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Publisher / Editor @ CloudAve and Enterprise Irregulars. Industry Observer, Blogger, Startup Advisor, Program Chair @ SVASE (Silicon Valley Association of Startup Entrepreneurs). In his "prior life" spent 15 years immersed in the business of Enterprise Software, at management positions with SAP, IBM, Deloitte, KPMG and the like.

12 responses to “Android Phone Without Google Voice? Yes, But What a Deal! You Get What You Pay for @ Virgin Mobile.”

  1. DaveM

    That is suspicious. The service obviously includes voice mail, and that needs call forwarding. There must be some way to override the voice mail number – just not via the starcode. Try speed dial directory.

    Can you buy a better Sprint-Android phone – say the Evo or the Samsung before the Evo on ebay or something and put it on the Virgin plan?

  2. John

    When you say, “as long as you follow the discipline of making outbound calls via GV..etc.”

    Do you mean that since they don’t do call forwarding on Virgin, that you have to call into GV to make the outbound call via GV? Or you have to just open the GV app to make a call from GV? I guess my question is, what’s the impact on the outbound call experience on this phone vs. other droid phones that can fully integrate with Google Voice.

    Also, did you find any way around the $250 price to buy the phone? Sure, the plan is great, but the price of the phone is just ok.

    Thanks for your help.

  3. phone onsale

    I jsut got this phone. $199 at radio shack even though online prices shows $249.

  4. Gary M.

    The Google Voice android application wants you to forward voicemail to Google Voice number by dialing *71xxxxxxxxxx where the x’s are your GV number. Virgin Mobile does not allow call forwarding, but you can still have GV receive voicemail and distribute notifications, then have GV handle all outgoing calls.

    With this setup, you will use your GV number to make and receive calls. Your android number is not used. Incoming calls to your android number will always ring your android device and will not go to voicemail.

    We begin by having customer service disable voicemail.

    Run the Market application and search for Google Voice. Install the Google Voice application. Set GV to be used for all calls so that the GV number is used instead of the android’s number for outgoing calls from your android phone.

    On the mobile desktop:
    * install shortcut to the Voice application to get to the GV inbox
    * Optionally install Google Voice Settings widget which has these buttons:
    1. GV Inbox
    2. New msg
    3. when to use GV number for calls
    4. Do not disturb toggle

    On desktop computer change GV voice settings
    * forward calls to one or more phones (one of them to your android)
    * select send one or more email and/or sms notifications

    If one of the GV forwarding phones does not answer within about five rings, then GV will take the voicemail call.

    Voicemail can be checked by:
    1. calling your GV number from any of your GV forwarding phones
    2. opening the GV inbox on your android and clicking the play button
    3. clicking on the play button in an email that you have set to receive voicemail notifications

    I also installed a Missed Call application which can notify of new mail, sms, or missed call. It does not do voicemail notifications but will see your gmail and/or sms messages.

    Give your GV number to your contacts.

    A positive side effect is that your GV can receive voicemail even when your android is without service or is turned off and still get voicemail notifications when those gmail and/or sms messages sent by GV arrive shortly after starting your phone.

    Go to donotcall.gov and submit your phone numbers to the national do not call list.

    1. Stan S.

      Just a quick question. I set up Google Voice on my new Virgin Mobile Android and I can make outgoing calls. Will I be charged against my minutes if I use Google Voice to forward incomming calls to my Virgin Mobile number? Or is there another way to receive Google Voice calls without using my cell minutes?

  5. Gary M.

    Install a plug-in in Gmail so that it can make calls and receive calls for free. See http://www.google.com/chat/voice/.

    Keep gmail loaded in your browser and it can receive google voice calls if google chat has been set-up as a forwarding number for google voice.

    Set both your cell phone and google chat as forwarding numbers for google voice and you can choose which device to answer calls. Have Virgin Mobile disable voicemail so that google voice will process voicemail after no answer from your cell or gmail.
    .

  6. Fernando

    @John I just switched from AT&T to VM with and Intercept. The current price of $219 on VM site or $179 over at Best Buy is a great price for a no contract smartphone. Granted this isn’t a Nexus S; its a budget smartphone at worst. But you will be hard pressed to find a no contract Android 2.1 device for this price. And when you consider VM’s rate plans, it’s a real bargain.

    That being said and to the topic of the article, I am very, very disappointed that VM does not support GV to the fullest. I went with Android over my beloved iOS just for that. But it’s not a mark on Android as this is a Virgin Mobile specific issue.

  7. liebezeit

    Disabling voice mail on Virgin won’t make any difference in this scenario. If you’re in a situation where your caller would’ve hit Virgin voice mail (such as rejecting a call too early for Google Voice to catch it) then your caller will simply hit a “mailbox not found” message instead. The message includes your Virgin number, thus confusing the issue and making your caller believe they dialed a wrong number.

    Call Virgin and urge them to enable call forwarding.

  8. TheNatural

    You’re right leibezeit. One step that Gary M. forgot to mention is that you MUST enable call screening in GV. If you don’t have call screening enabled, then GV thinks you’ve answered the phone and sends the caller to your cell number where they hear the “mailbox not found” message.

    Once you’ve turned on call screening, what disabling voicemail does is stops your voicemail from filling up with a bunch of voicemails from GV saying “press 1 to accept and 2 to send the caller to voicemail”

  9. sm

    I’m thinking there might be a way around the forwarding thing after all… When I ported my tmobile number to virgin mobile, I accidentally entered the last digit of my phone number incorrectly (it was supposed to be an 8, I entered 0) in the MPN box. Surprisingly, I still received calls and was able to make calls on the phone. I didn’t realize I had put the wrong number in until I went to set up voicemail and ended up getting someone else’s voicemail (there is a big chance that the number was for an AT&T customer, since that is where my number originally came from). I quickly resolved the problem by reprogramming the phone again with the correct number… but now I’m wondering— if I reprogrammed my phone with the google voice number instead of my ported number, would it work? I’m afraid to try… don’t want any hassles this weekend~!