Last Updated: May 13th, 2011

A few days ago I posted about my experience with the Google Voice integration with Sprint and outlined exactly how I did it. In the comments section, you guys responded with a lot of good thoughts and, in some cases, some serious bugs and questions. I have done a little bit of research, some testing, and some drinking (just kidding. Kind of), and I have some answers and responses for you upstanding, early-adopting citizens.

The Questions

1.How will this affect my MMS?

This was actually the main reason I chose to integrate my Sprint and Google Voice accounts. The short answer is this: If you want to use your Google Voice number in place of your Sprint number, you'll have to have people send MMS messages to your Sprint number. Google Voice still (inexplicably) does not support MMS, so that is all still handled by Sprint. At this point, it seems the integration isn't "deep" enough for your Voice number to even proper route MMS to your Sprint handset.

If you chose, like me, to "port" your Sprint number and use it as you Google Voice number, you can receive MMS like normal, but only on your Sprint handset. All other phones you have attached to your Voice account will not receive it in any way, shape, or form. If you're a big MMS sender/receiver, keeping your Sprint number is going to be the least painful option for you.

2. Notifications...WTH, man?

There is really no good solution for this at the moment. When you integrate, your text messages will begin coming to your Sprint phone in the conventional manner and, suckily enough, also to your Google Voice app. This means that you get two notifications for the price of one and it's super annoying. You've got a couple of options, all of which are kind of sucky:

  1. Uninstall the Google Voice app, losing notifications and transcriptions of voicemails.
  2. Turn off notifications in the Google Voice app, which is the same as option 1, but takes up more space on your phone. You'll have to manually check if you have voicemails.
  3. Turn on text message notifications for voicemails in the Google Voice settings on a desktop. This is probably the least suck-tastic of the options, but still isn't awesome.
  4. Apply for and get hired onto the Google Voice development team and design a setting to selectively disable notification types for the Android app.

3. Doesn't losing one of the numbers defeat the purpose of Google Voice?

This one is more speculative. Short answer, no, not really. The idea of Google Voice is to have a single phone number that unifies all of your phones spanning all parts of your life, making it only necessary to distribute a single phone number at which people can reach you. That's all I have to say about that.

4. I did this and now my I can't make outgoing calls on my phones with Google Voice installed. FIXITFIXITFIXITFIXIT!

If you have the Google Voice app set to "Use Google Voice to make all calls", it's likely that this happened to you if you opted to keep your Sprint number. It took some messing around, but I found a fix for it. The prompts that come up when you actually carry out the integration tell you to log out of the app and log back in to make the changes final. If that worked for you, you've got it easy. For me, the only phone that could make calls, even after doing that, was my Sprint phone. I had 3 other phones that couldn't make calls, and that was a turd. What ended up working was going into the Setting>Applications>Manage Applications>Google Voice>Clear data and logging back in. This worked on all my devices. From what I understand, it's because the app caches the call-out data for your contacts and that needs to be refreshed when you make the changeover.

5. If I'm connected to my Airrave I can't receive calls.

That is a shame. Google and Sprint evidently did not really think that through and there is no fix that I'm aware of at this point. Sorry, guys and gals.

6. Will SMS hit my Sprint bill if I'm using my Google Voice number?

Yes. Any SMS messages that go through Sprint (if you text through ANY application that isn't the Google Voice app), they will be reflected to Sprint as SMS. If you want free SMS, you're going to have to use the Voice web site or Google Voice app.

7. If I use my Sprint number as my Google Voice number, what happens if I bail on Sprint?

I am yet to receive a definitive answer on this, but you better believe I need this answered as much as any of you. I am most certainly researching this heavily and will get back to you about it if I get a final answer


Hopefully this helped some of you out and, if you have any additional questions, feel free to toss them into the comments section. I'll try and reply/update this ost as often and accurately as I can.

Brad Ganley
An Android power user, Brad consumes most of his free time with unhealthy amounts of cell phones and cell phone related things when he isn't playing with his son. Brad is also an avid movie-watcher and tea-drinker.
  • Jared

    The biggest Question of all...when will this open up to everyone...I WANT!

    • James

      I think they're kind of rolling it out. I didn't see anything in my account about it for a few days, but then in Voice Settings I saw "Check eligibility for Sprint integration". Unfortunately, it claims I'm not eligible, and while I'm not 100% sure why, the best I've read so far is that having a work/school/government discount puts the account into a somewhat different classification with Sprint -- one that they currently say isn't eligible to integrate. I think I read that they're working on this, because these types of lines should be eligible, so I guess I'll have to wait a bit longer before I can try this out.

