All iPads How I've turned my iPad into a fully functional phone.

Discussion in 'iPad' started by east85, Mar 30, 2014.

  1. east85, Mar 30, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2014

    east85 macrumors 65816

    east85

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2010
    #1
    I've installed Google Hangouts and connected it to my Google+ account, which is tied into Google Voice. If anyone calls my Google Voice number from any device it will immediately ring into the iPad and I can answer. A Google Voice number looks exactly like a regular phone number and can be contacted by anyone with a phone. There are no ecosystem limitations that require the other party to participate in, as is the case with many other clients.

    Some technicalities, this setup requires that you have a Google+ account and have activated Google Voice. In order to activate Google Voice you will need an outside number, if not your own, someone you know. Google will text this number with a code for activation purposes. Afterwards you simply log into Google Voice and uncheck forwarding to the phone you used in settings. From this point if anyone calls your Google Voice number while you have Hangouts app installed you will be able to pick up immediately after being notified with the ringtone. The app does not need to be running for this functionality, only notifications for the app need to be enabled.

    Some things to remember:
    1. If you do not have a cellular iPad, or one with decent data reception while not on Wi-Fi you will not be able to receive calls. Calls are made only on data or WiFi.
    2. You will not be holding your iPad like a phone, unless you want to look like an idiot. I generally hold my iPad like I'm video chatting and the microphone picks up my voice just fine.
    3. Headphones are not required, due to the noise canceling software in Hangouts it is possible to turn up your volume all the way and the person you are chatting with will not receive feedback. This is partially due to the placement of the Mic and speakers on your iPad. If you'd like to have a private call headphones are your only option as far as I know. If anyone is knowledgeable about bluetooth integration with Hangouts feel free to share.

    For those who have explored alternative options that work with Google Voice like GrooveIP and Talkatone, those services will discontinue as of May 15th as per Google's new policy. I encourage you to move away from these Alternatives into Hangouts to get used to the flow before your services are terminated. The quality of VoIP calls through Hangouts is superior to these alternatives. For now the best workaround for text is to have Google Voice forward a notification to your Mail, where you can respond by replying to this in Gmail. The same applies with Voicemail. In the future Google has made a commitment to bring SMS functionality to the Hangouts app in order to streamline this process.

    If anyone has any questions or things to add please feel free. I'm always interested in how I can expand my strategy and improve. My ultimate goal is to move to a single device for everything I need to do and this is a huge step in that direction.

    Additional links
    Receive calls from Hangouts on iOS
    Make calls from Hangouts on iOS
     
  2. blueroom macrumors 603

    blueroom

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2009
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    #2
    Isn't Google Voice being discontinued in May?
     
  3. jamesjingyi macrumors 6502a

    jamesjingyi

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2011
    Location:
    UK
    #3
    Sorry, excuse nooby question but can you call the iPad from any phone?
     
  4. east85 thread starter macrumors 65816

    east85

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2010
    #4
    Negative. There were a lot of press articles about the death of Google Voice for purposes of click bait. This is however untrue, Google is simply integrating Google Voice functionality into Hangouts and discontinuing the use of their independent Google Voice application, which was pretty terrible to begin with.

    ----------

    Yes, any phone can call your iPad with this method. It doesn't matter if it's a cellular number, landline, or what service they're on. You can also make a call to any number in the US and Canada. That is one thing I probably should have mentioned, this only works in the US and Canada. Calling overseas requires a fee.
     
  5. sracer macrumors 603

    sracer

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2010
    Location:
    Land of Bongos and Beatniks
    #5
    I currently do that with Skype.
     
  6. jamesjingyi macrumors 6502a

    jamesjingyi

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2011
    Location:
    UK
    #6
    Wow! Cool, Ima do this :)
     
  7. east85 thread starter macrumors 65816

    east85

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2010
    #7
    I explored this method but it was not right for me. Mainly because calling functionality in the US requires spending money. I don't see why I would do that when I can do this with Google Voice and Hangouts for free.

    http://www.skype.com/en/rates/

    With that said though if you're happy with Skype 3 bucks a month isn't a huge dent in anyones wallet.

    ----------

    I just noticed your location is in the UK. To my knowledge this is only available in the US and Canada. You might want to explore using Skype. I just noticed this, sorry. :/
     
  8. AppleRobert macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2012
    #8
    Been doing this with android phones for quite awhile.
     
