Free Wifi VOIP phone calls on a retired cell phone using Google Voice

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Free Wifi VOIP phone calls on a retired cell phone using Google Voice

Postby FlyingPenguin » Sun Aug 06, 2017 1:35 pm

I have a three perfectly good retired Moto-X gen1 phones in my fridge drawer (PRO TIP: keeps the batteries from deteriorating). One of them was a warranty replacement that's only a year and a half old with a battery in great condition. I decided to re-purpose that one as an emergency phone for the car BUT I didn't want to spend $20 a month for an additional Verizon cell phone line.

The thought came to me today because I forgot my phone when I went to the super market. I had to go back home for it because I keep my shopping list on it on a cloud-based notes app (SimpleNote). If I had had a tablet or spare phone in the car (even without cellular) I could have gotten on the Publix market's Wifi and grabbed my shopping list and done my thing.

But why not go even further? i thought to myself. How about an emergency phone with VOIP and SMS via Wifi? Free Wifi is everywhere now, even in the rural area I live in.

So I researched it. Yes there are a LOT of VOIP apps for Android, but most are only free between users with the same apps. In order to get VOIP to a land line with most of these services, you have to buy a subscription. MagicApp was one of the most widely recommended ones (same company that makes MajicJack for your PC) and they have a reasonable $35 a year plan that gives you unlimited calls and SMS to anywhere in the US & Canada with your own phone number.

However, I didn't want to buy a subscription for an emergency phone I may rarely or never use.

Then I remembered that I still have a Google Voice number that I used to use as a business number, and I wondered if I could make calls using that?

I did a little research and YES they added VOIP via Google Voice to Google Hangouts a year or so ago. You need to update to the latest version of Google Hangouts AND you need to also install the Hangouts Dialer app. Almost all Google Voice calls to the U.S. and Canada are free when you're calling from the U.S.

Instructions and info here: ... roid&hl=en

The phone will recognize that you have two phone dialers so you can even initiate a call from your phone's contact list and the first time it will ask which dialer you want to use: the Android dialer or Hangouts, and you can choose to ALWAYS use hangouts.

For SMS you need to use the texting functionality in the hangouts app itself.

You also need to make sure that the Hangouts dialer is set to ring on an incoming VOIP call.

Works like a champ. Audio quality is very good testing it here on my home Wifi network.

So I'll leave the emergency phone in the car hooked up to a charger inside the glove box. Good to go.
"I miss having 'differences of opinion'. All this 'differences of reality perception' kinda sucks." - Scott Johnson


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Re: Free Wifi VOIP phone calls on a retired cell phone using Google Voice

Postby normalicy » Mon Aug 07, 2017 11:17 pm

Huh, I had considered this a while ago and just never got around to it. Might do something similar because I've got about 6 phones lying around.

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Re: Free Wifi VOIP phone calls on a retired cell phone using Google Voice

Postby Err » Wed Aug 16, 2017 3:52 pm

That's good to know. I've avoided hangouts in the past because I didn't like the app but I haven't tried it recently.

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Re: Free Wifi VOIP phone calls on a retired cell phone using Google Voice

Postby Genom » Wed Aug 16, 2017 4:37 pm

It's still bleh, and the dialer is cumbersome, but as a workaround it works great.

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