Editor Note 3/12: We now have a new how to showing you how to get unlimited phone calls through Google Voice and Talkatone with any Android device on any carrier. See this entry: Unlimited Phone calls with Google Voice and Talkatone.
Editor’s Note: GrandCentral service has been updated by Google and the branding has been changed to Google Voice. However, all of the features and techniques discussed below still applies. In addition, Google launched an official Android application for Google Voice in July 2009. However, the technique still works provided you use the direct dial method. To make life simpler, you can actually load both the official and unofficial Google Voice application on the same phone.
The T-Mobile G1/G2 is an amazing display of open source technology and innovative phone design. However, did you ever wish T-Mobile would offer more voice minutes than the measly 400 included with the MyFave plan? Well, you could, provided you have four components:
If you have these four components, you can configure a few simple settings and receive unlimited incoming and outgoing calls on your T-Mobile G1 phone. How this works require you to understand a little about the magic of GrandCentral/google Voice service.
The GrandCentral Service (Now Google Voice), owned by Google, issues the user a virutal phone number. The user can configure the service to forward the call to any phone number (Including the T-Mobile G1) they have when any one calls the virtual number. The service can also provide the user with free domestic calling by having the user initiate the call from GrandCentral (Google Voice). GrandCentral (Google Voice) will call the user’s phone, once the user picks up, GrandCentral (Google Voice) will call the number that the user initiated and connect the two sides. This provides you free domestic calls if you use this feature with any phone with free incoming calls, such as home phones. These two features are the key to providing unlimited calls on the T-Mobile G1.
T-Mobile MyFave plans is required because it provides the user with five numbers that they can call or receive call from on an unlimited basis. For this to work, you only need to use one of your myFave slots. Put your GrandCentral (Google Voice) virtual number as an myFave number in this slot. Next, download the G1 application from the Android Market on your T-Mobile G1 phone. The G1 (GV – new) application allows you to access the GrandCentral / Google Voice service directly from your phone. You will be required to login to the service using the data connection. Once you’re logged in, you can access and make calls to any number. The application can even access your contact list on your phone to save you from dialing the full numbers. However, unlike dialing the number directly using the phone, when you initiate the call with the G1 /GV application the call will take about a few seconds to complete. This is because the application will access the GrandCentral / Google Voice service to complete the call. In a few seconds, your phone will ring with your GrandCentral / Google Voice number showing on the Caller ID. When you pick up the call, GrandCentral / Google Voice will complete the call and call the number you dialed on the other end. However, remember you placed your GrandCentral/Google Voice number as one of the five myFave number? Yes. You’re exactly right, because the caller ID shows the GrandCentral .Google Voice number you added, you can now talk as long as you want for the outgoing call free of charge!
Now, let’s handle the incoming call portion. We know we can now make unlimited outgoing calls free of charge without using any of our plan minutes. But how do we receive unlimited incoming calls free of charge? Well, here you will need to make two changes. First, you need to give out your GrandCentral /Google Voice number to all your contacts. Two, within the GrandCentral / Google Voice settings webpage, you can select to have the caller’s phone number display on your Caller ID or your GrandCentral / Google Voice number. Change this setting to display your GrandCentral / Google Voice number on your phone when anyone calls your GrandCentral / Google Voice number. See a pattern? Because now whenever anyone calls you on your virtual number, your G1 phone will display your GrandCentral / Google Voice number. Which being part of the myFave five, means it won’t count toward your plan minutes. That means you can talk long as your want for free.
So now you have unlimited incoming and outgoing calls on your T-Mobile G1. An added bonus. Because the calls are actually running on the T-Mobile voice network, you would get the same voice quality you get on a regular phone call. The data portion is only used when you initiate the call. The calls are completed on the voice side.
However, there are a couple of limitations that you should be aware of when using this approach to get free calls. One, you must always be logged into to the G1 / GV application when making outgoing calls. Two, to receive incoming calls free of charge, you must set GrandCentral / Google Voice to display your GrandCentral / Google Voice number when connecting a caller to your phone. This means you won’t know who called you by looking at the Caller ID. The only caveat here is that you can turn on the Call Screening feature on GrandCentral / Google Voice to ask the caller to identified themselves before connecting the call.
Hope you enjoy this post regarding how to save money with T-Mobile G1 and GrandCentral / Google Voice. If you have anything to add, please add to the comments below.
This site is a collection of news, deals, and advices that will help you save money and make the most out of the assets you already have. If you have questions regarding money or simply wanted to find out what a TIPS is (Treasury Inflation Proof Securities :), feel free to drop us a line.