Preview: 'GV Mobile+' Brings Google Voice to iPhone

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Sep 16, 2010.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Following Apple's release of its App Store review guidelines last week, Sean Kovacs, the developer of GV Mobile, indicated that he would resubmit his app to Apple for approval. GV Mobile, an app that offers native access on the iPhone to the search company's free Google Voice service, had originally been released in the App Store in early 2009 but was then removed by Apple in the summer of 2009 since it "duplicated features that come with the iPhone." Kovacs re-submitted the app, now dubbed GV Mobile+, to Apple earlier this week in light of the recently-published guidelines.

    We have been able to preview the build submitted to Apple. Those who have used the version previously available in the App Store will find GV Mobile+ much more polished than before. Those with jailbroken iPhones who purchased GV Mobile through Cydia will find the new app's interface familiar and see some new features as well.

    Google Voice is a free service that provides users with a phone number, advanced call management features, voicemail transcription, and free text messaging. Contrary to what those unfamiliar with the service might think, it is not a VoIP service. Google provides an overview of Google Voice's capabilities in a number of demo videos on a special Features page.

    GV Mobile+ requires that a user have a Google Voice account before the app can be used. When first opening the app, you're prompted to enter your Google Voice account credentials. Once this is complete, you can refine how the app works in the Settings panel, including enabling and disabling the service's call screening feature, selecting phones to which incoming calls should be forwarded, how and when the app syncs with your Google Voice account online, and more.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Phone calls are made through the Dial pane, which presents a standard virtual dial pad. The app automatically pulls in the current active group from the iPhone's Contacts app, making it easy to select an existing contact to call. Calls can also be dialed directly using the virtual dial pad. There's also a Favorites tab here where frequently-called contacts can be added for quicker access.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Initiating a call results in the receipt of an incoming call, which is a normal feature of the Google Voice service since Google's servers initiate the call online and then connect the call to your iPhone's number.

    If the Offline Dialing feature is enabled in the app's settings, GV Mobile+ will contact Google Voice's servers directly by initiating a call to them immediately, and you'll hear dial tones as the app manages the entry of the phone number to be dialed "manually" as you wait, eventually connecting the call. While it may sound cumbersome, this feature is useful if you do not have an internet connection or only a weak connection.


    Incoming calls to your Google Voice number ring through to your iPhone as any other call does as long as you have selected this option in your Google Voice account settings. You answer these calls using the iPhone's Phone app.

    Outgoing calls made with GV Mobile+ present your Google Voice number in the caller ID function on the receiving end. The same goes for text messages sent through GV Mobile+. The SMS pane shows SMS history and the new SMS dialogue and existing SMS conversations appear much as they do in the iPhone's Messages app.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    For those on a limited messaging plan with AT&T or another provider, Google Voice can be a compelling alternative with its free, unlimited text messaging, which is easy to use in GV Mobile+. The only limitation with the Google Voice service itself in this area is that the service cannot send or receive MMS messages.

    The next pane in GV Mobile+, History, acts essentially like the Recents pane in the iPhone's Phone app, showing all recent incoming and outgoing calls. The Voicemail pane shows all voicemails received and these can be listened to through the iPhone's speakerphone, the earpiece speaker, or wired headphones. The "Trans." button in the lower right corner will show Google's automatic transcription of the voicemail to text. While not always accurate, this service can be useful when listening to a voicemail is not feasible.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    While a badge showing the number of new items is displayed on the app's icon on the home screen, it does not send push notifications, though Kovacs promises this is coming.

    Overall, GV Mobile+ offers a complete and convenient native interface for Google Voice. Once approved, GV Mobile+ will cost $2.99. Those who previously purchased the GV Mobile app when it was available in the App Store in 2009 will have an opportunity to get the new app for free during a short window of time after it has been in the App Store for about one week – this window of time will be announced by Kovacs through his Twitter account. Kovacs estimates that the approval time will take seven to thirteen days, putting GV Mobile+ in the App Store sometime next week.

    Article Link: Preview: 'GV Mobile+' Brings Google Voice to iPhone
  2. Daiden macrumors 6502a


    Feb 25, 2007
    Chicago, IL
    Man, MacRumors is really pushing this app on its readers. It has been mentioned a few times over the past week. I suppose some people are easily persuaded with veiled attempts at subversive marketing.
  3. pika2000 macrumors 68020

    Jun 22, 2007
    My concern is, is it safe for me to give my google account password to a random dev? I would be more comfortable using a Google Voice app made by Google themselves.
  4. seankovacs macrumors newbie

    Sep 16, 2010
    I guess the concern is, should you trust your phone to your Google account info? Because the app saves it to your phone.

