It took a while for Google Voice to finally come to the iPhone as a native app, but now that it’s here there is a lot you can do—and much more if you jailbreak. Here’s how to get the most out of Google Voice on your iPhone.
Using The Official App
You don’t need to jailbreak to get a lot out of Google Voice, as the native app that Google created does quite a bit on its own. While you can’t have full integration without jailbreaking, you can get pretty close.
Once you install the official Google Voice app, you can start sending and receiving texting messages and making calls from the app. Like with any phone, you can tell your Google Voice number to ring your iPhone when somebody calls so you can receive calls as well. While you’ll have to open the app every time you want to make a call and will not be able to simply click phone numbers in emails anymore, it’s a small inconvenience.
Make VOIP Calls With Talkatone
If you’d like to place calls over Wi-Fi or 3G using you Google Voice number, Talkatone is a free Google Voice and Google Talk client that will facilitate this. Making calls will still eat into your data limits (if you have them), but it’s a good alternative when you’re on Wi-Fi or if you’re using an iPod touch or iPad.
Save Your Minutes With Click2Call
If you have a limited number of anytime minutes on your monthly mobile phone plan, you may also have access to a “Top 5” or “My Faves” type feature where you can call any five numbers, as much as you want, for free. If you do, you can add your Google Voice number to this list and make as many calls as you want without wasting your minutes. Once you do this, just turn on Click2Call in the Settings section of the Google Voice app. What this will do is have Google Voice call your phone from your Google Voice number, so it’ll be like you’re getting a call from yourself. This will make it seem like you’re only calling to and from your Google Voice number, which won’t cost you minutes if it’s on your “Top 5” (or whatever your carrier calls it). You still have to pay your monthly mobile phone bill, but at least this way you won’t have to worry about overages due to using too many minutes.
Do More By Jailbreaking
You can fully integrate Google Voice with your iPhone by jailbreaking your device with the help of two simple extensions: Phone GV Extension and SMS GV Extension. Together, these extensions will allow you to use either the Google Voice app or native iPhone dialer and SMS app to send and receive calls and text messages through Google Voice. All you need to do is install the extensions (they cost $3 each, so $6 total), fill out some settings, and you’ll be all set. Let’s take a look at this in greater depth
To find these extensions on the Cydia Store, you’ll need to search for “Phone GV Extension” and “SMS GV Extension.” Just searching for GV won’t bring it up in the results. Once you’ve found them, install them both.
You’ll be prompted to restart Springboard after installation. Go ahead and do that, then open your iPhone Settings app and scroll down the list until you see “Phone GV Extension” and “SMS GV Extension.” Tap one of them and enter your login credentials for Google Voice. When you’re done, do the same for the other. You can also set any settings you want while you’re here.That’s all you have to do to get things set up, but as soon as you try to make a call or send a message you will be prompted to buy the app. You get a four-day trial so you don’t have to purchase right away, but if you want to buy the extensions you’ll need to go through kind of a weird process. If you decide to buy, the extension will prompt you to do so when making a call. You can also flip the “Check for licence” switch in the extension’s settings if you want it to prompt you again. Once you tap the “Buy” button in the prompt, a page will open in Safari and ask you to pay via PayPal. Once you pay, you’ll need to go back into the extension’s settings again and flip the “Check for licence” switch. You may need to do this more than once and wait a few minutes for it to actually pick up your licence, but once it does your iPhone will use Google Voice for all its calls and messages.