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Thread: Google Voice app and/or Hangouts with FreedomPop LTE SIM - best method in 2020?

  1. #1
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    Google Voice app and/or Hangouts with FreedomPop LTE SIM - best method in 2020?

    Hello all,

    I've been frustrated by my use of the FreedomPop Calling & Texting app in conjunction with the Google Voice app on my iPhone 6s. Both of these apps are currently installed, and although they seem to work together they also produce duplicate text messages and incoming phone calls. This means I must delete text messages on both apps, and I can only answer incoming calls on whichever app starts ringing first ... which is presumably the app that takes over the screen until the incoming call is answered or dismissed.

    Ideally I would like to stop using the FP app and instead use ONLY the GV app (or Hangouts?) for all my incoming and outgoing calls and texts. I understand that this means using my FP data allotment instead of my FP calls and texts allotments, but I make and receive very few calls and texts -- and I always seem to have data left over at the end of each month -- so I think that making this change will work for me. Besides, I have a second FP LTE SIM I can switch to if my data allotment gets too low before the end of the month.

    I have not been able to figure out how to set this up yet. There seems to be an abundance of conflicting and/or confusing info online about how to do this, or maybe I'm just not "getting it". Whatever the reason for my failure to accomplish this seemingly simple setup, I need help.

    Can someone here please post a step-by-step procedure that I can use to make this work as of January 2020 ... or tell me it is impossible? I appreciate any help you can give me here. Thank you!

  2. #2
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    You didn't say, but are you using only your Google Voice #?

    I think the simplest way is to simply deactivate your FP # as a forwarding # in Google Voice.

    You can also completely uninstall the FP Messaging app if you have no intensions of using the FP # for calling and texting.

    If decide to uninstall FP Messaging, but still want to be able see your remaining FP balance in an app, you can install MyFreedomPop from https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.freedomPop&hl=en_US .

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    Quote Originally Posted by Boz1 View Post
    You didn't say, but are you using only your Google Voice #?
    This is what I want to do, but at the moment I'm still having my incoming GV calls forwarded to my FP number.

    I think the simplest way is to simply deactivate your FP # as a forwarding # in Google Voice.
    I will try this later this evening when I get home from work, thanks Boz1. If I disable this forwarding will the GV app ring on my phone whether I'm on wifi or data?

    You can also completely uninstall the FP Messaging app if you have no intensions of using the FP # for calling and texting.
    If the deactivation works I will delete this app since this is my plan. I just want to use my FP data allotment for incoming and outgoing calls and texts via the GV app. And I do not need the FP app to check my FP account because I almost always use my desktop computer to do this.

    One question: There's been a lot of talk about how the GV app doesn't work as well as Hangouts. Should I consider using Hangouts instead of the GV app? Or has Google ironed out the problems they were having with the GV app?

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    WiFi IS data. But yes, the Google Voice app with the proper settings (or the Hangouts app) will work over ANY kind of data, WiFi or cellular, for calls and messaging. You indicated that the GV app is ringing over data currently, so that shouldn't change if all you do is turn off the forwarding to your FP #.

    Regarding the GV app, I can't say for sure, because I'm still using Hangouts with my two primary GV #s. I have a third GV # that I use just for testing with the GV app. In my testing, the GV app does work as expected for calls and messaging over data only.

    But as long as I'm using data only like I've done since March, 2017, I'll keep using the Hangouts app unless Google fixes the following issues that are important to me. These items may not be important to you or others, so if the GV app works fine for how you use it, you might as well keep using it. I also don't know for sure if these issues apply to the Google Voice iPhone app.

    1) In the Android GV app, when searching contacts, ALL numbers with a custom name are listed with "Other" next to the number, which doesn't work well for my usage. With the Hangouts app, when searching contacts, ALL numbers with a custom name are listed with THAT CUSTOM NAME next to the number, which is how it SHOULD be in the GV app, too. As another data point, when searching contacts, the TextNow app ALSO lists numbers with a custom name with the custom name next to the number.

