Experiences with Google Voice as a main number

Posted Jan 29, 2013 at 12:01 pm in Threads > Opinions

A little background….I got my Nexus 4 at the beginning of December. I signed up to the $30 T-Mobile Pre-Paid Plan (Unlimited Text and Data with 100 minutes) and ported my number from Sprint over to Google Voice ($20 fee).

Calls
The idea behind the $30 minute plan was to use Groove IP to route the majority of my calls over data. In theory, this sounded great. With T-Mobile 4G all over DFW, I figured I could make it work. I found out pretty early, that unless you are stationary, the voice calls over data have been decent at best for me. Most people report that I sound like I’m in a web tunnel. The majority of the time there is either a big delay or my voice gets completely warbled where the person on the other end can’t make out anything I’m saying. The dialer screen isn’t as good, and I don’t get the big high res contact pictures when calling people. Honestly, this hasn’t really been a deal breaker for me because if I am connected to WiFi, or stationary, the calls have been pretty good. If anything, it has taught me I don’t NEED to be on the phone when I’m on the go. The $30 trade-off has been nice.

SMS/MMS
My biggest issue with this route has been with SMS. I wanted to use my stock messaging app to send texts. I like it better than Google Voice’s actual app for messaging. I downloaded GV SMS Integration which allowed me to do just this. This along with GlowFly worked well to integrate the two apps and allow me to send and receive SMS from my Google Voice number in the stock app. The problem was, I was ALWAYS receiving duplicate notifications. Even when I turned off notifications in Google Plus, they both arrived in my stock SMS inbox. This caused me to accidentally reply using my T-Mobile pre-paid number on more than a few occasions with replies immediately saying “who is this?” I decided this was enough of a nag that I would uninstall GV SMS Integration, and just use the Google Voice app for messaging. Unfortunately, as the reviews say, even after uninstalling, the integration is still present and I am still getting duplicate notifications. On top of that, the way Google Voice messaging works is just annoying. Each contact doesn’t have their own thread. Multiple threads get started and there doesn’t seem to be a way to merge them. Also, no MMS. Come on Google.

It felt like it was going to be a good idea and work, but honestly has made it quite frustrating. I’m thinking of switching to Solavei or Straight Talk now and porting my number back to the carrier.

Anyone else have an experience with this? Suggestions?