    With that, did you use the 3rd party Twitter clients (prior to their own) and the likes? Because they all came from 3rd party developers.

  5. ArtOfWarfare macrumors 604


    Nov 26, 2007
    With such a long article, I thought you might describe something other than features built into the iPhone itself.

    Honestly, what the hell is the use of this app? Other than the transcription for your voice mail, nothing here sounds even slightly compelling or worth the hassle.

    Or, you know, rather than screw around calling Google as a middle man, you could just call the damn number. IDK, just an idea. Part of the whole Apple philosophy of not needing step 3.

    Step 1: Open App
    Step 2: Dial Number * This is where the standard phone app is done and you just talk.
    Step 3: Answer Phone? This is the extra retarded step that someone felt it was necessary to add.
  6. macfan881 macrumors 68020

    Feb 22, 2006
  7. macfan881 macrumors 68020

    Feb 22, 2006

    watch that and you will find out why.
  8. JDNGuru macrumors member

    Sep 4, 2010
  9. eatbacon macrumors regular

    Feb 4, 2003
    Why is it that VoiceCentral's BlackSwan and the google voice web interface can both dial a number without waiting for an incoming call or a "cumbersome" process of waiting for the app to dial through, but this app can't? I owned the original version of this app and liked it well enough when it was the only workable option, but this sounds like a step backwards from what is available now. (At least in that one respect)
  10. swarmster macrumors 6502a


    Jun 1, 2004
    Actually, as of last month, it is. I'm waiting for all these outdated apps to get out of the approval chain so we can actually get some that support the modern Google Voice. Free calls to Canada from my phone? Yes, please.

    Or is AT&T still going to shut those down?
  11. redfrogr macrumors newbie

    Sep 16, 2010
    Well, Sean has been through hell and back just to get this far, and I hope he gets it back in the App store. I've been using Google Voice since back in the day when it was Grand Central, and you have nothing to worry about. Sean's a pretty honest dude with a pretty nice size fanbase.
  12. redfrogr macrumors newbie

    Sep 16, 2010
    Because alot of people don't like giving out their real number. The only person who knows my number is Verizon and my girlfriend. Everyone else only knows my GV number. That way, I don't get any annoying incoming calls when I'm talking to my girlfriend because all those calls go straight to voicemail, just like good ole Google intended. You're such a Google Voice Newbie...LAWL!
  13. tlevier macrumors regular


    Jun 7, 2010
    Littleton, CO

    Wow great. So I can make it easier for everyone else by eliminating their need to decide where to call me? Awesome!

    So, instead of Business people calling my Business phone and Personal people calling my Mobile (which the number never changes, if I switch carriers, I just port the number to the new carrier) They all can call the same number and then I can manage where the call goes to! Then, if I want to change my mind later, I just manage my online GV account! No more of my company's online Avaya software for me! Now I don't have to forward calls from my desk phone to my cell phone! Wait a second...

    How is this helping again?

    Oh that's right, if I have a Google phone number, I'll have to ask everyone out there to forget my current numbers and accept that I might route their calls in a way that I can avoid them. I'm sure that will go over very well.

    Then there's the fact that you can't have group text messaging, let alone text more than one person at a time because the text comes from one central location, so you aren't ever quite sure who is texting you. So maybe I'll just give my mobile number to all my friends for text messaging, but ask them to call a different number so they can reach me on my mobile with my text messaging number. Then if I duck their call from GV, they can call me on my text messaging phone number....wait... you did it to me again!
  14. icrew macrumors member


    Feb 18, 2003
    Maybe to:
    1) avoid paying AT&T's extortionate rates for international calls
    2) have my outgoing calls show up with a caller ID that allows me to control who gets to call me, when I'm willing to accept calls, and to which of my 4 different phones (cell, home landline, office landline, and sipgate) calls should be routed
    3) send and receive texts for free, again from my GV caller id number
    4) and yes, to have transcriptions of my voicemail messages. (I HATE listening to voicemails. Having the transcription probably saves a minute per message, and the hassle of having to find a pen to write down the callback number.)

  15. ljestrada macrumors newbie

    Feb 17, 2009
    Google Voice also eats your minutes EVEN IF CALLER IS ON AT&T NETWORK

    Try this:

    1. Make a phone call to your GV number from an AT&T phone.
    2. GV will route the call to your iPhone.
    3. Answer on iPhone.

    Check your minutes--after they're posted. Because the GV number is not within the AT&T network, the minutes will be deducted from your minutes.

    This is a disadvantage.

