FAQ page.

INFO

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