Sprint Begins Testing For Google Voice Integration


It wasn’t too long ago when we last heard Sprint’s plans to integrate Google Voice into the carrier’s lineup of Android handsets. Today we received some exciting news that they have already begun testing Google Voice integration for some lucky Sprint users via a lucky Phandroid tipster.

From the looks of the imgaes he sent to us, setup seems like a snap and once finished you will now be able to use your Sprint number on your Google Voice account.

As a Sprint customer myself, I’ve been totally jazzed since I’m hearing this news on day one. Being a chronic ROM flasher its nice to know my text messages and voicemails are all nicely tucked away in Google’s cloud ready to be accessed from anywhere.

How about you? If you’re on Sprint are you excited to see this new service become available to you? If you’re not on Sprint, is this something you would like to see on your carrier?

[Thanks riggsAndroid!]

Chris Chavez
I've been obsessed with consumer technology for about as long as I can remember, be it video games, photography, or mobile devices. If you can plug it in, I have to own it. Preparing for the day when Android finally becomes self-aware and I get to welcome our new robot overlords.

Hello, Phandroids! I’m the new kid

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  1. I’m going to Europe next week. Praying I get selected just in time for that.

  2. I’m actually on a support call with Sprint right now. I was totally jazzed as well until I realized that if I port, I will lose MMS capability, as well as being able to SMS/make or receive calls with no 3G/4G/WiFi connectivity. I love Google Voice, but for now, it seems I have to keep a pure Sprint number as well…

    1. the best part of your post is – you said you’re on the phone with them – in the email it says do not call.

      For this early release, Sprint support channels will not be available for support, including Sprint Retail Stores, Sprint Customer Care, Sprint Telesales, Sprint Direct Sales Reps, etc.
      If you need support, please direct your questions/comments to [email protected] with your Sprint or Google Voice number listed.

      That’s a fail dude. You can make call w/out 3g/4g/wifi and can send texts as normal. THe only problem is they only get sent to your GV account when people reply.

      MMS works as well – but it only gets sent to messaging app.

      It splits SMS and MMS into different applications then but I’m expecting Google to unify this in Ice Cream

      1. That’s what I figured as far as MMS. So Riggs when you use the stock sms app on a phone does that SMS message still to google voice’s inbox on the web? I’d prefer to use my stock SMS app on my EVO to text message

        1. You can send SMS in the stock messaging app and it will show up in GV on the web.

          It’s just when they reply to you it only goes to Google Voice.

          Also – I tried to make a call with a Wifi connection with airplane mode on – if they only used Data to make the calls (now I made my Sprint # the GV # and did not port the GV # to my Sprint #) so it may be different, but it required the cell connection.

          Not sure why Mike is under the impression that everything is DATA now…at least for me, it hasn’t been th case. I’ve sent SMS w/all data connections off.

          1. Thanks again for the tip, Riggs! =D

          2. Ok, I think I know why there’s a misunderstanding. If you have Google forward your texts to SMS, then yes, it uses the SMS app. I’m pretty sure though, that this feature still does not support MMS since ultimately it is still being handled by Google Voices limited technology. What I do not like about this is that Google then assigns each contact a new, contrived number that can change, which is only used for sending true SMS through native SMS clients while still masking them as your GV number. I tried this for a while, but the maintenance of all the special numbers got annoying. That is why I use the GV app, which uses purely data to send/receive texts (again though, no MMS).

            As for calls, GV only needs data to *connect* the call, otherwise the call still goes through Sprint’s voice network (e.g. GV in this case is not VoIP). This is why you could not complete a call using only WiFi. My issue is that without a data connection, the call cannot be connected, thus cannot be made. Receiving a call is still possible since when someone calls your GV number, it first goes to Google, who then connects it to your Sprint number/network and you receive it just as you would a call to a normal number.

          3. In the Google Voice app, there is an option for notifications via text. When you choose this option all of my Google Voice texts are sent to the native SMS app.

      2. First off, I didn’t get this email; therefore did not know that googlegroup. Second, I called Sprint before this post.

        From what I was told, if you use a Google Voice number as your primary, Sprint number, you will suffer all the limitations Google Voice currently has. That is, lack of MMS (the Sprint supervisor told me to email pictures instead), as well as lack of SMS when not connected to internet, be it 3G, 4G, or WiFi. Additionally, since Google Voice uses the internet to connect calls, you would not be able to place calls. However, amending my previous comment, receiving them should be fine (in an area of no data connection).

        I was told explicitly that if my Sprint number were a Google Voice number, the native messaging application would not be able to handle MMS and all SMS would need to be done through the Google Voice application from Google.

        This is hardly what I call “integration” and will hold off on any of this until it is truly integrated.