  • Jgalan14

    Thanks for the info I tried to log off and I log in to my google voice app for iPhone, SMS works fine but can not make outgoing calls, any info about that?

  • Matt

    In response to this question:

    7. If I use my Sprint number as my Google Voice number, what happens if I bail on Sprint?

    You can de-activate GV+Sprint at any time. You won't get back your old GV # (it expires after 90 days), but the number is still yours to port.

    [see Setup FAQ's on Google Voice+Sprint]

    • Brad Ganley

      So that means that, If I cancel my sprint line, that number is still my Google voice number then? It still seems unclear. Say, hypothetically, I cancel Sprint right now. What happens to the number? Is it automatically assimilated to my GV account forever?

  • th

    Have heard conflicting stuff on use of minutes: I have the $69 plan with only 450 landline minutes but unlimited mobile minutes. What pool does each call pull from now?

    • Brad Ganley

      From what I understand, calling out with google voice is registered as a land line, but incoming calls will be appropriated as you would expect.

      • ivaldo

        So in other words, it will use from my 450 minutes if we use gvoice..??

        • James

          I can't seem to find a link quickly, but I'm pretty sure I read that the free mobile-to-mobile calling (Any Mobile Anytime, I think it's called) will not be affected by integrating. If that's correct, then you should get free mobile-to-mobile calling through GV once you integrate. You might want to look/ask for more details, but I hope this helps.

  • Donato Orlando

    Apparently they paid attention to all my early posts and fixed the 3g airave issues.

  • http://www.google.com/voice Vincent Paquet


    A little additional info:
    2- We are working on decoupling SMS and voicemail notifications
    5- The Airave issue should be fixed
    7- with this integration the Sprint number is being used as the Google Voice numbers, but it stays with Sprint (which is different from porting, that moves the number to GV). You need to be a Sprint subscriber to keep this integration working.
    Vincent Paquet - PM Google Voice

    • Brad Ganley

      Thank you so much for responding! We did have one commenter say that the airave issue is fixed.

      In regards to the phone number allocation- If I wanted to cancel sprint, would I simply de-couple it from my Voice account and port the number to Voice the traditional way?

  • shane

    I have been using GV+Sprint for a few weeks now and only get notification of text messages from my voice application. To date I have not received double notifications. For the most part I am very pleased with the way this works.

    • Brandito

      You have to enable sms notifications for your sprint phone on the voice website if you want notifications on your native messaging app.

      took me a bit to figure that out.

      luckily it seems like you don't mind it!

  • Jayhawk

    He's my situation, i have sprint number and i have a Google voice number. My problem is, they share the same voice mail box. Is there a way I can have an individual voicemail box for each number?! Any help would be much appreciated

  • Frank

    I chose to replace my GV # with my Sprint #. Only draw back I see right now is that I have to choose to receive an incoming call when call waiting hits. It prompts me to receive the call or send to voicemail. Another thing is because my Sprint # is now my GV # if I'm on the phone I can not receive txt msgs simultaneously while on the call. I could before. Not sure if that would change if I uninstall the GV app. Finally one quirk I have found, I receive Twitter text (sms) msgs and the "@" symbol shows up as an upside-down exclamation point "ยก". Weird.

  • Stuart

    If you are someone that sends a lot of MMS I suggest checking out Whatsapp Messenger. I can't remember the last time I sent an actual mms cos I use this. Syncs with your contacts and uses your phone number so no pin numbers or things like that. Basically its BBM that works cross platform with android, iphone and blackberry

  • richyoung

    when will the issue with missing calls due to GV system loading be fixed. this is the #1 issue I have with the integration. had to disunintegrate my mobile to get reliable calls. did not notice the airrave issue on the airvana, but it doesn't mean I didn't have a problem...

  • Andy

    Neither of my two Sprint numbers are working. I get this error:

    "Unfortunately, Google Voice cannot be enabled on this Sprint phone. Please contact Sprint for more details as to why this cannot be enabled."

    My personal phone is with a Sprint affiliate (Swiftel) number, I called in and had it changed to a corporate number. Still no GV love.

    Would be nice if it worked, but who knows? I have an employer discount, but not willing to lose 25%.

  • SteveW

    Would using the method of keeping the GV number allow me to send and receive text messages from ChaCha?