How to re-create Sprint integration with Google Voice on other carriers

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I love Google Voice, and I love how Sprint and Google worked together to introduce a service that was truly integrated: once your Google Voice account is integrated with your Sprint account, it is possible to use your Sprint cell phone number as your Google Voice number, or your Google Voice number as a secondary Sprint number.

I did the first option (I used my Sprint number as my Google Voice number), and quickly became enamoured with the service integration for these reasons:

  • I loved having my computer and my phone ring whenever someone called my Sprint phone number.
  • I loved being able to send and receive texts using my Sprint phone number, through the Google Voice extension on my computer.
  • Google voicemail – it’s awesome, and it’s free.
  • My call logs and my texts on my phone were automatically backed up to my Google Voice account – even if I didn’t have Google Voice installed on my phone.
  • I didn’t have to port my number from Sprint to Google Voice – this is an important point for me, since porting to Google Voice isn’t available in my area, apparently.

Google Voice/Sprint integration was actually one of the only things that kept me as a Sprint customer for the past several months, and it was one of the things I dreaded losing the most when I made the switch to T-Mobile. Luckily, I’ve found that practically all of the functionality offered by Google Voice/Sprint integration can be replicated with other apps.

You should note that this guide is really only relevant if you’re like me, and used to having your Sprint number act as your Google Voice number, not vice versa.

Ring multiple phones when someone calls your cell phone number.

It’s still possible for multiple phones to ring when dialing your cell phone number. Just make sure to sign up for a Google Voice number, which you’ll need once you’ve de-integrated Sprint and Google Voice. Then, set your cell phone number to forward to that Google Voice number.

What is Sprint Spot?

When someone calls your cell phone number, it will ring for 25 seconds, and then forward to Google Voice, which will cause all of your other phones to ring, too. Additionally, if you’re on AT&T or T-Mobile, it’s even possible to set the length of time your phone will ring – I prefer 30 seconds, but you might want to shorten it.

Send and receive texts from your cell phone number on your desktop or tablet.

There are several apps that claim to do this task, but in my experience MightyText is the best – and it’s free. All you have to do is install it on your phone, set it up one time (it takes about 15 seconds), and that’s it – you’re set, unless you reset your phone or uninstall MightyText. From now on, you can text from MightyText’s web interface. If you want to be notified of texts on your tablet, there’s a companion app for that. There’s also a Chrome extension that will alert you to incoming calls and texts and allow you to easily respond without opening the web interface, and another that lets you manage your texts through your Gmail.

As an added bonus, this can handle MMS – something Google Voice can’t.

Google Voicemail.

This is really carrier agnostic, and will continue working in the setup I’m describing now.

Automatic backup of all call logs and texts.

SMS Backup+ is a great app that you can set to automatically back up every single text or picture message directly in a custom label in Gmail. Call logs can be backed up either to Gmail, or to Google Calendar. You can set backup frequencies and triggers, and you can also restore texts and call logs to your phone from the cloud, in case you delete them by mistake.

Make and receive calls using your PC or a third party Google Voice app, like GrooVeIP.

Calls to your cell phone can be set to begin ringing on your PC once they forward to Google Voice. Calls can come in via Google Hangouts or via Gmail Chat. Outgoing calls will appear to come from your custom Google Voice number, instead of your cell phone number. This is literally the only real compromise I have found so far – I have yet to find a way to place a call from my computer with my cell phone number set as the outgoing caller ID.

Oh, well – if this is the only compromise I have to make, I can live with it. Not being a Sprint customer anymore is worth it.

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John F

John was the editor-in-chief at Pocketables. His articles generally focus on all things Google, including Chrome and Android, although his love of new gadgets and technology doesn't stop there. His current arsenal includes the Nexus 6 by Motorola, the 2013 Nexus 7 by ASUS, the Nexus 9 by HTC, the LG G Watch, and the Chromebook Pixel, among others.

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15 thoughts on “How to re-create Sprint integration with Google Voice on other carriers

  • Avatar of A.
    August 29, 2013 at 4:38 pm
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    You must not have a T-Mobile prepaid account because things like forwarding to Google Voicemail are not available to prepaid accounts.

    Reply
    • Avatar of Ricky
      August 30, 2013 at 2:43 pm
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      Indeed. I’m going with the “leave my number on GV” mentality, and just giving up MMS (and perhaps getting some weird compatibility problems with certain SMS systems.)

      Because of this, the prepaid number is random, and anything incoming to the prepaid number is a request to the wrong number. I ended up disabling the prepaid number’s voicemail completely, removing the need for conditional call forwarding to GV voicemail.

      Reply
  • Avatar of Fifth313ment
    August 29, 2013 at 7:42 pm
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    I have Google Voice on Sprint and it’s great! The call circles and multiple voicemail messages are great! Plus the call blocking and spam features are awesome! Once I get a call from a telemarketer or spammer I simply add to spam or block and I’ll never hear from them again. And they get a message that my number is no longer in service so they stop calling. Also being able to have a business voicemail for unknown callers and then one for my contacts is awesome! I have like 4 voicemail messages for different types of contacts, lol. Call recoding, online logs storage, transcription (sucks but sometimes works, which is odd since you would think Google would be good at this by now)and more all for free! I paid $20 and got a separate Google voice number for business FOR LIFE! The negatives are transcription translation, no caller ID differentiation between Google Voice and Sprint numbers (they should have a dual ring option so you know which line is being called), crappy Google Voice Android app (that NEVER gets updated) and no MMS. It’s still worth the price of FREE though, lol. Great article John BTW.