    I use GV for outgoing calls and use it directly from the GMail web interface.
  16. mpossoff macrumors 68020

    Mar 21, 2010
    On my desktop I can make free USA calls. Can you do this with the app similar to skype?

  17. tmiranda macrumors newbie

    Feb 12, 2008
    There are many reasons to use GV.
    1. If you have a plan where you get "5 free people to talk with" you can add your GV number to that and all your calls will not count against your minutes
    2. Free text messaging
    3.ultimate number portability
    4.your own personal "pbx"

    and the list goes on and on.

    GV Mobile+ may not be for everyone. I have it as a jailbroken app but rarely use it since I got an iPhone4. The new iphone is fast enough it renders the webapp as fast or faster than the dialing out process of Gv Mobile +. but when i had my 3G i had to have it. It was great.
  18. rickpdx macrumors newbie

    Sep 16, 2010
    Using GV+ to avoid using cell minutes

    OK, this sounds great! I have a GV number and use it from my desktop already. But I'm hearing that you can also use it, with this app, to avoid using your cell minutes almost entirely if you add your GV number to you’re A-List. Can anyone explain in detail with examples how this would work? Being new to this, that would be awesome. I'd love to be able to lower my plan minutes and use GV to talk as long as I want whenever and wherever. Thanks!
  19. cvaldes macrumors 68040

    Dec 14, 2006
    somewhere else
    I have a Motorola dumbphone with a Truphone Local Anywhere SIM, a prepaid service.

    By using Google Voice on my iPod touch, it will call back my dumbphone. Oddly, Truphone is not deducting any money at all from outgoing dialback calls nor any incoming calls from Google Voice. That's right. I basically don't pay for domestic telephone service. I have much better things to do with a grand of my money every year.

    Most smartphone users are paying $800-1200 annually. Might need to shove ten or twenty bucks into my account, just to keep it alive (for the rare periods when I choose to have Google Voice SMS messages routed to my dumbphone).

    Google Voice is also good when you're using an iPod touch with a SIP client, and want to call the United States for free while you're abroad. I'm currently using a combination of Riverturn's VoiceCentral BlackSwan HTML5 app, Acrobits' GroundWire SIP client, and a Gizmo5 SIP account. Absolutely brilliant.
  20. tablo13 macrumors 65816


    Jul 29, 2010
    Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
    Does this support Gmail calling? When I go to the Google Voice "app" on web, it just goes to the actual Google Voice. :confused:
  21. revelated macrumors 6502a


    Jun 30, 2010
    Been using Google Voice since it was GrandCentral. The Google Voice version is superior in many ways, inferior in a few ways.

    The free SMS is great. I live and breathe on email - unlike the social media types of today, I feel that email is still the better application. There's no unspoken obligation to reply immediately, and it costs me nothing (including ads). So I'm glad that I can not only receive my SMS as emails, but that I can reply to said emails and have them go back as SMS messages. Didn't really like the "nbsp;" that it put in there though on some.

    Transcription of voicemails is often wrong. But I can get the gist of it and decide whether I want to call the person back. Again, to my email.

    My contacts sync automatically with my Palm Pre - so if I search a contact, it's searching my Google Voice contacts.

    I can flag a number as spam which basically lets the phone ring on the caller's end, but doesn't ring through to me. This averts junk callers because if you answer the phone they know the number is valid.

    I can also play a "not in service" message at my whim, especially good for jerks who get on my nerves. I had to use that with some paranoid cat that was trading a MacBook Pro some months ago and didn't pay attention to my very specific conditions.

    Multiple ring throughs so I can direct the call to wherever I happen to be. I only use the one number now - my cell phone - but back when I had like three numbers it was great to be able to receive calls at any one of them at any time.

    I can't imagine not having the Google Voice number. All they need to do is add the VoIP calling from GMail such that I can outbound VoIP directly from Google Voice, and I'll be all set. ( I hate logging into Gmail).

  22. ArtOfWarfare macrumors 604


    Nov 26, 2007
  23. macswitcha2 macrumors 65816

    Oct 18, 2008
    Don't have time to read everything...

    so one question, is using GV Mobile mean FREE? Are all calls in and out and text messaging free?
  24. dwd3885 macrumors 68020

    Dec 10, 2004
    txt messages are free. Calls are not. Calls use your cellular minutes.
  25. redcupr macrumors member


    Jul 15, 2008
    Here's what I use GV for:

    I set up my GV number as a local number for my family (they live in a different state), so when they call me they dial a local number and it rings through to my home phone and/or cell phone.

    I don't use GV to dial out very often so the new app may not be for me, but I'll probably grab it anyway.

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