    2) On any of the three Android phones and 1 tablet I've tested the GV app with, when I click on a phone number on a web page, or from within any other app, including the Simplenote app, I am presented with multiple apps on my phone that can place a phone call, including Phone, Hangouts, Viber, and TextNow. The option to place the call with the GV app is MISSING! There is NO WAY to initiate a call as described above using the Android GV app! This is a very serious issue for me.

    3) When any of my Android devices are set to silent, when a call comes into the GV # that I have set up in the GV app, the screen remains dark, and there's no indication of a call coming in. If a call comes into either of my GV #s that are set up in Hangouts on a device set to silent, the screen immediately lights up, and Hangouts can be answered. As an extra data point, even TextNow works correctly, the same as Hangouts, when a call comes in to a device that is set to silent.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Boz1 View Post
    WiFi IS data. But yes, the Google Voice app with the proper settings (or the Hangouts app) will work over ANY kind of data, WiFi or cellular, for calls and messaging.
    I generally distinguish between the two types of data because wifi data is basically unlimited (when/where available) vs. phone data which has set limits and will "run out" on my free FP plan unless I'm careful. But at least phone data is available almost everywhere.

    You indicated that the GV app is ringing over data currently ...
    Correct.

    ... so that shouldn't change if all you do is turn off the forwarding to your FP #.
    This was one of my concerns. I just turned off GV forwarding to my FP # to test this.

    I'm still using Hangouts with my two primary GV #s. I have a third GV # that I use just for testing with the GV app. In my testing, the GV app does work as expected for calls and messaging over data only.
    Thanks for confirming this.

    But as long as I'm using data only like I've done since March, 2017, I'll keep using the Hangouts app unless Google fixes the following issues that are important to me ...
    The issues you listed make me want to use Hangouts instead of the GV app. My wife uses Hangouts and seems to like it. For some reason I was under the impression that it only allows the user to initiate calls to people in his/her contact list, but this doesn't make any sense ... so I'll try it again.

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    Hangouts (plus Hangouts Dialer if using Android) makes your GV #(s) work just like a regular phone for calls and messaging in every way EXCEPT you can't use Hangouts to send a video in a MMS, although you can receive them.

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    I uninstalled the GV app and the FP app, then I rebooted the phone, installed Hangouts, and set it to use the Google account that's already in use on my phone. This made it possible for me to start using Hangouts immediately, without being forced to enter the password for my Google account (yay!). Then I allowed Hangouts to access my contacts, send notifications, etc.

    Now that Hangouts is the only call/text app on my iPhone I remember why I couldn't use it a year or two ago when I first tried it. Hangouts does NOT give me an option to send text messages to any of my Google contacts that it lists as "Not on Hangouts" .



    When I click any of the contacts Hangouts displays in the "Not on Hangouts" portion of my contacts list, the only available options are (1) make a voice call or (2) cancel. There is no "Send message" option for these contacts. But when I click one of the four "Frequent" contacts shown at the top of my Hangouts contacts list I am given these options:

    Send message
    Video call
    Voice call
    Cancel

    This is why I never used Hangouts previously -- because it seems to prevent me from sending text messages to anyone that's not in my "Frequent" contacts list ...

    Or maybe I'm missing something, and perhaps there is actually a way to do this? If so, can you please tell me how?

    The other strange thing about Hangouts is that the four contacts in my "Frequent" list are shown with different names than the names I gave these people when I added them to my Google contacts. So apparently the folks in this "Frequent" list get their Hangouts display names directly from each of those Google accounts, rather than from the names I gave them in my own Google contacts list (?).

    To make matters worse, there's no way for me to see the phone numbers of the folks in my "Frequent" list, so I'm not even sure which phone numbers are being used to communicate with these contacts! Yet every contact in the "Not on Hangouts" portion of my contacts list displays a phone number, so at least I know which number is being used for these contacts.