    5th

    Reply
  • Avatar of Nick
    August 29, 2013 at 9:45 pm
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    What if I keep my sprint number when I switch to Verizon? Will google voice automagically know that I’ve switched or will it be fooled into thinking it’s all the same goodness?

    Reply
    • Avatar of John Freml
      August 30, 2013 at 6:06 am
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      I’ve heard horror stories about people porting numbers before de-integrating, and it always ends in disaster, it seems. If you want to keep your number, I’d de-integrate it first.

      Reply
  • Avatar of DrizzyGadget
    August 30, 2013 at 5:12 am
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    I’m on T-Mobile and there’s no option for Voicemail through Google Voice. It gives a call settings error.

    Reply
  • Avatar of Khoa
    August 30, 2013 at 5:48 am
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    This is my first post and I’ve been following goodandevo.net since EVO 3D but I own all the EVO lines from the 4G now to the LTE.

    I’ve been using Google Voice for a couple of years when it integrated with Sprint when it was first released. The advantages were that you can record any incoming call by pressing number 4. It will notify the caller that the call is being recorded. I love this feature especially if I need to remember numbers or confirmation and can’ writet them down while driving.

    Google Voice lets you filter calls from people not on your contact list. When you receiving a call, you can send the unknown caller to voicemail and listen to their message live. You can then join the call anytime as if you were listening to a real answering machine.

    Another feature that I depend on is the call history. It will track every call you’ve missed, placed, or called with the date and times. Often times friends say they called me but I never saw or heard it ring. So I login to Google Voice to verify if they did call me or not and I do find that I have a miss balk in the log. This is great when you’re in an area with low signal. You can also know who called if you turned off your phone for example, when ever you turn off your phone during a flight.

    Another cool thing is when the Sprint network is down, I’m still able to text, receive, or place a call on my pc. If I’ve misplaced my phone or if the battery is dead, I can still text, place, and receive calls on the pc. That way my battery can charge faster when it is off and don’t have time to charge it.

    The last thing I like best about Google Voice is that you get to customize your voicemail to whoever calls in. I have a special voicemail for my wife, best friends, clients, business associates, family, friends, and unknown callers not in my contact list. People get blown away when they get to my voicemail message and hear that its been personalized with their name. It will make anyone feel special. I guarantee it.

    So those are some of the things I enjoy about Google Voicemail that were not mentioned above. I’m always discovering new stuff to Google Voicemail to enhance it for my personal use.

    Reply
    • Avatar of John Freml
      August 30, 2013 at 6:04 am
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      Thanks for the comment! Each person’s use case is unique, obviously, and for me, the things I mentioned were more important than the things you mentioned (although missed call notifications will still work, for example, when I’m outside of T-Mobile coverage). Most of these issues you mention could be resolved by actually porting your cell phone number to Google Voice – but that’s not an option that’s available to me, for some reason.

      Reply
  • Avatar of Wes Stacey
    August 30, 2013 at 6:50 am
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    What are the steps for “de-integrating” when i got a nexus i realized that there was no way to get notifications of new voicemail on the phone. So in integrated with google voice and everything works great now.

    I am getting sick of Sprint and we’re considering movign to T-Mobile. what do i need to do before i port my number over to t-mobile to de-integrate it from google voice?

    Reply
    • Avatar of surg3d
      August 30, 2013 at 7:40 am
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      Check my comment below. I’m on the same boat and probably leaving for TMO soon! :) My plan was to port my Sprint number to GV rather than to T-Mobile but I’m not sure if that’s what’s best. My reasoning is that I get to keep my same number AND keep google voice…

      To de-integrate I think you just go to voice.google.com, go to settings, and click on “disable” next to your number.

      Reply
  • Avatar of surg3d
    August 30, 2013 at 7:35 am
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    Wouldn’t it make sense to just port your current Sprint/GV number to Google voice?

    So when you leave sprint to go to, say, T-Mobile, you’d first de-integrate, then you’d port your number (for a small fee) to Google Voice, then you’d sign up with T-Mobile and not worry about that new number, just use Google voice, which you can set up to ring your new number…. That way you still get to keep the same number.

    The only thing you’d miss I think would be MMS… Which yes, it’s kind of a big deal but it looks like hangouts will start integrating this through GV soon. I hope!!

    Reply
    • Avatar of Wes Stacey
      August 30, 2013 at 8:51 am
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      I’m really getting sick of the word “Soon”

      Sprint has been saying it for years and all we get from Google on the Hangouts SMS integration is “soon”

      Won’t ANYONE just give us a definition of “soon” WHEN!!!! WHEN!!!!!

      Reply
  • Avatar of Josh M
    October 18, 2013 at 1:30 pm
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    Thank you for the great article. I found myself in a similar situation when I left Sprint for AT&T. I thought Google Voice integrated with all the carriers and Sprint was just first. I was really sad to find out I couldn’t continue using my mobile number as my Google Voice number. I work in IT and not having this absolutely killed my productivity. On Sprint I would answer and make calls on my Astro A40 headset via the computer, text people and do remote desktop support all without having to mess with my phone. Very, very efficient. I was about to cancel and go back to Sprint until I found your post about MightyText (amazing app). I’ll just let people know that if they see my GV number it’s me calling them back. Maybe I’ll be able to adjust the call forward timer on my cell to a really low value when I’m at my desk and change it back to default when I’m in the field. Hopefully ATT supports the integration in the future. Thanks again.

    Reply

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