Author Topic: google voice for 4  (Read 4311 times)

banjomacman

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google voice for 4
« on: January 27, 2013, 08:48:59 AM »
Hello, I wanted to throw out my current phone setup and discuss the changes I would like to make. After the MMM article about cell phones I got inspired and dropped off my wife's verizon contract. Here is my current setup.

Google Voice - main phone number
iPhone 4s - PagePlus 12 account
magic jack for home

Google Voice is working great to keep my pageplus minutes low. I typically forward my calls to my work phone or home phone.

The first change I would like to make is with my home phone. I don't feel like the magic jack is reliable running on my mac. It worked better on a pc, but I hate to have a pc running for only that purpose. I'm leaning towards picking up an obi100 to replace the magic jack. I hesitate because my real goal is to add 3 more google voice accounts to the mix (1 for the wife and 2 for kids).

I'm wondering if the obi100 would be the way to go w/ multiple (4) google voice accounts. After I figure out the best way to go w/ the home I will have to figure out what cell phone to buy for the wife and kids. I would like a non-smart phone, but seamlessly tie into google voice for texting and calls so it needs wi-fi I believe. Anyway sorry for the length of the post. Any thoughts you can share are appreciated. Thanks. Mike.

Daley

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Re: google voice for 4
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2013, 10:06:51 AM »
First up should be addressing MagicJack. I'm not a fan, but you should also be aware that they have models now that don't run off a USB connection and software with your desktop: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0061R1XI4

Personally, if you must be absolutely cheap with your VoIP service, I think there's better options as well with NetTalk.

As for Google Voice at home, if you really want to do four GV numbers with Obi hardware, you're going to need either the Obi202 or two Obi1xx units. That said, you can forward multiple Google Voice accounts to the same non-GV phone number so long as it's listed as a "home" number with Google, and not a "mobile" or "work" line. However, people dialing out will have to choose their own GV line first for caller-id unless one of your four GV numbers wants to be known as the "home" number for everyone.

Finally, regarding handsets... if you're wanting true GV integration with a phone, you're going to need to go with an Android handset at minimum, otherwise all you can hope for is push-email notifications of incoming messages and a dedicated app for callback and SMS replies, or using Google's mobile interface through the web browser, and yes, WiFi would be necessary if you're trying to minimize data usage on the mobile plan. Personally, that'd be great for some folks, but a non-starter for others. If you're going Page Plus for Verizon reception, I can't really think of any specific models of feature phone that aren't likely going to be ESN blacklisted due to being former Verizon Prepaid handsets. If you go Android and Page Plus, TheDude recently namechecked the HTC Incredible as being really cheap aftermarket currently (well under $100), and as an added bonus, officially supports CyanogenMod if you're into that sort of thing. If you choose to go with a GSM provider like P'tel for the wife and kids since you're buying new handsets anyway, the LG Optimus One is a relatively decent priced GSM Android workhorse and supports CM as well. Beyond that, let me link an article I recently posted not for the content entirely, but the assortment of research links for alternate GSM handsets to an iPhone that are WiFi enabled and can do roundabout GV support without being Android handsets.

That should get you started.

banjomacman

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Re: google voice for 4
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2013, 05:38:34 PM »
Daley, Thank you very much for taking the time to help. I've read many of your posts and I'm always  impressed with your command of the details :)

I'm not completely clear on home phone choices. I basically just want to save minutes and need something at home each of the four of us can get calls on. Making calls and having the correct phone number show up is icing. Sounds like we have 3 suggestions on the table.

1. MagicJackPlus - $70
2. netTalk - $50
3. obi202 - $72

I'm trying to picture what it will be like using each for home service. I feel like I understand option 1 pretty well. I setup gVoice to send calls to MagicJack during certain hours and I'll hear my 3 cordless phones ring at home. When it comes to placing calls from home I typically use gVoice on my iPhone and the click2call feature lets me use the home phone to place calls.

I assume option 2 is identical and I favor it over MagicJack. I would save a few bucks and get to try out another solution.

If I could understand option 3 better I think it may be a best solution in regards to 4 of us. Would it work out so that when the wife's gVoice number rang a particular home phone device would ring (essentially we would each have a home phone)? Also, it seems like this would be cheaper in the long run b/c it's a one time cost.

I feel like I can figure out any of the options and stumble my way through, however when I pull the wife and kids on board ease-of-use is going to be much more important in saving the cell minutes. Any light you can shed in that regard would be great. Thanks. Mike.

Daley

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Re: google voice for 4
« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2013, 06:28:33 PM »
I'm trying to picture what it will be like using each for home service. I feel like I understand option 1 pretty well. I setup gVoice to send calls to MagicJack during certain hours and I'll hear my 3 cordless phones ring at home. When it comes to placing calls from home I typically use gVoice on my iPhone and the click2call feature lets me use the home phone to place calls.

I assume option 2 is identical and I favor it over MagicJack. I would save a few bucks and get to try out another solution.