    I sure wish I could get Hangouts working for outgoing calls and texts for all my contacts, not just the ones shown in my "Frequent" list.

    By the way, does anyone know where this "Frequent" list came from? Is this simply a list of my Google contacts that are "On Hangouts" vs. the vast majority of my contacts which are "Not on Hangouts"???

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    In Hangouts on my Android devices, I go to the messaging tab (it looks like a cartoon text box), tap the + button at the lower right, and then select "New SMS". I'm then able to type in a contact name, tap it, and then select from the various #s for that contact, and repeat if it's for a group message. Once all the recipient names and/or #s are showing at the top of the screen, I tap the green checkmark, and then I'm taken to a text field where I can compose a message, add attachments, etc.

    I don't know if this is different in Hangouts for iOS, but I have never read of any issues like you're describing.

    From what I can see in the screenshots at https://apps.apple.com/us/app/hangouts/id643496868, although it's laid out a little differently, I see the green + button for creating a new message, so I think Hangouts should work mostly the same on an iPhone as it does on an Android.

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    Quote Originally Posted by owkaye View Post
    When I click any of the contacts Hangouts displays in the "Not on Hangouts" portion of my contacts list, the only available options are (1) make a voice call or (2) cancel.
    That's odd. My options when I click on a name in "Not on Hangouts" group on my iPhone are: a phone icon (it pulls info from my contacts, so it lists the phone as "Home" or "Mobile" etc.). Below that are "SMS text message" and "Group MMS text message."

    Boz1's suggestion will also work on an iPhone since for some reason you're not getting the same options as I am.

    In my experience, texting is what Hangouts does best on an iPhone. It is very reliable. Phone calls, however, leave something to be desired. Voice quality over Hangouts has always been erratic, and that continues to this day. Also incoming calls (that go straight to Hangouts, as opposed to forwarding to the phone's real number) haven't always rung as they should, which is why for the last couple years I've chosen to do the forwarding option for incoming calls. This non-ringing problem wasn't consistent but frequent enough to cause me to make the change. Choosing to forward calls also meant at least my incoming calls were decent quality.

    A few days ago I unlocked my Google Voice number after having used it for 10 years (!). I'm going to port it out because it doesn't provide me the same advantages now that phone plans have gotten cheaper. Hopefully I won't regret that decision. I suppose I can always port it back if I do.

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    I know that different people have different results using GV overall, and with the GV and/or Hangouts apps.

    For whatever reason, Hangouts rings for me all the time EXCEPT if it's a suspicious #, but I do get a missed call notification. There hasn't been one time where the # I checked that didn't ring Hangouts was legit. I have 2 GV #s in Hangouts, with the 2nd being my old home phone # and unfortunately, it DOES ring for political calls!

    Anyway, since everything I do on my Android devices is over data only, as long as Hangouts keeps working I'll keep using it, UNLESS/UNTIL Google fixes the GV app issues I listed above.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by owkaye View Post

    When I click any of the contacts Hangouts displays in the "Not on Hangouts" portion of my contacts list, the only available options are (1) make a voice call or (2) cancel. There is no "Send message" option for these contacts. But when I click one of the four "Frequent" contacts shown at the top of my Hangouts contacts list I am given these options:

    This is why I never used Hangouts previously -- because it seems to prevent me from sending text messages to anyone that's not in my "Frequent" contacts list ...

    Or maybe I'm missing something, and perhaps there is actually a way to do this? If so, can you please tell me how?
    How are you initiating a call or text? Directly from the Contacts list or are you starting by selecting either the phone or text icon at the bottom of the screen?

    Here's how Hangouts works for me on iOS:

    Select text icon. Select + button. Scroll down and select desired Contact. Window pops up asking if I want to send SMS or MMS text message. I choose one and begin composing my text message. At the top of screen, there's a phone icon that would allow me to call the Contact instead.