  9. east85 thread starter macrumors 65816

    east85

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2010
    #9
  10. AppleRobert macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2012
    #10
    I used talkatone and got a Google number. I all use it to make calls only over Wifi when I'm in a bind, I do not receive any.
     
  11. east85 thread starter macrumors 65816

    east85

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2010
    #11
    Well you'll be pretty happy when Hangouts integrates for android. As a former paying Talkatone customer the quality is much better on Hangouts. Just keep up to date with it and watch out for the May 15th deadline. I'm sure Google will get Hangouts integration with GV on Android down by then.
     
  12. HobeSoundDarryl, Mar 30, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2014

    HobeSoundDarryl macrumors 603

    HobeSoundDarryl

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2004
    Location:
    Hobe Sound, FL (20 miles north of Palm Beach)
    #12
    Talkatone with a Googlevoice number for calls and texts inbound and outbound.

    If you are not always in a free wifi zone when you want to make or receive calls, use the AT&T 1GB for up to 3 months plan at $25 and one gets anywhere calls & texts- just like a cell phone- for $100/year.

    It works (well).
     
  13. Jasonkrick macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2013
    #13
    I use talktatone on iPhone and on iPad. Free minutes with unlimited data.

    Plus, it is free to call Canada via talkatone.
     
  14. east85 thread starter macrumors 65816

    east85

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2010
    #14
    Do you guys plan to switch over before May 15th?

    Also thanks for that tip on the ATT plan. I'm going to look into it. Right now I'm saving up to buy the unlimited ATT iPad plan outright from someone, until then that might be a great option.
     
  15. TheScribe macrumors member

    TheScribe

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2012
    Location:
    Wherever I am.
    #15
    Been using talkatone and GV for over a year with no issues.

    Started using hangouts today.

    I still need the GV app for sending and receiving text messages.

    Here's hoping google fixes that when they merge the services.

    If not, I might have to leave google altogether.
     
  16. reundo macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2014
    #16
    Thanks! I had no idea this was going to happen. I use Talkatone and Google Voice while I am overseas. I didn't even know Google Hangouts could be used in the same way. I hope it works just as good. Talkatone (free version) has been great for the past year and a half.

    Couldn't you just use the Google Voice app for texts and voicemail?
     
  17. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #17
    Just because you can, doesn't mean you should. I'll leave my phone calls with my iPhone.

    Interesting and good luck OP :)
     
  18. east85 thread starter macrumors 65816

    east85

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2010
    #18
    In my experience the call quality is pretty much what Talkatone was paid, so it's nice to not have to pay for that anymore. I suppose if you wanted to go ahead and use GV for SMS and Voicemail that would work in the meantime, not a bad approach. Using Gmail is no more effective, just comes down to preference really. Hopefully with the next Hangouts update though neither will be needed!

    Yeah they've made a commitment to bring SMS into the Hangouts, but you know how GV has been with MMS over the years. I have some reservations but I expect they'll deliver. Definitely understand the frustration.

    This definitely isn't going to be for everyone, but for me personally it's great.

    Thanks for the luck!
     
  19. ET iPhone Home macrumors 68040

    ET iPhone Home

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2011
    Location:
    Orange County, California USA
    #19
    I wish you could set this up on my iPad Air. I'll never figure it out.
     
  20. BSDanalyst macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2013
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #20
    Cool idea, but I realized I mostly use the phone for whatsapp and LINE instead of phone calls, both of which aren't available on the iPad.
     
  21. Che Castro macrumors 603

    Joined:
    May 21, 2009
    #21
    How I've turned my iPad into a fully functional phone.

    You can use the iphone google voice app on the ipad or a non official google ipad app called talkatone

    Both are free to make calls
     
  22. HenryDJP macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2012
    Location:
    United States
    #22
    Google voice has issues, period. I use it to talk to my business colleagues that also have it and we always experience sound issues. I wouldn't necessarily use this as a full time phone for the iPad. A paid Skype account is much better than the free GV.
     
  23. east85 thread starter macrumors 65816

    east85

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2010
    #23
    Odd I've used GV since 2010 and have never had issues on a good connection.
     
  24. east85 thread starter macrumors 65816

    east85

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2010
    #24
    http://tidbits.com/article/14611

    This might help! If I had the time I'd do a YT video guide.
     
  25. fasterthanfiber macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2013
    #25
    If I saw someone walking down the street with an iPad held to his ear talking away I would have major difficulty fighting the urge to drop kick them. I have struggled too long to prevent this happening when taking pictures with iPads out in public but this would take me over the edge I'm afraid.
     

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