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How to enable WiFi calling on your HTC EVO

This guest tutorial was written by John Freml.

Wifi-callingWhile T-Mobile has offered a formal WiFi-calling solution to its customers for quite some time, Sprint has relied heavily on the Airave for those who have a weak signal at home. And while the Airave is a good solution for some, it requires extra equipment, only works in a single location, and often requires an additional monthly fee.

Fortunately, with GrooveIP and Sprint's recently announced integration with Google Voice, you can turn your HTC EVO into quite a capable WiFi-calling and texting device that you can use virtually anywhere in the world that you have a solid WiFi signal. Best of all: rooting is not required!

To get started, you will need to:

1. Sign up for a Google Voice account, if you don't have one already.

2. Once you are signed in to your Google Voice account, or during the registration process, be sure to enable Google Voice-Sprint integration. This should be an option after entering your Sprint number during the registration process. If you already have an account, just access your "Voice settings" and then click "change/port" next to your Sprint mobile number in the "Phones" tab and follow the on-screen instructions.

Integrating your Sprint and Google Voice accounts will allow you to use your Sprint number when making outbound calls or sending text messages through Google Voice, while still retaining full control over your mobile number. In other words, you get all the benefits of porting your number to Google Voice, without the hassle and headache of actually doing so. Best of all, if you already have Google Voice and you want to keep your old Google Voice number, Google will allow you to do so for a $20 fee. You can read more about integration here.

3. Once you have the Google Voice-Sprint integration enabled, download Google Voice from the Market and GrooveIP from either the Market or the Amazon Appstore. The Market currently has the app listed for $3.99, while it's on sale at Amazon for $1.99. The caveat is that updates are generally available quicker from the Market, so you'll have to decide which is more important to you: faster updates or more money in your bank account.

4. Once you have both apps installed, sign in to each of them using your same Google Voice username and password. (If you were already using the Google Voice app before enabling Google Voice-Sprint integration, you'll have to fully sign out and sign back in again.)


That's it! You can now make and receive phone calls to and from your Sprint number using GrooveIP over WiFi, and you can send and receive texts from your Sprint number using the Google Voice app, from anywhere in the world that has WiFi. You can even tweak GrooveIP's settings to allow you to use the app with your native phone dialer. To test this, you can put your phone in airplane mode, enable WiFi, and ensure you are signed in to both apps.

There are some things to keep in mind.

First, in order to properly receive phone calls over WiFi, you'll have to stay signed in to GrooveIP and make sure that you have Google Talk enabled in your Google Voice phone settings on the web. You'll also need to be signed out of Gmail chat on all other computers.

Second, call quality might not be as good as a normal cell connection, as many users of GrooveIP have reported echoes or delays. However, the developer has gained a reputation for being quick to respond to inquiries, and he frequently releases updates aimed at improving both call quality and the overall user experience.

Third, keep in mind that MMS won't work using this method, as the Google Voice app does not support this yet.

For many, however, the benefits make this method well worth the five minutes it takes to set up. You will now be able to continue using your phone with only a WiFi connection, without paying for an Airave or using other cumbersome or clunky VOIP solutions.

Best of all, you can take your EVO with you on vacation and keep in touch with friends and family, without worrying about a huge roaming bill when you get back. You can even use this method on any old, deactivated Android phone you have laying around the house to have a back-up, WiFi-only phone that is still connected to your current Sprint number.

If you try this out on your EVO, be sure to let us know in the comments how this is working out for you!

This guest tutorial was written by John Freml.

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Jenn K. Lee

Jenn K. Lee is the founder of Pocketables. She loves gadgets the way most women love shoes and purses. The pieces in her tech wardrobe that go with everything are currently the Samsung Galaxy Note II, Sony Tablet P, and Nexus 7, but there are still a couple of vintage UMPCs/MIDs in the back of her closet.

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