    Select phone icon. Select keyboard button. Select Contacts icon at top right of screen. Scroll down and select my desired Contact. If Contact has more than one number a window pops up asking which number I want to use. I select which number and the call starts.

    Is this not how it works for you? I'm running latest Hangouts app version on iOS 13.3. Works the same way on both an SE and an iPad.

    When I select directly from Contacts list, I get a popup window that shows each number associated to that Contact which I can select and also the options to send SMS or MMS to each number associated with that Contact.

    Also, when viewing your "Frequent" callers list after selecting the phone icon at bottom of screen, what happens when you swipe left on one of them?

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    owkaye, did you make any progress with Hangouts after reading the comments by lIqCs3xa and taoman regarding their iPhones and Hangouts?

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    When I'm not replying to someone else's text my former approach (when using apps other than Hangouts) was to find the person in my contacts list, then click that person's name. This approach allowed me to choose either call or text. But the other day I reported that in Hangouts this approach only allowed me to make a phone call or cancel. HOWEVER, for some unknown reason things have changed ...

    Today I tried sending a text by clicking the contacts icon then clicking on a person's name, and instead of seeing only Mobile (for making a call) and Cancel now I see these options:

    Mobile
    SMS text
    Group MMS
    Cancel

    ... so something has clearly changed between the other day and today.

    I rebooted the phone a couple times lately, so maybe it takes a reboot in order for these texting options to appear after first setting up Hangouts? These two texting options (SMS and MMS) weren't there before, but they are there now -- which means I can theoretically send texts to anyone directly from my contacts list.

    Before I discovered this change my wife told me to start by clicking the message icon (instead of the contacts icon) then search for someone to text, then select a person, and this would let me text the person. However, I didn't have a chance to try it at that time, and then I read taoman's explanation (thanks!) and tried it today and it works the same on my iPhone.

    When I click any of the contacts Hangouts displays in the "Not on Hangouts" portion of my contacts list, the only available options are (1) make a voice call or (2) cancel.
    That's odd. My options when I click on a name in "Not on Hangouts" group on my iPhone are: a phone icon (it pulls info from my contacts, so it lists the phone as "Home" or "Mobile" etc.). Below that are "SMS text message" and "Group MMS text message."
    This is what mine is doing now too, so it looks like whatever problem mine was having is resolved ... hopefully.

    ---

    BTW, I was using my wife's AT&T phone yesterday to send text messages to my iPhone. I used her native/default messaging app and I sent two messages to my phone. Neither one arrived yesterday, so initially I concluded that Hangouts does not receive native text messages promptly. Then today both text messages arrived on my phone about 18 hours after I sent them. I've never seen such long delays when sending / receiving text messages. Is this typical when Hangouts receives text messages from other (non-Hangouts) apps?

    And here's an iPhone-specific question:

    Sometimes when I'm driving I like to pick up my phone and say "Hey Siri, send a text to my son using Google Voice." Then the iPhone opens Google Voice and I can dictate my text and send it without taking my eyes off the road. But I tried this with Hangouts and got an error, so ... can anyone tell me if this is possible with Hangouts instead of Google Voice?

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    I text mostly with Verizon and T-Mobile network users. I also text occasionally with TextNow and other Google Voice users. Strangely, I don't have any contacts that I text on a regular or occasional basis that use the AT&T network.

    There was one issue around 2 years ago when for 1 or 2 days it appeared that texts from the Vzw network sent to GV #s were being delayed, and at that time it didn't matter if the GV user was using the GV app or Hangouts or their computer to receive the texts, the texts were still delayed.

    But except for the above mentioned issue, I don't experience any text delays using my GV # in the Hangouts app on any of my Android devices or on my computer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by owkaye View Post
    But I tried this with Hangouts and got an error, so ... can anyone tell me if this is possible with Hangouts instead of Google Voice?
    Not possible. Error message is:

    Hangouts hasn't added support for that with Siri.

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