If I could understand option 3 better I think it may be a best solution in regards to 4 of us. Would it work out so that when the wife's gVoice number rang a particular home phone device would ring (essentially we would each have a home phone)? Also, it seems like this would be cheaper in the long run b/c it's a one time cost.

I feel like I can figure out any of the options and stumble my way through, however when I pull the wife and kids on board ease-of-use is going to be much more important in saving the cell minutes. Any light you can shed in that regard would be great. Thanks. Mike.

Pretty much on option one and two. Option two is technically cheaper on the hardware front, and has moderately better call quality for the money over option one.

On option three, kinda... someone please correct me if I'm wrong about this as I'm not 100% myself never owning an Obihai device, but I believe with the Obi202, it'll be two accounts per FXS port (phone jack out) and not the ability to have all four lines ring on the same port or have fall-over... I think. At worst, you'll be sharing two phone accounts per a single physical jack. I'm also unsure on the Google authentication method. I know they've more recently opened up GV to be able to ring your signed-in Gtalk account with inbound calls, but I'm not sure if Obihai is using this method, or a less secure method with third party external servers storing your password similar to services like Talkatone does. I can't imagine they do unless the Obihai is dependent upon the company's existence in order to provide GV service. You would be able to at least have two calls going at once, however, and also direct dial for the most part.... and if you ever decided to take advantage of higher quality VoIP providers that operate on open SIP standards, you'd have the ATA already to take advantage of it. I'm also not a huge fan of Google Voice despite using it since the Grand Central days, but I won't bore you with the details right now, especially since you're happy with the service. Honestly, you'd get better outbound call quality with even Magic Jack direct dialing over ringback with GV, but again... different folks have different quality expectations.

Hopefully, that gets you a bit closer.

banjomacman

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Re: google voice for 4
« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2013, 06:49:51 AM »
I pulled the trigger on the obi202 and set it up with my gvoice account. I'm very pleased so far -Thanks Daley :). I really like how I can direct dial out instead of the click2call method I was using previously. My next step is add another gvoice account for one of the kids.

I will be needing to pickup a cell for him. I wanted to find a handset w/ qwerty slide out keyboard, wi-fi, good battery life. Also, integration w/ google voice would be nice. I looked at the devices and links provided by Daley, but they seemed kinda focused on the portrait style keyboards.  I like the idea of not worrying about the provider (pagePlus vs. Ptel). Here are the feature phones I found using the phone finder at http://www.gsmarena.com/search.php3. I'm not sure the pricing or availability. Does anyone have experience or recommendations?

Samsung B3410W Ch@t
Samsung B5310 CorbyPro
Sony Ericsson txt pro
Pantech LaserU Neo Pro
verykool i725
LG Wink Plus GT350i

I would also be cool w/ an android phone w/ qwerty, but the phone finder had too many to list. Price/ availability is going to be a big factor, but any other suggestions for criteria would be welcome. Thanks. Mike.

Daley

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Re: google voice for 4
« Reply #5 on: February 01, 2013, 09:52:17 AM »
Mike, the thing to remember with those handsets you've listed is that they're feature phones, so beyond the third party GV4ME app, you're really not going to have strong GV integration with the handset beyond ringback and a dedicated interface for SMS messages on a device that really can't multitask.

The best way to handle SMS messaging with a handset like that is to utilize the email client in the phone, which will require Gmail support and/or push email support (note that you need to specifically check to see if push email is supported) as you can receive and respond to SMS messages via email. You can also take advantage of direct-dial calling-card style dialing with the address book and phone numbers (if dial pauses are supported) with GV on a handset if you're looking at spending minutes anyway and just want the right phone number to show up on CID at the other end. Takes a bit longer for the call to connect, but it works and is a viable alternative to using the mobile website interface.

As for the links in my article being preferential to they candybar QWERTY form factor, yeah... that was intentional as I'm of the KISS engineering philosophy. Fewer the moving parts, the better the life expectancy as there's less to break.

If you want to look at Android handsets, a good device list to check against is the CyanogenMod supported handset list. Even if you don't do the firmware replacement, most of those handsets on the list are generally considered better built, popular, and easy to obtain. The LG myTouch Q might be a good candidate for the money if you're looking at a slider QWERTY GSM handset.

banjomacman

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Re: google voice for 4
« Reply #6 on: February 01, 2013, 05:31:42 PM »
Daley, Thanks for clarifying the feature phone limitations. I was thinking of going that route for battery life, but I didn't think about gv integration pain. I follow you about the work arounds I'm just not sure the kids will do the same.

My top concern is ease of use followed by reduction of minutes. It would be great if the phone would toggle between using wifi when available instead of cell for voice and text. The fewer steps the more I see the kids using it.

I like the lg c800 you suggested. I think I'll start w/ it. Would you suggest buying off ebay as long as the listing mentions unlocked? I searched completed listings and $80 seems good deal and $120 seems easy to find. Sound about right? Thanks. Mike.