        If something I’ve said is erroneous, please let me know.

        1. The issue is, this happens when you port your number…this new service thorough GV and Sprint doesn’t port your number, just changes your voicemail account…I still get texts, even when not in a data connection area. All mobile carriers have the option to “port” their number, which would mean all of the negative side affects that you listed, but now Sprint allows just the use of your Sprint number for voicemail without porting all of it.

          1. My whole situation is really going the other direction, namely porting my already in use Google Voice number to my Sprint account as my primary Sprint number.

            Until Google adds MMS capability to GV, I would tend to think Sprint would have to keep a “pure” Sprint number tied to my device as well so as to allow calling/SMS with no data connection, as well as MMS. That said, if I were in that situation with no data connection and the device defaulted back to the “pure” number, it wouldn’t show up as GV to other people…leading to confusion.

            Ugh…I realize this is in beta, so I can’t really freak out too much, but I wish more details would be provided as to how all this is working.

        2. Dear Mike you still are mixing integration with porting.
          You are talking of porting … It is natural, because you did not get the invite jet. So your only option is porting.
          So dont cause panic where it is not appropriate.

      3. This has been exactly my experience as well. I was able to integrate early last week and I turned it off after two days.

        Being as one of the “selling points” of Sprint’s upcoming Nexus S (aka “Epic 2.0”) is GVoice integration I’d like to think they’re working out the inconsistencies. If I get any information regarding that I’ll put it out on Twitter.

    2. Hard to imagine Sprint & Google would move forward with this marriage and not give their customers the ability to MMS. Does it say anywhere in some sort of fine print this will be the case?

  3. I’ve been using Google Voice for a long time now…is there anything different with this one? I receive voicemails through it, and I think it’s wonderful!

    1. Only thing is you will be able to use your normal cell number from Google Voice! Super cool! =D

  4. MMS will still work on your phone, just not online in Google Voice. That was the word from multiple Sprint and GV reps on hand at CTIA.

    1. Question: I am still trying to understand what the difference is to the consumer. If GV is not VoIP then you are still using your minutes (which you are on incoming calls). It is only free for outgoing calls to to cellphone (on Sprint) but free to all numbers in US and Canada on GV. Unless GV is going to be VoIP and Sprint is going to give a cheaper plan that is all data I am at a loss as to how it is going to benefit the consumer..that group.

  5. I think ill pass. I prefer to have 2 numbers handy. Needs to be truly intergrated before I will even consider this. But I’m happy Sprint is taking charge in main streeting the fact that voice calls are nothing more than data connections.

    1. Just get another GV number

  6. Can’t wait!

  7. Someone in charge made a serious mistake in not including me in the beta. Heads will roll.

    1. I felt the same way. I even checked my Gmail a few hundred times thinking I might have missed it =/

  8. I don’t want either option. I use my sprint number for personal calls and my gv number for business calls. They need to remain separate.

    1. Exactly. That is one of the main benefits of GV. I use my GV number for work, enable the automatic “do not disturb” time from 11pm to 6am, and keep my Sprint number for family and friends. Being that they are pairing with Sprint, it makes me wonder how much longer GV will be free.

  9. I wonder when Google will let the rest of the world play with GV *sigh*

  10. I am happy Sprint/Google are truly strengthening there overall business relationship which will lead to big things down the road for android and especially sprint customers. I love google voice and the integration of google voice into all smartphone devices great move…

  11. Being an avid GV user already since it’s free for me to make phone calls that might require me to be on hold for a while (ever try calling the Department of Veteran’s Affairs?) so having this feature integrated into the carrier’s service would really appeal to me. This is just giving more potential reasons for me to be switching to Sprint in the near future. Especially if the future AT&T T-Mo merger has a negative effect on android users.

  12. I was actually one of the ‘lucky few’ I guess, got the notification last night. Only problem is I can’t get it to work! I had to email letting them know the site was throwing an error every time I tried to make the conversion. Long-time GV user, and looking forward to seeing what this has to offer.

  13. I’m on AT&T and would love to see the feature! Although unless they find some way to fix the MMS problem then I’ll wait it out. I have the Nexus One so I hope it’s easier to integrate without having to deal ith AT&T’s regulation crap.

  14. I am still trying to understand what the difference is to the consumer. If GV is not VoIP then you are still using your minutes (which you are on incoming calls). It is only free for outgoing calls to to cellphone (on Sprint) but free to all numbers in US and Canada on GV. Unless GV is going to be VoIP and Sprint is going to give a cheaper plan that is all data I am at a loss as to how it is going to benefit the consumer (unless they are trying to get everyone to get a GV number like Skype). As far as using the GV number for business calls you just need to set up a group for business calls and make a specific announcement for calls routed to that group.

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